Capital Works Considerations
All capital works require proper consideration and expertise to ensure that the resulting project is well-managed. Experience has shown that decisions based on the lowest cost generally end up with delays, a higher financial outlay, and possible risk exposure areas. The greater the consideration that is given prior to commencement, the more likely that your scheme’s objectives will be achieved.
The aim of the below information is to act as an initial checklist for a project. It is not exhaustive, rather a grouping of items to be well thought out prior to decisions being made at General Meeting.
- Urgency of works – are there existing safety concerns that need to be addressed immediately?
- Estimated timeframe – noting that timeframes are refined and milestones are established as information is gathered.
- Impact to occupiers – eg what are the expected hours of work, are there public & school holidays over the expected works period?
- Estimated dollar-cost needed for the different stages: tendering, management, works
- How will the dollar cost be funded? existing capital works fund balances, special levies, strata loans, and funding types
- Need to budget for the additional works insurance that will likely be required
The skills, knowledge, and experience of all parties involved should be assessed. The assessment could be via a combination of document review, interviews, reference and qualification checks, etc. A committee might select to do this themselves or use a project manager. The scope of the expected deliverables of each expert, including the strata manager, should be clearly documented.
It is wise to consider the use, credentials and additional cost of the following parties:
- Strata agency
- Building management company
- Project manager
- Media/communication consultants
COLLECTION OF INFORMATION
- Where is the information to be captured?
- Who is responsible for capturing the information and preparing the various documentation?
- Who is reviewing the information prior to official decision making?
- Should you pre-determine the frequency of committee meetings, noting choices of formal versus informal.
Communication with the owners is key. The communication plan should:
- Address occupiers and property managers
- State where the relevant information is made available – Apps, noticeboards, newsletters
- Outline the timing of the general meetings and what decisions will be made at these meetings
MEETINGS FOR A LARGE CAPITAL WORKS PROJECT
Owners should be part of a capital works journey. For a large project, the following 3 general meeting approach enables timely decisions
- General meeting #1 – decide what to do and resolve a project budget
- General meeting #2 – select the project manager/consultant
- General meeting #3 – approve the required contracts where the consultant explains the works and the project plan.
Download the Capital Works Information Guide
If you have any questions on this topic, simply contact your Strata Plus strata manager or your branch manager.