Auckland’s constant growth necessitates constant exciting developments. Stonefields School is a prime example of this. The decile 9 primary school was, uniquely, built in the former Mt Wellington quarry and began educating our tamariki in 2010. The school has continued to swell and grow and, as a result, further development was required in order to continue providing the best possible opportunities for the young people of Tāmaki Makaurau. Stonefields School’s roll growth was projected to continue on this trajectory, thus a business case for Stage 3 and 4 development was presented to and approved by the Ministry of Education. These developments will allow for 1000 students to enjoy the school’s facilities.
Greenstone Group was successfully involved as Project Manager for Stage 1 and 2 works for Stonefields School. The collaboration between the two parties and the Ministry of Education was seamless, therefore Greenstone Group were the first consultant engaged by the Ministry of Education for the Stage 3 and 4 development. As it was with Stage 1 and 2, collaboration and transparent communication enabled Greenstone Group to facilitate an efficient and successful journey to the completion of this project.
This largescale journey valued at $12.7 million and spanning a period of three years provided myriad benefits to staff and students for years to come. A masterplan and project brief were developed by the Ministry of Education, involving the design and construction of a new two story, 24-teaching-space-block to provide modern learning spaces for the students. Additional works included the expansion of the existing administration and library spaces to sufficiently cope with growth in staff and allow for their best practice to flourish.
Greenstone Group have prolific experience with similar developments and collaborations with the Ministry of Education. This experience was put to use when they had the opportunity to discuss and propose several procurement options for engaging a design team and contractor tailored to the needs of the Ministry of Education.
A key driver for the Ministry of Education in this project was to keep up with the burgeoning roll growth at Stonefields School. As such, Greenstone Group astutely developed a procurement strategy where they engaged a contractor through Early Contractor Involvement under a Design and Construct NZS 3916 contract. This smart decision by Greenstone provided many benefits to the client and the project, with up to one year of time being saved due to the ability to concurrently engage key subcontractors, work through construction methodology and develop early shop-drawings. The Ministry of Education wholeheartedly endorsed our procurement strategy by initially going out to tender through Preliminary & General, margin, programme, rates and estimates with the contractor to confirm their fixed price during the Detailed Design stage. Subsequent to the very competitive tendering process, Watts & Hughes Construction (partnered with Jasmax) were engaged to lead the design from the concept design phase.
The trust that the Ministry of Education put into Greenstone certainly paid off, with the successful and timeous delivery of the project being clear evidence of this. More and more students will be able to fully reap the benefits of this effective collaboration for years to come.
This model of procurement ensured many risks were transferred to the contractor, especially in regards to potential design errors or unforeseen obstacles, such as COVID-19. Design progression and Design Review Panel preparations were well-organised and the contractor’s input was invaluable.
The effective collaboration was also evident with the project team working closely and cohesively with the contractor. Greenstone was able to receive real-life, real-time price checks from the subcontractor market, where the contractor was required to provide three quotes for each subtrade procurement during the design phase. Following numerous reviews, Greenstone negotiated a fixed sum construction contract price following the Developed Design. This was made possible for a collaborative process with transparent and frequent communication.
Efficiency without taking shortcuts was key to the successful delivery of this project. Children grow and develop incredibly quickly, thus, time was of the essence in ensuring all tamariki of the Stonefields area would be able to learn in a safe and spacious environment. For this project, the construction work was a continuation of the Early Contractor Involvement procurement. This allowed the contractor to carry out enabling works and site establishment while the design was in consent. Greenstone Group’s experience and foresight with the procurement strategy ensured time could be maximized in order to meet the development’s deadline.
In a smooth-running collaborative project, construction progressed rapidly, with minimal client-risk, further motivating the contractor to complete construction works on time. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Stonefields School Stage 3 and 4 tracked ahead of time and came in below budget.
The experience and reputation of Greenstone Group certainly benefitted the Ministry of Education and the children of Stonefields School. Greenstone Group’s industry knowledge allowed for a sensible, efficient and effective procurement strategy to be put into place. This mammoth collaborative effort has ensured the tamariki of Stonefields School will certainly have the best possible opportunities for success in 2021 and years to come.