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Quantity Surveying
& Cost Consulting Services

A discussion on improving Construction Efficiency in New Zealand


Concerns about the cost of construction are becoming more common within New Zealand. This has escalated to the point where it is a major concern of the New Zealand government. They have spoken on this issue on many occasions and at a political level they believe significant improvements could be made. We agree.


This is no more pronounced than in Christchurch where the additional geotechnical engineering requirements that are now required for construction have made certain forms of building prohibitive. Developers and insurers are looking to speed their efforts but in many cases the economics are not achievable.
The effect of this, is that the speed of rebuilding and rejuvenating New Zealand’s second biggest city is not occurring at the pace that most civic leaders would desire.
The absence of a pan trade agenda on this issue means that the current methods of construction, and modes of thinking about construction, are not bringing about the quantum improvements the current government desires. It appears that marginal improvements are occurring, but there does not appear to be any immediate or significant solution to this dilemma. My conclusion is that we must now explore some forms of disruptive technology if we are to elevate New Zealand to a leading player in construction economics.


To this end we are currently working on initiatives that will speed the evolution of better construction economics, and technologies in construction, by changing how Quantity Surveyors engage with clients. For our part we have created the CIM (Cost Information Model p4) that dramatically changes the engagement of professionals to enhance the build efficiency by 20% and more. We see this as a starting point and we would like to see some significant changes bought about in other construction sector thinking. What follows is a document that will help funders, developers, architects, builders and property owners within New Zealand seize the opportunity for change.


Beyond this we are involved with suppliers who are demonstrating material cost savings by better than 20%. And other suppliers who are introducing new construction methods that can simplify other costs by more than 10%. I encourage anyone who is involved with investments in construction to rethink their business model and move in a similar direction, as it will benefit building and development owners, and the wider community at large.

 

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