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Maldon is a town with very rich heritage and aboriginal characteristics, so much so that it was the first Victorian town to be declared as 'notable' by the National Trust of Australia in 1966 than in 2006 Maldon was awarded the 'most intact heritage streetscape' again by the National Trust of Australia, this is due to its old-fashioned streetscapes which date back to the gold rush periods in the 1850's where Maldon was one of the world's richest gold deposits bringing attention from across the world which then turned Maldon into culturally diverse town, to this day the streets are still crooked as they once revolved around site diggings, since the gold dried up in the area so did new developments which then left the buildings from the era intact.
Most of the historic streetscape features of Maldon will not affect the proposed development as the site does not sit within a Heritage overlay and we have not located any buildings on the site which are also on the Victorian heritage register, the major issue with the streetscapes of Maldon is that it may affect the design of the Jones families development as we will not be able to affect the current neighbourhood character by producing a "modern" looking home because as mentioned several times throughout this report the Mount Alexander council is putting a lot of emphasis on maintaining the character of the town.
Regarding the Jones family development the major concern is the Maldon Historic Reserve which is in very close proximately to the site and contains several numbers of heritage listed sites such as the Lisles and Mantons Gullies Quarts and Gold Mines. The Maldon Historic Reserve also contains extensive evidence of Aboriginal occupation both pre and post European settlement such as camping sites, ceremonial sites, mining sites and cultural places and it is expected with a systematic evaluation of the land more Aboriginal significance will be discovered.
This Reserve also contains crucial native vegetation providing habitat for local fauna as well as been the pride of the Shire which also brings large amounts of revenue in from tourism. Because of all of these factors it is crucial to the project's success and feasibility that it can be designed to have absolutely no affect on the reserve considering things such as disruption to views and habitat, noise pollution from occupation and contamination from items such as septic tanks.
Throughout this report we have addressed the impact this proposed development will have on the flora, fauna, environment, heritage and aboriginal aspects of the land and community but we also need to address how the development will impact the social aspects or the residents of the community, basically we need to assess how this development will affect the residents way of life, their culture and their community from both negative and positive views.
From a negative point of view the development has the potential to impact on the current communities culture as it is bringing modern design and modern functionality into a area with predominantly older design and technology, with that in mind there is the possibility of some residents not been happy with this as they would want the area of Maldon to stay as it is and not be impacted by current trends such as sustainability. This is because small communities such as Maldon are very tight net and like the country/rural way of life which in their eyes may not include modern technology and creative design. It could also affect the culture of the area by visually changing the aesthetics of the area, but considering the location of the site relative to the rest of the town this should not be of great concern.
That been said there are a lot of positive aspects this development could bring to the community because if the community is happy to accept the idea of modern technology and design it could create a benchmark for sustainable developments in the area, this could allow other occupants to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their own homes. If this development is able to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of other residents homes this is sure to improve their way of life as they will not require as much heating and cooling as it could be accounted for with good passive heating and cooling which would therefore save them money which they can use for other purposes as well as maintaining a better indoor quality within their home reducing possible side effects such as headaches and eyestrain.
The Jones families development could also bring a new standard of land conservation to the area which will help to improve the community as any further developments in the area would need to meet these standards, this will help sustain the natural characteristics of the area and therefore help to maintain the culture of the community. The other main positive this development may bring to the area is the additional dwellings will house people who will need to buy food and clothes from shops and may have kids requiring schooling in the area therefore increasing spending and helping the community.
As well as managing all the issues that arise through legal constraints and project constraints the stakeholders involved in the project are also of key concern and need to be managed correctly to ensure a successful project. Some stakeholders have much more impact on the project than others and this is why they need to be separated into three groups been; crucial, important and involved. Then once the stakeholders have been separated into the groups the appropriate management measures and communication measures are applied to the group. We need to do this to minimise interference with the project which will in turn increase its feasibility as there will be less delays and less cost over runs.
The crucial stakeholders are basically parties who can directly affect the projects ability to meet or change its objectives, with this level of stakeholder keeping them informed at all times is crucial so we can gain there feedback, not let them feel like they are in the dark and get them involved in the project. The use of progress reports which inform about the current status of the project, periodical meetings and phone calls for any important events are some of the ways communication can be made with this level of stakeholder.
The important stakeholders are parties which have the ability to affect operations within the project, this level of stakeholder also needs to be informed about the direction of the project and any changes to project operations or objectives but does not need constant communication. Methods such as periodical meetings and emails to inform on project changes and any other relevant information can be used to inform this level of stakeholder.
Involved stakeholders are parties which don't have the ability to directly affect the objectives or operations of the project but they are still affected by the project's success or failure. Minimal communication is needed with this level of stakeholder but it is still important to keep them informed through the use of newsletters and information on websites to reduce any negative backlash.
As mentioned above the main method for managing the stakeholders involved in this project is the use of correct communication to be able to gauge the concerns, ideas and requirements of the relevant stakeholder and then act on this input to address the issue at hand. That been said in the event that communication breaks down and a dispute occurs there are certain preferred methods of dispute resolution which will be adopted for the different levels of stakeholder ranging from mediation to community consultation, below is a table which identifies the stakeholders for the Jones family project, the level of stakeholder, communication method and dispute resolution method
As with any construction project there are a number of permits which are required by both the state and local governments before the project can go ahead or be completed, firstly a planning permit will be required to get permission for land development as the Mount Alexander council states a planning permit is required for many reasons some which apply to this project include; when subdividing land, clearing native vegetation from land, changing the use of a property or constructing a building. After the planning permit has been arranged a building permit will also be required as the Mount Alexander Council also requires one for the nature of work been undertaken at the Jones family site.
The zones and overlays over the site also require a number of other permits, under the Farming Zone there are a large number of permits required, some are irrelevant to the proposed project but some which we will require include; car park permit, group accommodation permit, emergency services facility permit, renewable energy facility permit and utility installation permit. Under the Erosion Management Overlay a permit is required for; road works, building works, vegetation removal and land subdivision while very similar permits are required under the Significant Landscape Overlay with the additional requirements of fence construction permit. Under the Wildfire Management Overlay a permit is also required for construction of a building and subdivision of land the only difference with these requirements is that under a written submission must accompany the permit application explaining how the development meets the criteria of; water supply, access, building works, vegetation and public open space as specified in the Wild Fire Overlay section above.
Under the Mount Alexander Local Laws No.2A (Roads and Council Land) and Mount Alexander Local Laws No.3A (Environment and Amenity) permits will also be required for a number of activities which will be required to be undertaken during the Jones family development which include; temporary vehicle crossings, occupation of the road for works and connecting into council drains. Finally once the project has been completed an occupancy permit will be required to assess the state of the dwellings to ensure they are fit to be lived in.
Procurement & Contract Arrangements
In order to deliver the project it is important that we select a procurement and contract arrangement which suits the project requirements and deals with the various risks associated with the project. One of the biggest risks which we have identified is meeting the Jones families expectations in regards to the finished development, that along with the other risks identified in the risk management section and the unique sustainability and environmental characteristics of the project it has been identified that a design and construct procurement method would be most appropriate.
In a design and construct procurement model the basic idea is the one contractor is appointed to design the project and then carry out the construction of the project instead of them been contracted out separately, this gives several advantages including control of design and considering the complexity of the project at hand this is very advantages as if an error in design or construction happens it can be quickly amended, also if the one contractor is constructing all of the works it will make it easier to meet the Jones families expectations as they can work side by side from day one. Having the one contractor controlling both design and construction also increases buildability as the contractor designs the dwellings to a standard and level they are capable of producing, it also allows for a shorter construction time as elements of the project can begin before design is fully finished and documented as well as been able to streamline the trades. All of these advantages help to improve the projects feasibility as it makes it easier to deliver the project in regards to time and cost compared to other procurement methods like traditional procurement where one person completes the design and another constructs the dwellings.
Once the procurement method has been decided then the contract arrangement needs to be put in place which acts as an extension of the procurement method to finalise all the agreed terms or clauses between the parties, within a design and construct procurement there are several standard form contracts we can choose between including; AS4300, Decon 2 and GC21. For the Jones family development it has been identified that the GC21 contract will be most appropriate for several reasons which include; the inclusion of start-up workshops to help identify and clarify the project objectives between all parties, it has a clearer assignment of responsibility, it seeks advanced agreement on issues such as variations and it focuses more on collaboration and cooperation than other contracts which will help with the unique project constraints and requirements.
It has also been identified that one of the major issues regarding this site is the ability to subdivide the land into smaller parcels for each dwelling. After conducting research it seems extremely unlikely that the Mount Alexander town planners will allow the subdivision to proceed on the lot, so after much consideration it appears that the best method to pursuit is to attempt to change the zoning over the land from a farming zone to a residential zone which will then allow the subdivision of the land and the construction of the three dwellings.
This can be done through an amendment to the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme which will require submissions of several pieces of documentation including a copy of the Certificate of Title and all the current land owners details along with a report which highlights; what is proposed, why it is been proposed, justification of the proposal, details of supporting investigations, how it meets the state and local planning framework and the expected environmental, economic and social effects of the proposal. Our main arguments for the proposal will be that the land has long since serviced its use for agricultural and farming purposes and it is unrealistic to continue to zone it accordingly, also the proposed development will set a new standard for sustainable and environmental design which can then act as a benchmark for the rest of Maldon to strive to meet. This submission will then be put through the amendment process which is as follows:
After assessing the planning considerations for the Jones family development the project as a whole does appear to be feasible but it will be difficult as the current zones and overlays over the land create a number of requirements the project must conform to. These include the protection of agricultural land, maintaining the look and characteristics of the area, protecting the natural landscapes and views, preventing erosion, maintaining natural flora and fauna, protection against bushfire and prevention of creating greater bushfire risks.
The Mount Alexander council has also identified its concern for these issues and has implemented several planning policies such as consolidating construction around town centres which somewhat goes against the Jones family as the site is not located around the town centre, the council has also stipulated its concern in maintaining the heritage aspects of the land as the area is rich with historic ruminants from the gold rush period. On top of these issues there are also concerns with controlling stakeholders and the impact the project will have on the surrounding community.
In order to deal with these risks and ensure the project's success the first recommendation is to begin the process to change the zoning over the land as this will allow us to subdivide the land and create three separate dwellings which cannot be done within a farming zone, this will also reduce the need to maintain agricultural land which is currently a major hurdle in the project. It is also recommended that all control measures highlighted within the environmental management section of this report are implemented as they will allow the project to meet the requirements of the various overlays. The project should also be developed following a design and construct procurement model using the GC21 contract arrangement as this gives the most control over the project and considering the unique characteristics a high level of control is required. The implementation of these recommendations along with correct stakeholder management will allow for a feasible and successful project.
With the construction of three sustainable housing projects, it is important to have an effective quality management strategy in place. By issuing a good Quality Management Strategy we can provide a good guidance to assure quality assurance standards. This will achieve business benefits every stakeholder and will improve continual performance to sustain customer satisfaction. There are 3 main concepts which are essential:
Once risks have been identified, they must then be assessed as to their potential severity of loss and to the probability of occurrence. These quantities can be either simple to measure, as in the case of the value of a lost building, or impossible to know for sure as in the case of the probability of an unlikely event occurring.
Therefore, in the assessment process, if you do not have substantiating data, it is critical that you make the best educated guess possible in order to properly prioritize the implementation of the risk management plan. The aim of Risk analysis and evaluation is to assess the consequences of risk in the workplace and the likelihood of it occurring. The risk assessment tables provided compares the consequences of a risks that may occur and the likelihood of such a risk occurring.
The aim of risk evaluation is to understand the risk exposure that the organisation can tolerate and those exposures the organisation cannot, and therefore, must eliminate or minimise. It is important to note that no organisation can eliminate all the risks to which it is exposed.
Defining a risk as acceptable does not imply that the risk is insignificant. The evaluation should take in to account the degree of control over the particular risk, while also considering the cost impacts, benefits and opportunities presented by the risks. Risk treatment involves managing priority risks. Treatment needs to be appropriate to the significance of the risk
The Jones family's development key principal is to develop three separate dwellings all based on sustainable and environmental principles. It is commonly assumed that sustainable buildings are far more expensive to build and maintain then your traditional house and although the Jones family's focus is on making the dwellings sustainable and costs are of less concern, the construction costs and ongoing costs need to be evaluated to help get a complete picture of the projects feasibility.
Throughout this section of the report you will find several comparisons between sustainable homes and conventional homes, first of which is the impact on construction costs. According to data gathered from professional global construction consultants, Davis Langdon, the initial impact on construction costs to turn a 4 star home to a 5 star home is between 3-5% which results in an approximate cost of around $98 per square meter while turning a 4 star home into a 6 star home is between 9-11% resulting in approximate costs of $203 per square meter. This is not much to pay for greener living that will eventually pay its self off and then begin to earn consistent savings for the Jones family. With this in mind according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria and the Building Control Commission, a typical 5 star home requires an initial investment of $3280 which barely impacts on the cost of a home which results in an annual fuel cost saving of approximately $205 and an annual greenhouse gas saving of around 1.45t.
A similar comparison of costs was conducted by the Minister for the Environment (John Thwaites) and Minister for Planning (Rob Hulls) which actually indicated greater savings for a five star home, they indicated the additional costs to bring a home to the 5 star level was $3450 for a 250m2 home. But these upgrades resulted in savings of $200 on household heating and cooling bills, $100 saving on hot water, $50 on water bills. So regardless of which study you look at, there are significant savings to be made by going green which defiantly justifies the choice to develop the Jones Family development. Based on the findings above it would take just under 10 years for the upgrades to pay for themselves and start to make savings for the home owner.
All the information presented above is based on a 5 star home, the proposed development for the Jones family is planned to exceed the 5 star energy rating and be as close to fully self sufficient as possible so with that in mind the Jones family will be looking at far greater savings which results in a much shorter payback time to recover the costs of the sustainable design and therefore a much more feasible project.
The proposed development has been benchmarked against the Harmony 9 house created by builders, Mirvac - considered to be the first 9 star home built in Australia. Harmony 9 has been predicted to save 12.047 tonnes of C02 and 1,250,000 litres of potable water per year resulting in a saving of over $1,200 in reduced energy bills. If the harmony 9 building can be used as a comparison it produces savings of almost 3.5 times more than a 5 star home so it would in theory pay off the sustainable design and construction 3.5 times quicker meaning it has the potential to take slightly less than 3 years to pay off.
Below is a table that indicates savings associated with some of the sustainable design implemented within services in the Jones family development and the amount of time it will take for the sustainable measures to pay themselves off.
CED has made a calculation for the recommended dwellings and a standard house; this shows where the cost is different in each house, refer to appendix. The reason for benchmarking the recommended house with a standard home is to show the price difference is, when doing so much for the environment. The calculations are made on one of the dwellings so it shows how much each house cost. The calculations is made from the recommendations in the report and with the details shown in the table below.
When considering prices for windows it would be a lot cheaper with only using single glazed windows as many people do when they are buying windows, as used in the calculations for the standard house. CED have recommended to use double low E glazing in the windows, because this will make the house more sustainable by keeping the heat in better than the single glazing, also explained in the analysis for windows. The price is approx. $210 more for a window with double glazing than a window with singled glazing.
The bathroom is a more expensive in the sustainable house than in the standard home because of the aim of buying products there has a better star rating, e.g. the toilets will be more expensive because they are recommended to be waterless toilets.
A big difference in the two calculations is the heat system and the power supply. In the standard house we have assumed that they would get electricity from the grid, gas supply and water from the nearest supply which is 100 meter away. And this is calculated to be the electricity will cost approx. $20,000, the gas will cost approx. $40,000 and the cost for getting water and sewerages will be $40,000 these prices is sourced from a experienced surveyor (Dan Cullen), it will cost approx. $20,000 dollars to get the infrastructure around to the houses on the site. That makes a total on $1,200,000 for the infrastructure to the three dwellings. In difference the recommended dwellings will be self-sufficient so they will not need any infrastructure; instead there will be expenses to systems that can provide water, heat and electricity.
Another thing that is very different from the two houses is the mechanical services; the recommended house will not need any air condition like the standard house is assumed to need. Because in the recommended house there will be considerate passive designs and solutions that will make it unnecessary to have air condition.
Life cycle cost analysis
It is approx. $3,000 cheaper over the period on 25 years. This is partly due that there is no cost for supply of gas, electricity and water. In contrast maintenance costs are higher in a sustainable house than a standard house. This is because many of the systems have long life, but maintenance more often e.g. maintenance cost is big for the floor sanding in sustainable house, this is due because there are chosen to use recycled timber floor, which has to be sanded more often. The cost of painting the walls is also higher in a sustainable house, as there must be painted both inside and outside. The exterior paint is due, because it had been chosen to use wood panelling and need to be oiled or painted, but in a standard house, brick is chosen as the exterior wall and therefore do not need to be painted.