The report was prepared to understand the various procurement techniques that are used in the construction process. The study was done by considering the cases of Rialto tower and Eureka tower that are located in Melbourne, Australia. The study provided the information that Rialto Tower was the tallest among all the buildings for a few years but it was later superseded by Eureka Tower which is regarded as the tallest building in Melbourne.
The study helped us to understand various techniques for procurement that are used during the construction process along with the possible recommendations.
Supply chain and contractors.
Design and build.
Joint venture or partnering or collaborative.
The first two decades of 21st century has witnessed and represented a key milestone in building massive buildings and tower along with the skyscraper developments (Al-Chalabi 2015) Sky-crappers are the regarded as the super tall buildings having the height of about 500 feet and 150 meters tall and seem as if they could abrade the sky. These buildings are being built around the cities all over the globe creating space within the crowded and congested places for the citizens to work and live.
The first skyscraper was constructed in the United States of America, in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1880s. With this development, the modern cities nowadays are incessantly growing upwards aiming towards accommodating more and more people (Wood 2014). Moreover, it has been believed that these skyscrapers have become an essential part of the appearance and culture of the cities. The architects consider the looks of the huge towers and also how it would look next, behind or in front of other huge towers around it. The structures collectively build the skyline of the cities, just the way every building that builds it up every skyline of inimitable to their cities.
This report is going to understand the construction procurement issues considering two world-famous towers, Eureka tower and Rialto tower, based in Australia. The report addresses various procurement techniques in engineering and supply chain projects along with economic viability with the help of Rialto and Eureka Towers.
Rialto towers of one of the renowned towers of Melbourne considered as the most iconic buildings having magnificent blue glass façade in the west end of the city (Stephenson 2014). This stunning tower has become home to most of the successful businesses since last 30 years. Rialto tower is the skyscraper which is located at 525 Collins Street and lies in the western part of the central business district based in Melbourne, Australia.
The first skyscraper public observation deck of Melbourne was featured by Rialto between 1994 and 2009. It was also considered to be the first event of tower running for Melbourne. The Rialto’s site was initially captured by numerous buildings that mainly include miniature warehouses on Flinders lane which was the building of Robb who was the railway builder and was a grand 5-storey Victorian office building which was classically designed and styled by Thomas Watts and Sons in the year 1885.
The buildings of Robb were demolished that opened the way for Rialto construction (Whitney 2003). The building was established between the years 1982 and 1986 which was designed by the architects Gerad de Preu and Perrott Lyon Mathieson who was also the partners association.
Standing at a height of 251 meters, the building which is 30 years old has been rejuvenated along with the five-storey structure as an additional feature wrapping around the base of the building and connecting the two towers. It was designed by the architect Woods Bagot for encapsulating the well- renowned blue glass façade flowing out to a glass canopy of grid shell that has the characteristics of illuminating during the night (Lesh 2016). The construction of the building has been made in such a manner that could easily entice the broader public as it also replicates the feeling of an international airport terminal having architectural finishes and also has the attribute of an informal place for meeting that could be utilized for exhibitions, pop-ups, food and beverage outlets and retail stores (Wu, Sofi and Mendis 2010).
The MLC Center of Sydney was surpassed by Rialto to be the tallest tower at 251 m. It remained the tallest till five years but was beat by 101 Collins Streets in the year 1991 which is the ranked 10th among the tallest building in the country.
There is the ARC plastering that involved the Stud co Building systems as their supplier for steel stud. This engineering project attributed bulkheads and engineered baffles for supporting internal features and glazing along with the interiors walls having massive heights. The contractors ARC Plastering searched for the partnership capable of offering service of high level and products of superior quality that mainly involved swift turnaround on the technical enquiries, reliable product supply and flexible design constraints. The high walls needed for the purpose of construction have the demanded product and engineering solution having the ability to cope up with the challenging requirements of the structure.
The Eureka tower is one of the residential tower block complexes which is at 4,900-meter square located in the South Bank suburb of Port Philip, Melbourne, Australia. The name of the tower was given after Eureka Stockade rebellion at the time Victoria gold rush in the year 1854. The building has horizontal lines representing the spots on a ruler along with the blue façade having white lines that display the white and blue flag of the stockade (Gee 2011).
The construction started in August 2002 and the external portion of the tower was finished by the year 2006. The area for construction was reclaimed swampland. The height of the tower is 297.3 m and comprises of 91 floors, 84 floors thereby becoming the tallest building of Australia by paramount of the Rialto. The cost incurred in building the tower is an estimated 500 million Australian Dollar.
The construction took place in a very special way due to the presence of basalt's two layers placed at over the base layer of Silurian siltstone bedrock. Around 242 auger piles having a diameter of 750mm diameter were used for foundations and wherein siltstone was anchored by 28 bored piles and 1.5 m in diameter. The construction cranes used were Favco by Grocon for moving the materials and equipment to the floor region where it had the most requirements. The reinforced concrete was used for construction along with the prestressed concrete.
Since the building elevators were provided by Otis, the initial stage of the building, nine Elevonic 411 elevator systems were supplied to install adjoining to the middle core. Apart from this, the use of two skyway elevators has also been done rising at a pace of 9m/s.
The architect who designed the tower was Fender Katasalidas that has used Archicad software from Graphisoft. The civil engineering took place by Connell Mott Macdonald. The contractors for the construction were Lubeca Construction Pty Ltd. And Grocon Constructers Pty Ltd. The equipment and materials were supplied by Vibropile for the foundations.
The other materials for construction were supplied by Philippe Starck. Austress Freyssinet was responsible to pre-stress the concrete floor beams whereas the geotechnical engineering took place by Golder Associates. The building services during construction mainly comprised of electrical and mechanical engineering, air conditioning, fire safety engineering and heating systems which were conceded by Norman Disney & Young (Ervin and Finlayson 2003). The supplier of elevators was Otis Elevator. The installation was done by Norman Disney & Young. The supplier of façade and lighting was Meinhardt Australia and the designing of landscaping was carried out by Tract.
Every construction professional is keen to know about various methods for procurement that are implemented in the industry. Hence, it is crucial to analyze the requirement as well as the characteristics of the system of procurement. The key objective of the procurement system is to identify tasks and responsibilities for each participant who is assigned in a project (Molavi and Barral 2016).
There are commonly five techniques for procurement that are usually exercised in the construction industry:
In the traditional technique of procurement, the contractor has limited responsibility for the building. Engineer or consultant is responsible for design works and contract management. The client controls the operation and finance of the project. The traditional technique is usually recommended for the massive and complex project (Raisbeck et al. 2010).
The same contractor is responsible for designing and constructing the project which implies that there is a requirement for closer collaboration within the process and every risk is assigned to the contractor. Finance and operation is the responsibility of the client.
Management contracting procurement technique is completely distinct from traditional and design-build techniques as specialized contractors are involved as participants other than consultant, client and contractors (Naoum and Egbu 2015). The contractor plays the role of a manager while the real build factors are undertaken by the specialized contractor. This technique is applied when there are many probabilities for identifying projects in terms of packages.
In order to overcome the barriers taking place in the construction project, a kind of work environment is created which is based on teamwork, mutual objectives, rewards and risk-sharing. The technique of joint venture procurement engages long-term associations in the form of strategic partnering or scaffold agreements mainly focusing on the huge collaboration in comparison to a single project (Koolwijk et al. 2018). This technique is advantageous in the better management of the construction project by evading re-bidding along with the appropriate knowledge and understanding of the collaborators in relation to the preference of performing any task. It is not suitable for a larger project and is limited to the companies having huge operational capacity.
According to the cases studied in the earlier sections, the procurement techniques used in the construction of Rialto Tower was Partnering or Joint Venture since it has been mentioned that the contractors ARC further looked for the partnership for the supply of materials and equipment related to the construction project that could provide a higher quality of products and services.
On the other it has been observed that in the construction of Eureka towers, traditional procurement technique was used as the design work was completely separated from the work of construction. During the construction of Eureka Tower, for cost control and design, consultants were appointed whereas the contractors had its separate role for carrying out the tasks.
The findings of the study provide in-depth information about the procurement techniques based on the case studies of Rialto tower and Eureka tower that are located in Melbourne, Australia. The Rialto towers were considered to be the tallest among the buildings based in Melbourne of the central business district until the tallest tower Eureka tower came into existence (Russo 2014). The Melbourne observation deck was launched to the public in the year 1994 which was located on the 55th floor at a height of 234 m of the South Tower. Rialto towers comprise of two magnificent skyscrapers. On the other hand, Eureka tower has 556 residential apartments that are of different sizes and include some of the huge luxury apartments as well as penthouses. The Eureka Tower has been qualified among the tallest buildings considering three categories out of the four wherein the heights are ranked (Taylor, Beza and Jones n.d).
Considering the construction process of both the towers, the findings reveal some of the information related to the procurement and supply chain management that was involved all through the construction process of Rialto and Eureka tower. The findings show that at the time of construction of Rialto tower, joint venture or collaborative technique of procurement was used whereas the construction of Eureka towers involved traditional procurement method.
In a collaborative technique, the entire team involved in the project work collaboratively on the basis of provisional contracts at the time of the pre-construction phase. This is the stage wherein target cost or price is established for the construction stage on an open-book basis as well as authority for proceeding with the project (Eriksson 2017). In this technique, the alliancing model connects with the client along with the key members involved into supply chain within cooperative ownership of decision-making, risk and project outcomes. In the case of Rialto towers, there were enhanced designs which were mainly due to the engagement of work contractors, ARC contractors. Moreover, there was an improved supply chain viability. One of the disadvantages of this technique is that since it is based on trust, teamwork and mutual objectives, the relationship may become comfortable that can result in less improvement and motivation. Moreover, this technique is not fit for smaller projects and is restricted to contractors having the massive operational capacity and hence it was suitable for Rialto Towers.
On the other hand, as per the findings revelation, the traditional technique of procurement consists of tripartite arrangement that mainly involves consultants, a client and a contractor. This is the procurement technique that is based on the separation of design from construction. In this method, consultants are first appointed by the client for the purpose of designing the project more intensely and also to make certain about cost control as well as the inspection of the construction works once it gets preceded (Ogunsanmi 2016). The responsibilities of the contractor mainly include workmanship, work and materials undertaken by the subcontractors and suppliers. As per the finding of the study related to Eureka Tower shows that the contractor is not the one who is responsible for designing and this means that designing is the responsibility of other person involved such architect which is the case in the construction process of Eureka tower. One of the major disadvantages in the traditional procurement technique is that it there are a lot of chances for the conflict to take place since there are various parties involved in the project and they may have different ideas in relation to the delivery of the project.
Form the above study, its analysis and findings, the report can be concluded by providing some of the recommendations for improving the construction process and procurement methods. It is crucial to think carefully when making any kind of purchase.
There is a requirement of true collaboration in the procurement supply chain of traditional technique and this can only be achieved when both the parties could commit to the principles of collaboration. They must seek for building trust and not just to get involved in a transaction. Moreover, it is crucial for the contractors as well as sub-contractors in specific, to be ready for placing some of their earnings or profits at risk instead of just reaping rewards at the expense of each other.
Future research is highly recommended in order to understand the practical application of various aspects of the environment of traditional construction procurement and relating it with the collaborative procurement technique.
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