Working within the defect facilitation space, I work with a lot of nervous owner’s corporations and the finest engineers Australia has to offer. So what makes some owners corporations nervous about engineers? After all, engineers are there to assist an owners corporation.
One area I have noticed and find most interesting, is the stage of development of the scope of works (SOW). In my experience, this is the make or break of a relationship between an owners corporation and engineers, even strata managers and engineers.
The more an engineer works towards closing the loop holes where variation can be applied, obviously the more it costs to develop a SOW, yet this is where an engineer can really deliver for an owners corporation.
It’s usually the Strata Managers that put the brakes on costs of development, followed by a chorus of owners not happy with escalating costs, yet the savings of a well designed and delivered SOW is real savings for an owners corporation.
So how far is too far? A bullet proof SOW has shown to significantly reduce the remediation costs. In an industry where remediation costs run into millions of dollars, one would think closing the loop holes would be welcomed. Unfortunately, it is generally not. Once an owners corporation feel they are being “over charged” or “ripped off”, this is the turning point of a relationship for any contractor including engineers.
In the end, there is always another engineer with a different opinion, and suddenly an owners corporations wants a peer review and the game of “engineer shopping” becomes a reality.
This is all because an engineer is trying to close loop holes to reduce remediation costs in most cases.
As a defect facilitator, I am fortunate enough to be in a position to work closely with all parties to eliminate this guessing, explain all sides and find middle ground before we get to this point.
An educated owners corporation is the key to understanding why engineers take the positions they do.
I was asked recently would I choose a bullet proof SOW that cost more to develop over a SOW that had wiggle room for variations.
Answering as a defect facilitator, I would likely choose the SOW with wiggle room for the variation. I can always get second and third quotes to allow for negotiation on a variation. Engineer shopping comes in many forms and always cost an owners corporation in the end.
Author – Chris Gray
Grays Rescue Building Management