Sir Samuel Griffith Centre

CLIENT:Griffith University

VALUE:$41M

COMPLETION:2014

ARCHITECT:Cox Rayner

The $41 million Sir Samuel Griffith Centre is Australia's first teaching and research facility relying entirely on photovoltaic arrays and hydrogen-metal hydride storage technologies to deliver a truly innovative, 6 star green star rated building with a state-of-the-art reference laboratory that focuses on hydrogen storage materials.

Full cost management services from concept through to construction completion. This project provided a variety of challenging innovations for our Quantity Surveying team, principally the hydrogen storage technology. Appreciating this new technology and extent had not been undertaken previously in Australia, our team consulted a number of industry experts and industry suppliers to determine the boundaries of this technology (lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells) and the limitations within a tertiary building. These costs were developed at an early design stage to ensure the project budget could be supported and relied on to enable the project to be tendered. In addition to the new technologies, the building services component was 47% of the overall construction cost, and therefore challenged the budget with a design that was required to achieve a 6 star rating.

 We added value through our building services cost planning team to provide support to the quantity surveyors in establishing realistic trade budgets for the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) that was to be submitted by the contractor, coordinating design gaps and costing the unknowns. The actual costs for the services at the end of construction only differed by 2.9% from these budgets. Additionally during the design phase the floor area grew by 5%, however without changing functionality we value managed the roof trusses, precast concrete and façade steelwork to recover the added cost of the additional floor area.

The construction contingency was set at 5% and we maintained this reserve and finished the project with 4% project contingency remaining. This is an exceptional achievement since the project was based on a GMP, and therefore it is difficult to identify the final project cost until all the trades have been let, and more importantly only utilising 1% on variations over a period of two years while the budget was established and the final costs were audited. This result exceeded expectations for a 6-star green star building.

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