Tag Archives: Landscape design

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]

Related Posts and Comments:
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
31.5.13 University of Otago development plans
27.5.13 Carisbrook and Leith flood protection
17.11.10 Leith Lindsay Flood Protection Scheme
17.5.10 Campus Master Plan
28.1.10 University of Otago Campus Master Plan

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

6 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Media, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Travesty, University of Otago

Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2015

91a4b62b0b528da42499fb8aff16da60This came in this morning, belatedly. Slight marketing glitch; NZIA Southern who normally helps market the festival doesn’t appear to have been notified by the festival organisers. Anyway, get along to what’s left of the viewing programme !!!

The fourth annual Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival will showcase acclaimed and current films in architecture and design, including furniture, industrial, graphic, urban and landscape.

The festival will play in four locations this year with Christchurch being welcomed as the fourth city in the festival.

Auckland, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket, 7-20 May
Wellington, Embassy Theatre, 28 May – 10 June
Dunedin, Rialto Cinemas, 11 – 21 June
Christchurch, Academy Gold, 25 June – 8 July

Tickets for the festival are on sale now.

Rialto Cinemas has partnered with Clearly & Co, who curated the films for this year’s line-up. Curators Tracey Lee and Clare Buchanan say, “As New Zealand faces urban growth and renewal on an unprecedented scale, it is an important time to fuel the conversation. We hope this fusion of films stimulates a dialogue and opens minds to the possibilities for architecture and design in our lives, communities and cities.”

This year’s festival has been grouped into themes, so audiences can navigate towards stories they are most curious about. “We have brought together 22 films from all over the world, with everything from epic tales of architectural icons and visionaries; fascinating insight into experiments in urban and industrial design; intimate glimpses into spaces and communities; and celebrations of rooftop gardens and garden lovers. The festival is also hosting an In Memoriam event with Athfield Architects for Ian Athfield, who we lost earlier this year.”

Naming rights sponsor Resene Marketing Manager Karen Warman says Resene is once again delighted to be bringing the festival to New Zealand with Rialto Cinemas. “Before the last festival finished, we were already getting requests for it to come back again. The Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival is such a unique opportunity for everyone to indulge their interest in, and love of, great architecture and design. The films are thought provoking and celebratory. Resene has a long history of supporting New Zealand architecture and being a part of this festival helps to remind us all how important great design is.”

2015 RADFF Festival Programme (PDF, 2 MB)

█ More at http://www.rialto.co.nz/filmfestivals/resene

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, Design, Events, Fun, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, New Zealand, NZIA, People, Urban design

University of Otago landscaping

[NOT about Hyde street Keg Party and damage to an emergency response vehicle – the timing of this facelift announcement isn’t subtle]

UNI NEWS via Otago Bulletin
Major landscaping project will enhance the Dunedin campus

Friday, 27 March 2015

UoOtago Bulletin 089513 landscaping planLandscaping plans include “town square” outside Staff Club

From early April, university staff will start to see works underway as part of a landscaping project to give the grounds of the Dunedin campus a major facelift. But the benefits are promising to be very much worthwhile for both staff and students alike, with new paving, outdoor seats, trees, LED lighting, signage and improved shelter within a large area located between the northern end of the Richardson Building, and the intersection of Castle and Dundas Streets.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne says the intention is to vastly improve access to known sunny, sheltered sitting areas for staff, students and visitors; to replace paving that has come to the end of its life with safer materials; and to create new outdoor sitting, walking and recreational areas to improve the visual linking between spaces on the campus.

UoOtago Bulletin 089515 St David St cafe landscapingThe area outside the St David Café is the first in line for a facelift. The project will be underway from early next month, beginning with work on the St David Café courtyard.

The overall project is to include the replacement of old drainage with new drains in parts of the central campus, on behalf of the Dunedin City Council. Also, major works completed last year when the West bank of the Leith outside the Clocktower was lowered for flood protection purposes had resulted in a substantial visual change requiring further improvements.

Professor Hayne believes the enhancements are necessary and important, and they will further benefit what is already a stunning campus environment.

“We want to both maintain and enhance our well-known advantage as one of the world’s most beautiful campuses in which to work and study.”

“We want to both maintain and enhance our well-known advantage as one of the world’s most beautiful campuses in which to work and study. This is an exciting and innovative project that further capitalises on the potential here for greater outdoor utilisation of our beautiful, green areas, and spaces such as the north end of the Richardson building, where people have traditionally liked to sit because it is so sheltered and sunny. We will be using quality materials, timbers, and real blue-stone that blends in with our heritage buildings. We want this development to stand the test of time.”

Professor Hayne is mindful that this is a major task, and that there will be disruption to staff and students as work progresses. Information signs will be erected, and work will progress with as few interruptions and as little noise as possible. The University aims to have the project completed by the end of January 2016. Staff and students will receive regular updates as work patterns change via the Bulletin Board.

Highlights of the landscaping project include:

• The creation of an enclosed courtyard allowing for a more well-defined and better sheltered seating area outside St David café, with low bluestone walls.

• A new paved ‘town square’ outside the Staff Club in the area known as the Castle Walk. This will involve the relocation of some memorial trees, and the removal of others that arborists have said have come to the end of their natural life. An artwork (to be commissioned) will feature in the middle of this new square, as well as seating.

• A new entranceway and Oamaru stone University sign at the entrance to the University from Castle Street, near the Centre for Innovation, and also a new sign on top of blue-stone and caste iron fencing at the entrance to Castle Street from Dundas Street.

• Castle Street in the section housing Selwyn and the new University Childcare Centre, Te Pā, will be re-paved, with wider footpaths, and bike racks. The area will become more bike-friendly, with adjustments to parking spaces, and more trees. The street will be raised to be level with the footpath, with more trees added.

• The newly created concrete steps on the new embankment leading down to the Leith Stream opposite the Clocktower will have railings, and improved safety adjustments, while matured specimen trees will be added to increase shade and improve visual values.

• The tiled walkway over the Union St bridge will be re-paved in high-quality durable pavers, and there will be seismic strengthening underneath the bridge.

• Further extensive new landscaping with trees, seating and paving, as well as wider walkways and steps, will be installed in the area that runs east of the Union Street bridge, up past the Archway Lecture theatres, and around to the front of Allen Hall where Theatre Studies is housed.

• A community garden with fruit trees will be cultivated between the villas at the University end of Castle Street; and also rain gardens planted with native grasses added throughout the newly-developed area.

• In total, there will be about 15,000 square metres of paving replaced or re-laid.

• No changes are planned for the grass bank and historic mature trees directly in front of the Clocktower.

http://www.otago.ac.nz/otagobulletin/news/otago089520.html

More: The Campus Landscape

28.3.15 ODT: $8 million facelift for university
Next month, the University of Otago will embark on a 21-month multimillion-dollar landscaping project to transform Dunedin’s campus.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Heritage, New Zealand, ORC, People, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

DCC says Logan Park Dr trees to go —pressure from Otago Cricket

Logan Park Drive - Ontario poplars [odt.co.nz] see red

Twelve Ontario poplars in Logan Park Dr between the entrance to the University Oval and the Logan Park tennis courts are to be removed. No consent was required to fell the trees because they were considered to be a shelter belt.

### ODT Online Sat, 13 Sep 2014
Logan Park tree removal sparks anger
By Debbie Porteous
As the chop looms, plans to remove 12 established poplars in Logan Park Dr have fired up Dunedin residents, some of whom say the decision appears to be out of the blue and even “horrifying”. But the Dunedin City Council says the removal of the trees, which will come down next week, is part of a 2007 plan to redevelop Logan Park. This included the eventual removal, and partial replacement, of the entire avenue of poplars. […] Concerns aired range from a loss of ambience, to whether the options had been fully canvassed, to giving in to sporting codes’ demands and confusion about process.
Read more

****

Logan Park Drive - Ontario poplars [odt.co.nz] 2### ODT Online Tue, 9 Sep 2014
University Oval poplars to be removed
By Debbie Porteous
Twelve trees that threatened the future of international cricket fixtures in Dunedin will be removed next week. The Otago Cricket Association has pushed for the trees on Logan Park Dr to be removed for several years, but the Dunedin City Council, which has been deferring the trees’ removal because of the cost, says its decision to bring the work forward is not purely the result of cricket’s demands. The Ontario poplars were originally scheduled for removal as part of the redevelopment of Logan Park.
Read more

****

Updated post 14.9.14 at 3:07 p.m.

█ Comment from UglyBob (@UglyBobNZ)
Submitted on 2014/09/14 at 2:14 pm
What about Otago Cricket’s annual plan request around closing the road, making a grass embankment where the trees are now and installing lights. This is strangely absent from all talk about the removal of the poplars.

Related Posts and Comments:
16.6.11 Logan Park redevelopment
4.12.10 Old Logan Park Art Gallery
19.11.09 Logan Park Redevelopment: Compromise for Old Art Gallery
9.10.09 Former Logan Park Art Gallery talks
30.7.09 Logan Park hits the brakes

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: DCC Webmap – Logan Park Drive (avenue); [thumbnail] odt.co.nz – Ontario poplars at Logan Park

39 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, OCA, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

Logan Park redevelopment

The plans for the area have been on the council’s books since 2005, when the Logan Park development plan included proposals for new facilities for tennis, athletics, squash and the New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island.

An update last week, with council funding of $12.08 million, proposed new or upgraded facilities for the city’s sporting codes, including a new multipurpose artificial all-weather turf for a variety of sports, another artificial turf for football only, paid for in part by Fifa, a new hockey turf and tennis courts, and a possible new life for the former art gallery building as an administration centre for Sport Otago and other regional sporting bodies.

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jun 2011
Vandervis fails in bid to downgrade sporting hub
By David Loughrey
Plans for a $14.6 million transformation of Logan Park survived an attempt by two councillors to drop much of the funding from the Dunedin City Council’s budget yesterday. The plans, which supporters say will turn the park into a major metropolitan sporting hub, appear set to face another attack later this month, when they go before a full council meeting.
Read more

****

Report – CDC – 15/06/2011 (PDF, 572.5 KB)
Logan Park Development Plan – Review Update

Related Posts:
31.5.11 Controlled funding pies and the suit-wearers for professional sport
30.7.09 Logan Park hits the brakes

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

7 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, CST, DCC, Design, Economics, Heritage, Media, Museums, Name, New Zealand, NZHPT, NZRU, ORFU, Otago Polytechnic, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium