Tag Archives: Earthquake proneness

Report from the University Landscape Trenches : Financial shoring collapsing, trouble brewing

Received from Rhodes
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

Saturday’s ODT had an interesting article about delays on the troubled University of Otago landscaping project. This article is the canary in the University construction goldmine, as there are other even much larger disputes brewing on current University projects that certainly will become a goldmine for the contractors, to the detriment of the University’s financial health.

uoo-landscaping-20160508_135933Hoarding, University of Otago

Mr Mackay said the complications on the landscaping included “replacing old water, sewage and drainage pipes”. What he did not say is that this work was meant to have been done two summers ago, BEFORE the academic year, but due to the project management, it was not. However, this landscaping project is small beer, there are much bigger problems looming.

The University, in their biggest ever project, at the 11th hour, on the “advice” of a contractor, Fletcher Construction, who we understand did not even finally submit a bid, told the University they could save a few hundred thousand on the $100 million project by deleting the need for a cost control schedule…. that would have severely limited what the contractors could charge for changes and extra work. In a monumental display of incompetence, the University stopped production of the schedule – which was already underway and had to be part paid for anyway and put the drawings and specifications out to tender without a schedule. If the drawings were 100% complete and the University wasn’t to change its mind that would be OK, but the Pope is more likely to preach at Canterbury Cathedral than this happening. Of course, the drawings are woefully incomplete, and the arguments and changes have started. Watch out for Someone from the University Property Services division, in about a year, to be in full dissembling mode about the delays, and how, “even though it’s six months late, it’s still on budget”. If that is the case, the budget has massive doses of incompetency cover built into it !

An additional problem that’s about to come home to roost in the University and Otago Polytechnic’s coffers is insistence, by University Property Services, on the use of “Early Contractor Involvement” (ECI). (Someone at University Property Services has never met a new construction euphemism he did not use or a project delay that he could not justify). Both the University and Polytech on recent large projects have engaged in tender processes where there is no fixed sum, because the documents are far from complete, and the current fashion du jour is to have “early contractor involvement” where the builders are paid to be involved in the design phase, to provide “constructability” expertise. Basically the builders make a submission to say what nice people they are, and advise percentage site overhead and profit margins they would build the project for. The rest of the cost, about 85-90%, is just guesswork. (“Provisional Sums”). This process allows the “tender evaluation team” (mainly the Architect and the University) to choose who they want, without regard to price, because the weighting for “non-price attributes” is a lot more than 50% of the total weighting.

On both the University commerce building project, just started by Naylor Love, and the Polytechnic Hostel project (also won by Naylor Love), this was the process. Both projects are around $20 million all up. Significantly, the architect on both projects was Mason & Wales. There were a number of other consultants in the design teams. The politest way to put the next point is that there appeared to be “confusion” about the proposed early contractor involvement process from the team. It was thought, inexplicably, that this wonderful new system of selecting builders without worrying about price meant not only did they get to choose ones with very high margins who wouldn’t cause problems when the inevitable design problems arose, some consultants also thought that they could charge full fees and offload all of the detailing onto the builder…. which of course did not happen. Builders, in the South Island anyway, do not employ armies of CAD operators who can document bespoke large projects. That is what designers are for…. In both cases, the successful Naylor Love bid was hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than lower bids. Also in the case of both bids, the University and the Polytech paid a premium of around $500-600,000 to have the “ECI/ constructability” experience of Naylor Love…. only to find that the advice received was NOT what was expected…. the Polytech project has been now costed by Naylor Love and is $1.5-2.0 million over budget, and the “expert” constructability / ECI advice that the Polytech effectively paid $600,000 for is…. wait for it…. to make the building smaller. Hmmm, expensive and brief advice! Best not tell the Humanities students ! The other unsuccessful contractors may well feel aggrieved about how this process played out, as before they were even allowed to provide a proposal they had to prove their capability and experience to do the work, so in theory all tenderers were equally capable, and there was no logical reason for the favouritism to Naylor Love…. but were there other reasons ? There appears no meaningful financial oversight, the project teams seem a law unto themselves, and the suspicion is that both institutions’ funds are being spent in a very free and easy fashion.

[ends]

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18.7.16 Misero-mercenary at U of O
1.7.16 No one wants to work for U of O
25.9.15 University calling Property Services
28.3.15 University of Otago landscaping
24.7.13 University: Leith flood protection scheme and landscaping
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Dunedin Courthouse —Cabinet backs #restoration for courts use

IMG_0138 (1)A considerable weight lifted….

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:44, December 7 2015
Dunedin’s historic courthouse to be saved
Dunedin’s historic courthouse will be strengthened and restored at a cost of $15 million […] Strengthening work was expected to take two years, and the city’s temporary court in High St would continue to be used in the interim. It was hoped a main contractor would be appointed later in 2016, following a tendering process, [Ms] Adams said.
Read more

****

“The Dunedin courthouse is one of New Zealand’s most notable historic buildings and Cabinet’s decision reflects its significance, both as a part of the city’s rich cultural heritage and its importance to the region’s legal fraternity.” –Minister Amy Adams

Amy Adams [radionz.co.nz] 211### ODT Online Mon, 7 Dec 2015
Full restoration for Dunedin courthouse
By Craig Borley
Dunedin’s historic courthouse will be saved, strengthened, restored and have all its court service returned to it. The decision was made in today’s final Cabinet meeting of the year. Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams announced the outcome just after 4pm. […] The decision means a “more than $15 million” overhaul of the Stuart St complex, bringing it up to between 60% and 70% of new building standard, as well as “provision the buildings to operate as modern court facilities”.
Read more

Full Statement —Minister

Amy Adams

7 December, 2015

Dunedin’s historic courthouse to be restored

Courts Minister Amy Adams today announced that Cabinet has agreed to the strengthening and restoration of Dunedin’s historic courthouse.

“The Dunedin courthouse is one of New Zealand’s most notable historic buildings and Cabinet’s decision reflects its significance, both as a part of the city’s rich cultural heritage and its importance to the region’s legal fraternity,” Ms Adams says.

“From the beginning, I’ve maintained that it’s been my intention, expectation and desire to see court services returned to Dunedin’s historic courthouse and this decision delivers on that commitment.”

The project includes earthquake strengthening and restoration, as well as the cost of provision the buildings to operate as modern court facilities. The project is estimated to cost more than $15 million and this will include seeing the building strengthened to between 60 and 70 per cent of the National Building Standard.

“The strengthening project is anticipated to take two years to complete and the Ministry of Justice will continue to deliver quality services from the temporary court in High St in the interim,” Ms Adams says.

Ministry of Justice will call for tenders in the first half of next year and it was hoped a main contractor would be appointed later in 2016.

Ms Adams says the costings in the business case had been comprehensively investigated and peer reviewed by a number of independent specialist engineers, and costed by quantity surveyors, before being subjected to a robust review by The Treasury.

“The investigations showed that as a category one heritage building, strengthening the court house is a complex project and requires a significant capital investment.

“I acknowledge the deep support locals have shown for the historic courthouse throughout this process.”

The facility in Stuart St was closed in 2011 after engineers found that parts of the building fell well short of the minimum 34 percent rating required under the National Building Standard. A temporary facility has been established at High St to ensure court services could continue to be delivered to the people of Dunedin and Otago in the interim.

With Cabinet’s decision, managing the restoration process now becomes an operational matter for the Ministry of Justice.

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/dunedin%E2%80%99s-historic-courthouse-be-restored

Related Posts and Comments:
22.9.125 Dunedin Law Courts | ODT editorial
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) Justice, Dunedin Law Courts (detail) by Elizabeth Kerr; radionz.co.nz – Amy Adams, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use

### ODT Online Mon, 7 Sep 2015
Using online petition to save courthouse
By Eileen Goodwin
An online petition is the latest strategy of the Dunedin City Council backed group trying to pressure the Government to restore the historic Dunedin courthouse. Set up by Dunedin city councillor Aaron Hawkins, a member of the Dunedin Courthouse Task Force, it had more than 220 signatures last night. The courthouse is in limbo as it lies vacant with no plan yet for its future.
Read more

Save Our Courthouse█ Website:
http://www.saveourcourthouse.nz

█ Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurCourthouse

█ Petition to Justice Minister Amy Adams:
http://bit.ly/1FlZIWy (via Avaaz platform)

SAVE OUR COURTHOUSE

Dunedin’s Courthouse building has been the seat of justice in Dunedin since it was built in 1901. Following extensive renovation and restoration by the government in 2002, in 2011 it was declared an earthquake risk, and progressively mothballed.
There have been questions raised by reports detailing the further work that needs doing, and what it will cost, that remain unanswered. In the meantime, $6.8m has been spent fitting out temporary courts in an office building on High St, at an ongoing cost of $600,000 a year.
We’re calling on Justice Minister Amy Adams – and other Ministers who have a responsibility to the court – to commit to a timeframe for the return of the courts to their home on Lower Stuart St.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

26 Comments

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Standard Building, 201 Princes Street —then and today

Standard Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand Building (1875)
Architect: Mason and Wales

Standard Building IMG_20150829_130631 (7)standard-building-img_20150829_130847-3

Standard Building IMG_20150829_130847 (1b)Standard Buildiing IMG_20150829_130418 (7a)

█ Ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/throughjo/staircasing/

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Aug 2015
Surprises in old buildings
By Craig Borley
The doors to some of Dunedin’s historic buildings will be opened to the public today as the city’s heritage festival continues. The Dunedin Heritage Festival began yesterday with the “Dunedin 1865: A City Rises” photographic exhibition in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The festival finishes tomorrow. A major draw is the tours today and tomorrow of 64 historic buildings, which will be raising their customary barriers to the public […] the festival would also include a children’s heritage trail at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, a walking trail following Dunedin’s original shoreline and a special service in First Church.
Read more

### ODT Online Tue, 2 Jun 2015
‘Absolutely incredible’ revamp of heritage building
By John Gibb
An “absolutely incredible” conservation and adaptive reuse project is nearing completion in Dunedin. This work on the Standard Building in Princes St, including extensive earthquake strengthening [and restoration of the Italian-style facade] has been undertaken as momentum grows to further revitalise the Exchange area, and a wave of adaptive reuse work continues to transform the nearby warehouse precinct. […] The project also includes the Stanton Building, situated behind the Standard Building, and backing on to the council’s Dowling St car park. A crucial – and previously largely hidden – feature of the redevelopment is an innovative, light-filled multilevel internal atrium, making extensive use of glass, which will link the two buildings and provide access to the various floors.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 ‘The Open City’ Sat 29 August
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 Shoreline Trail launch
17.3.12 Call for photographs or building plans – Standard Building….
24.10.11 Former Standard Insurance building, 201 Princes St, Dunedin

Post and 4 smartphone images by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister

Dunedin Law Courts EJ Kerr IMG_0171 2bw 13May2015

A courthouse needed to show everyone involved in a court sitting had their place. Dunedin’s historic courthouse did that. –Professor Mark Henaghan

Justice Minister Amy Adams said in a statement last night her desire, intention and expectation was “that we want to see the historic courthouse building strengthened and returned to, and that hasn’t changed”.

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jul 2015
Law alumni plead courthouse case [front page news]
By Craig Borley
Otago law alumni have spoken out from around the world, calling on the Government to do what needs to be done to save and return full court services to Dunedin’s historic courthouse. The calls came after University of Otago faculty of law dean Prof Mark Henaghan wrote to the law school’s alumni, detailing the building’s plight.
Read more

****

### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jul 2015
Courthouse call-out false alarm
By Damian George
Police and fire service were called to a false alarm at the Dunedin District Court building this morning after a sprinkler was tampered with. Senior sergeant Steve Larking, of Dunedin, said someone inside the High St building damaged the sprinkler, causing it to activate.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Dunedin Law Courts, east facade (detail) –Kerr
May 13, 2015

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Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts

Owner of Lund South, Russell Lund, is suspicious of the Ministry of Justice’s intention for Dunedin’s historic courthouse. (ODT)

The Opinion was published at Otago Daily Times today with the headline ‘Budgets blind to community benefit’ –here unabridged.

Dunedin Law Courts EJKerr IMG_0110 13May2015 (2.1)

Your editorial last weekend (ODT 9.5.15) regarding the fate of the courthouse and your suspicion of the Ministry of Justice’s true agenda is sadly, prescient.

It is extremely unlikely that there is any will by the ministry at all to strengthen and retain the courthouse.

Lund South completed the restoration of the main courthouse in 2002. During that project we were party to candid discussions about the history of the courthouse restoration project and how it very nearly did not happen. The attitude of the courts even back then was that they weren’t getting any extra funding for restoration of the courthouse. They viewed the historical and heritage significance of the building as someone else’s problem. The courts had negotiations with the owners of an office building in the CBD, and very nearly signed a lease to put the courts there. It was only due to the hectoring of certain persons in the design team and a sympathetic official within the department that saw the project proceed, albeit very reluctantly, and with ongoing demands throughout the project to cut costs.

Of course the pressures on all government spending in the current Joycean environment are far worse than those benign days of the early 2000s. About $11 million was spent on renovation and extension of the courthouse in a project completed in 2003.

The department has now spent or will spend more than $6 million on a temporary facility, not the $3 million you noted in your editorial. That suggests that this is not a temporary fix.

We can be sure about this because we were also involved in the construction of the temporary courts in the old BNZ building in 2001.

That temporary facility that served very satisfactorily (apart from an issue with insufficient acoustic separation in the jury room that was easily fixed) and cost about 10%, just one 10th of the current expenditure on the new temporary facility.

The strategy employed by the department is quite obvious. They have commissioned a national engineering consultancy that is not known for creative or economic solutions. The firm is also well known for being unreceptive to alternative design proposals, their attitude being, “this is our project, we are going to do it our way”. Another government department had to threaten to sack them from a $30 million project in 2013 when they refused to consider an alternative structural proposal that ended up saving the department several million dollars.

Local engineers familiar with the building are convinced the scope and the cost of the work required would be dramatically less than the current proposal.

We have seen this scenario play out in the case of the Oamaru courthouse, where an alternative proposal at an estimated cost of one-third of the courts engineers’ estimate still was not enough to convince the courts to stay in the building.

Dunedin residents might well ask why this is? Surely, if the building can be strengthened at reasonable cost it is worth doing?

The answer is that this department, like others, simply sees old buildings as a money pit for ongoing repairs and maintenance and its budgets are blind to the wider benefits to the community of retaining heritage.

Russell Lund
Macandrew Bay

ODT Link

Related Posts and Comments:
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Railway Station & Dunedin Law Courts –Kerr
May 13, 2015

39 Comments

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Justice at Dunedin

Justice IMG_0135 Elizabeth Kerr 27.8.15 1200 x 1600
Dunedin Law Courts 13 May 2015

Related Posts and Comments:
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage

Photograph by Elizabeth Kerr

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