Scale Developer-Builders still rare in Perth
Building quality has been under the microscope for some time, so why aren’t more developers taking steps to reduce their construction risk via an in-house building team?Featured News
Building quality has been under the microscope for some time, so why aren’t more developers taking steps to reduce their construction risk via an in-house building team?
It may appear counter-intuitive, but the number of genuine developer-builder companies operating in Perth can be counted on one hand, particularly when it comes to larger-scale developments.
Despite the significant benefits of a developer having an in-house builder, including increased quality-control and reduced risk, few construction or development organisations have been successful in making the developer-builder model work.
Mr Michael Read, Director of M/Construction (part of M/Group), one of only a couple of successful larger-scale developer-builder firms in Perth, said the model is generally considered best practice, but it can prove difficult to create a good partnership.
“Achieving the right fit in terms of staff or partnership can prove difficult in an environment where the cultures tend to be quite different. In Perth, our main players are fairly established and there needs to be a lot of trust between both parties for the model to work effectively,” he said.
“While there is unquestionably merit in having a good appreciation of the development process as well as maintaining complete control of the entire building program and its outcomes, the concept has not been fully embraced by the sector and most developers continue to outsource to third-party builders.”
Unlike most construction-based firms, M/Construction evolved within its parent company, M/Group. The company was initially introduced to improve the building quality and maintenance of M/Group’s apartment and commercial projects, but quickly earned industry credibility to work independently of the group.
M/Construction uses its value-add service model to attract new building contracts and build on its capabilities in the building and maintenance sectors. The company recently took home three awards at the Master Builders Western Australian Awards for Excellence, including Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-$20million for Form Apartments by Match; an award the company has won two-years running.
Although most builders today offer a form of design-construct service, a developer-builder can operate both as a single service or independently, and both disciplines’ credentials are of equal calibre.
“Construction is without question a distinct skillset that requires a lot of experience. This is why some 90% of developer-builder companies derive from building firms initially rather than developers. However, the development expertise should not be overshadowed in the mix,” Mr Read continued.
“Certainly, within our organisation, being involved across the entire design and construction process creates a sense of pride in our staff. It is a different experience than working purely for a construction firm. We get to take ownership of the project from concept to completion.”
Michael Read joined M/Group as a highly qualified and experienced Registered Builder with some 20-years under his belt in top-tier organisations. Rather than a company merger, the M/Construction team was built from within the organisation which helped to circumvent any potential staffing or cultural issues.
Of Western Australia’s top twenty builders, very few are considered to be true developer-builder.
Find out more at www.mconstruction.com.au