Asset management approach
With most property development projects, there are a multitude of unforeseen issues that arise after construction is completed. BlueCHP have benefited greatly from the Australian Governments Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan by receiving a numerous number of dwellings across New South Wales. However, when projects are fast tracked, key design details are often overlooked, leaving the property owner exposed to unplanned property expenses and worst of all, unhappy tenant's. Whilst these property expenses go through rigorous avenues to ensure costs are not shouldered by the property owner, there are times when the owner has no choice but to accept responsibility, especially in the event of when a builder becomes insolvent. It is in these situations that a property owner must have the internal skill set to resolve complex development and maintenance issues.
An example of BlueCHP’s Asset Management approach occurred with a 20 unit development in Moss Vale, NSW. It became clear early on that there were drainage issues which were affecting six of the properties’ backyards. Ms Marlo Campbell- the resident advocate for the other tenants' was the first to raise the matter to BlueCHP and the Member. Due to the contractual arrangement between NSW Housing and the Builder, BlueCHP had no choice but to lodge the complaint with NSW Housing to have the matter resolved.
The following two photographs show the water draining issue that tenants had been experiencing weeks after heavy rain.
After numerous attempts by the builder to resolve the problem (with no success), BlueCHP opted to take on the challenge to have this matter resolved themselves.
Marcelo Steimbeisser, Head of Property Services and Jozef Sirec, Asset Development Manager, took the lead for BlueCHP and began working diligently to solve this problem once and for all.
The first thing Marcelo and Jozef needed to do was to implement an action plan to restore the tenants confidence and show that they were now taking care of the problem directly. Face to face meetings were held on site with the tenant's to personalise the situation. The tenants' complaints were not only heard, but were experienced firsthand by Marcelo & Jozef. It took some time, but using a fully transparent approach, Marcelo and Jozef convinced the tenant's that they would all have to work together to finally get where we needed to be. Clear communication was the key here, and the tenant's were informed of progress and any other issues that arose throughout the entire process. A promise was made to all the tenant's, “We will get it right this time”, by Jozef and Marcelo. All bases had to be covered, and the tenant's now had the confidence that even if they saw nothing happening on site, they knew that BlueCHP were working hard to help them in the background.
Marcelo and Jozef prepared a scope of works which was issued to tender for pricing. The gravity of the situation is illustrated below (image 3). The red line indicates over 100 meters of additional sub-surface drainage which had to be installed to help the sub-surface water drain away.
By undertaking a site inspection with the preferred contractor, the scope of works was refined not only to save on costs, but also to identify other problem areas in the project. So much so, most backyards had to be re-graded to ensure the surface runoff drains away from the building. In doing so, the contractor was able to understand the tenants' frustration of what they have been experiencing over the last 12 months and ensuring the contractor would also take care of the tenant’s best interest.
The current state of the yards throughout the complex.
The end result was that BlueCHP managed to solve a major engineering design issue that the original builder could not. There have been no further complaints from the tenant's, and their yards remain 100% useable and are now aesthetically pleasing and functional as intended.
The entire project was managed by BlueCHP’s staff Marcelo Steimbeisser & Jozef Sirec with works executed by Simpsons Landscapes. Without BlueCHP’s internal engineering, project management and maintenance knowledge, the situation could have had a detrimental impact to our tenant’s well-being and overall sustainability of the asset. We can now confidently say that after months of review, the drainage issue to the backyards has been resolved.