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THE DIVERSITY ISSUE

FEATURING LOOKING FORWARD TOP TOPICS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD SPOTLIGHT WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS MARCH 2017


AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF QUANTITY SURVEYORS

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF QUANTITY SURVEYORS

AIQS Academy Certificate Available Now Save $1,500! The AIQS Academy The AIQS Academy is an on demand, online training portal available for all Quantity Surveying professionals. This platform provides further CPD options to AIQS Members or Non-Members and can be accessed from a location of your choice. Each topic takes approximately two hours, but completion can be at your own pace and work around your busy schedule.

AIQS Academy Certificate Available Now Save $1,500!

The topics available have been individually reviewed and assessed at the highest standard expected by the AIQS for continuing professional development. The AIQS Education Committee will regularly review and update the offerings of the Academy, to ensure a wide ranging and relevant topics. The Academy can be used for your organisational training, enhancing the professional skills of your Quantity Surveyors.

The AI Meet AIQS Membership Entry Requirements The Academy can be used as a pathway to AIQS Membership by ensuring you have the necessary skills required to meet the Institute’s academic entry requirements. Applicants seeking Institute Membership with a partially qualifying degree (Pathway 2), will be able to meet the academic entry requirements by completing the 100 Academy topics available. Participants who complete 100 topics will also receive the AIQS Academy Certificate.

Continuing Professional Development The Academy can help you identify knowledge gaps, learn new or upgrade existing skills, as well as provide upskilling opportunities for your project team.

The AIQS Academy is an on dem all Quantity Surveying professio The Academy provides continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities AIQSAIQS Members Members and Non-Members.or N optionsforto a location ofskills your Undertaking CPD ensures your remainchoice. current and Each relevant in addition to ensuring you fulfill your requirements but for completion can be at you continued membership. schedule. During the course of to

www.aiqsacademy.com.au

The topics available have been


33LOOKINGFORWARD 28 TOP TOPICS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD!

COST BENCHMARKING SPONSORED STORY

10 DIVERSITY&INCLUSION BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

Fiona Doherty FAIQS, AIQS Diversity Chair; Helen Badger, National Association of Women in Construction Chair; and Sarah Slattery AAIQS, Slattery Australia Director share their standpoint on Diversity and Inclusion for the industry today and into the future!

What would you say are the key topics of interest this year for the Built Environment? Five Built Environment academics share their insight on 10 top topics for the year ahead!

Incorporating the capture of benchmark data into the standard process of estimating and managing post contract cost information

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02 41 04 49 REGULARS 07 51 MAR 2017 CONTENTS

SPOTLIGHT WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

“Having regular conversations about the contribution of women to the sector is important because it recognises that women working in building is normal – and having a diverse team is a productive way to run a business.” Alison Mirams, AAIQS. An AIQS Spotlight on women in the profession.

Managing Editor Stephanie Ifill Graphic Designer Guilherme Santos CEO Grant Warner

Editorial Contributions The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveying encourages readers to submit their articles relating to quantity surveying, the built environment and associated industries including; construction economics, cost estimating, cost planning, contract administration, project engineering and the macroenvironment. T: +61 (02) 8234 4009 E: marketing@aiqs.com.au

FROM THE CEO

LEGAL CASE NOTES

SNAP SHOT

EVENTS & SOCIAL

VIEW POINT INNOVATION

BUILDING COST INDEX AVAILABLE IN PRINT ONLY

Subscriptions The Building Economist is available to AIQS Members online. If you would like to receive the print version, subscribe for 1 year (4 editions) for $132 (inc. GST) or purchase a single edition for $55 (inc. GST) at www.aiqs.com.au. Disclaimer The Institute does not take any responsibility for the opinions express by any third parties involved in the development of the Building Economist Magazine.

Advertising To advertise in the Building Economist, contact AIQS Marketing & Communications for more information on available opportunities. Marketing & Communications T: +61 (02) 8234 4009 E: marketing@aiqs.com.au W: www.aiqs.com.au

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 1


FROM THE CEO

DIVERSITY

International Women’s Day provides an ideal opportunity to highlight steps the institute is making towards achieving diversity across the QS profession and the institute itself

Since taking up my role as CEO at the end of August 2015, it became evident through meeting with firms and Chapter Councils, that while progress has been made, further action is necessary before the industry can truly claim it has a diverse and inclusive culture. If Institute membership is an accurate reflection of female participation across the Quantity Surveying profession (at approx. 16.5%), we still have significant room for improvement for promoting diversity within the Quantity Surveying industry. Given that the construction industry has historically been male dominated, this statistic may not be surprising to many. However, given that gender equality and women in construction has been such a prominent matter in recent years, I had initially anticipated a female participation rate of closer to 25%. While there is a positive trend toward establishing a diverse and inclusive culture within the industry, we as an Institute need to be at the forefront for driving this forward. It is heartening to see that after more than 100 years, the 2016 Chapter Council nominations resulted in 4 out of 7 Chapter Presidents being female (and all from a range of cultural backgrounds.) In 2016, the Institute awarded scholarships and prizes to 5 females and 2 males based on the merit of applications received. The Institute will continue to offer prizes and awards to students and young professionals alike, meeting the Institute's key focus on encouraging more young people from various backgrounds to pursue a career in Quantity Surveying. This year, the Institute is participating in career expos in Sydney, Brisbane and

Melbourne highlighting that the Quantity Surveying and Cost Planning professions are not the “blokey” careers that many regard the entire construction industry to be. In recognising the need for greater push for policies and action that support diversity across the profession, the Institute has recently established a Diversity Committee chaired by ACT Chapter President Fiona Doherty. While in its formative stages, the committee, whose composition will reflect the 40-40-20 principle, is charged with identifying and implementing initiatives to drive diversity throughout the Quantity Surveying profession. Key to their roles will be developing messages to encourage diversity in Quantity Surveying firms, and increasing diversity within the profession by advocating its benefits and flexibility to the younger generation. The Institute’s governance structure reflects that while half of the Institute’s Board were born outside of Australia, only one board member is female. Within the Institute itself, the staffing structure reflects 78% female participation, with 67% of senior management roles being held by women. The statistics on page 11 reflect how much work is still required to bridge the gap to establish a level playing field. Equal pay for equal roles and equal opportunities are crucial directives to uphold. It is important to remember that gender equality is not just a women’s issue, we all have a part to play in ensuring progress in this area. This includes restructuring workplace policies and attitudes which reflect diversity and inclusiveness.

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FURTHER ACTION IS NECESSARY BEFORE THE INDUSTRY CAN TRULY CLAIM IT HAS A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE CULTURE Flexibility at work is a fundamental aspect of ensuring workplace diversity. In recognising this, the AIQS is developing a Diversity and Inclusions Strategy, prioritising flexibility in the workplace. This will facilitate a work/life balance as well as boosting the Institute's productivity and efficiency. In developing flexible working arrangements, firms need to be cognisant of their responsibilities under Work Health & Safety legislation. We applaud firms who not only have polices in place but promote initiatives that support flexible and inclusive working environments. We are confronting our long held assumptions, ensuring we can be flexible and responsive to the diverse needs of our staff, our members and their clients now and into the future. To conclude, diversity can only improve the work that we do and safeguard the substantiality of the profession! I hope you will all join in making positive changes in this area, as progress requires the involvement of all.

Grant Warner

CEO The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors


Integration with estimating tools


SNAPSHOT INDUSTRY NEWS

DEMOLISHING GENDER STRUCTURES THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IS THE MOST MALE-DOMINATED SECTOR IN AUSTRALIA: IN 2016 WOMEN REPRESENT ONLY 12% OF THE WORKFORCE, A DECREASE FROM 17% IN 20061

Among professional and managerial roles, women represent 14% of staff2. Men dominate senior ‘technical’, operational careers, while women congregate in junior, support roles and non-fee-earning professions such as human resources and marketing. Early enthusiasm by women about construction professions and their future careers in the sector decreases with increased exposure to the workplace as they experience relative disadvantage and inequality in pay, development and promotional opportunities compared to their male counterparts3. These experiences take their toll with women leaving the construction professions almost 39% faster than their male colleagues4. The following findings are from a recent study by Natalie Galea, Adam Rogan, Abigail Powell, Louise Chappell and Martin Loosemore from UNSW. It investigates why existing formal policies and strategies to attract, retain and support the progression of women professionals in large construction companies have failed to achieve gender equality and diversity. Construction has come a long way, according to participants but it still has a long way to go. The study found business leaders and managers had a varied degree of understanding, readiness and ownership of gender diversity. Despite project leaders and line managers playing a central role in the careers of employees there is reluctance to take responsibility for gender diversity initiatives, undermining their effectiveness.

1 ABS. (2016) Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, May 2016 - 6291.0.55.003,. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics,. ABS. (2006) Census of Population and Housing, Cat no 2068.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics,. 2

ABS. (2012) Labour force australia, cat no 6202.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, .

Dainty ARJ, Bagilhole BM and Neale RH. (2000) A grounded theory of women's career under-achievement in large UK construction companies. Construction Management and Economics 18: 239-250. 3

⁴APESMA. (2010) Women in the professions: the State of Play 2009-2010. Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Melbourne.

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RECRUITMENT Informal networks influence formal recruitment processes and provide a way for applicants to ‘get a foot in the door’ and secure an employment position. Women are more likely to be recruited through formal recruitment channels and men are more likely to gain access through informal networks. Recruitment onto projects routinely operates through a practice of male sponsorship and ‘picking your team’. This undermines diversity of talent and limits women’s access and opportunities in the industry. Recommendations: • Make company and project recruitment processes and criteria more transparent. • Review the values that underpin ‘cultural fit’ to determine if they are gendered and exclusionary. • Initiate recruitment drives specific to women not from the traditional pipeline and provide these recruits with construction training.

RETENTION Employees’ value is demonstrated through their adherence to rigid work practices that include long hours, presenteeism and total availability. Rigid work practices undermine employee wellbeing and work life balance for women and men. Despite formal parental leave policies, individual women have to strategise and negotiate their departure, return and career ‘survival’. On construction projects, parental leave is viewed as an actual and resource cost, with little recognition of the cost on women’s pay equity and career progression.


SNAPSHOT INDUSTRY NEWS

POSITIONING FOR THE FUTURE Recommendations: • For women, it is important to see other women in senior ranks and be placed with other women professionals on site. • Stop rewarding and promoting excessive hours and ‘shaming’ those who don’t comply with excessive hours. • Introduce job sharing. Standardise work hours. Remove Saturday work. Monitor fatigue. Talk about it. Enforce it. • Endorse parental leave practices ‘on the ground’. Introduce the option for staged return to work for parents. • Set up projects with gender diversity in mind. Plan for flexibility, wellbeing and parental leave.

ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES A lack of transparency around how progression and promotions occur strengthens the need to form strategic alliances with senior leaders, who are predominantly men. These strategic alliances are habitually closed to women. Career progression is highly dependent on proving that you can deliver projects successfully. Men and women are given unequal access to these opportunities, which impacts on their possibilities for career progression. Men are given greater opportunity to shine in front of leaders. Women are encouraged into feminised career paths - such as commercial or design - that reduce progression opportunities.

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TODAY ANNOUNCED IT WILL BE COLLABORATING WITH NEW ZEALAND ON A PROJECT TO IMPROVE POSITIONING CAPABILITY IN THE AUSTRALASIA REGION The two countries will work together to test instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology that could provide future safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits across many industries in the region, including transport, agriculture, construction, and resource management.

“Improving positioning technology has the potential to open up a whole range of new opportunities for transport sectors, including building on technological developments in maritime navigation and automated train management systems to a future that includes driverless and connected cars.”

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said he welcomed New Zealand contributing an additional $2 million to the $12 million in project funding announced by the Australian Government in January 2017.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said research had shown that the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.

“The two-year project will test SBAS technology that has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in the region to less than five centimetres. Currently, positioning in Australasia is usually accurate to five to ten metres.

In March, the project will call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

“Not only do we use positioning technology everyday through apps like Google Maps but it is essential to all four transport sectors—aviation, maritime, rail, and road.

For more information about the SBAS test-bed and National Positioning Infrastructure Capability visit the http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/ positioning-navigation/positioning-forthe-future

For change to occur, gender equality and diversity need to be owned by company and project leaders. Change the narrative. Recognise, recruit and celebrate agile and diverse career pathways and career breaks.

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 5


SNAPSHOT AIQS NEWS

SAVE ON YOUR EVERYDAY EXPENSES WITH YOUR AIQS MEMBERSHIP YOUR AIQS MEMBER ADVANTAGE PROGRAM PROVIDES YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITH ACCESS TO AN EXCLUSIVE RANGE OF SAVINGS ON DINING, MOVIE TICKETS, DISCOUNTED GIFT CARDS, ACCOMMODATION, AIRLINE LOUNGE MEMBERSHIPS, COMPUTERS & IT EQUIPMENT, SHOPPING, CAR PURCHASING AND RENTAL AND MORE These services are available to use at any time and you have unlimited access to your discounts as many times as you like, allowing you to save money on your everyday expenses.

HOW DO I ACCESS MY BENEFITS? Your member benefits can be accessed in different ways: by phone or online via the Member Advantage website. For your

dining and entertainment benefits, simply show the Ambassador Card logo on your digital benefits card at the point of sale.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE AIQS MEMBER ADVANTAGE WEBSITE? Visit www.memberadvantage.com.au/ aiqs for the full details of the benefits available to you and your family. Please note that you will need to enter your AIQS Member Number as your password.

WHAT IS THE DIGITAL BENEFITS CARD? The Digital Benefits Card is the best way to access your dining and entertainment benefits, directly on your smartphone. It replaces your physical membership card. Gone are the days of searching for your wallet, the wasted moments finding the right card. Now, you can redeem your discounts on the go at the participating venues by simply showing your card displayed on your mobile device (smartphones & tablets). Your digital card offers all the benefits of your printed card without having to carry it. *The Member Advantage Program currently only provides benefits within Australia and is hence only available to Australian-based Affiliate, Member and Fellow grade members.

For more information:Contact AIQS Member Advantage on 1300 853 352 or email info@memberadvantage.com.au

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AIQS ACADEMY: YOUR CPD ONE-STOP SHOP! WITH THE DEADLINE FOR MANDATORY CPD FAST APPROACHING, THE AIQS ACADEMY OFFERS OVER 100 TOPICS (200 CPD POINTS) FOR COMPLETION. MEMBERS ARE OFFERED PREFERENTIAL RATES AND YOU CAN ALSO PURCHASE A BUNDLE OF TOPICS FOR A FURTHER DISCOUNT Topic Spotlight: Bank Reports This topic looks at what banks and other lending authorities require a Quantity Surveyor (QS) to report on the construction aspects of a development and to recommend interim payments to the developer or contractor. This is a specialised commission which only a QS is qualified to provide. QS bank reports should not be undertaken lightly – the bank will rely on the advice included in these reports. The topic is divided into four sections that cover the following areas: 1. Understand the role of the QS in providing bank reports 2. Understand the high level of reliance of the bank on the QS report 3. Understand the essential components of the first report to the bank 4. Understand the requirements for progress reports to the bank during construction Visit www.aiqsacademy.com/aiqs/bankreports to purchase this topic.


VIEWPOINT

HAVE YOU APPLIED FOR YOUR CERTIFIED QUANTITY SURVEYOR DESIGNATION? CERTIFIED QUANTITY SURVEYOR (CQS) IS AN ADDITIONAL DESIGNATION TO A CORPORATE MEMBER’S GRADE. IT REPRESENTS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF EXPERTISE WITHIN THE PROFESSION The CQS designation brings with it the recognition that you as a Quantity Surveyor have attained a significant level of professional experience and expertise that has been benchmarked across the industry, are committed to the provision of excellence in service (to your clients), and recognise the importance of continuing professional development and adherence to the AIQS Code of Professional Conduct. AIQS is marketing CQS to all levels of Government (Cth, State/Territory, Local), financial institutions, insurance companies, corporate Australia and the public, as the mark of ultimate expertise that should be engaged for the provision of Quantity Surveying services and consultancy advice on all construction projects. Application for Certified Quantity Surveyor (CQS) designation are available to existing Corporate Members and new Member Grade applicants.

For further information, including eligibility visit www.aiqs.com.au

It’s a brave new disruptive world IRENA KUZMAN, MAIQS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SYDNEY, NSW

Disruptive innovation, a concept once limited to the tech and dot com industry, has now become a common occurrence in today’s world of business. It is the preferred method used by many entrepreneurs to create new markets and disrupt existing ones, and at times defeat an earlier technology, product or service. And the disruption caused can have such a big impact that it can change the course of an entire industry in rapid speed.

It may not be apparent but most likely you have encountered disruptive innovation in your daily work. From the browser on your screen, to the estimating software that you use, to the coffee app that loaded your loyalty points, it is all here because someone decided to disrupt a business model. This highly effective process has led to the rapid success of many new companies, and the larger industry players are standing up and taking notice. Companies are now considering disruptive innovation as an avenue for growth, and looking at how their operation and production can benefit from this. Even entire industries are actively assessing how disruption would impact their future existence. When looking at the construction and property industry, innovation has always been a very slow process, mainly due to the complex nature of our products

and services. The process of delivery has remained essentially the same throughout the decades, so the idea that the industry could be greatly disrupted seems laughable. But if you consider the immense impact that introduction of digital technology had to the process of professional services, it is not such a comforting picture. Computerisation, automation and the like all resulted in the disruption in process of delivering professional services, and the quantity surveying and cost management profession didn’t walk away unchanged. Our profession was greatly impacted by the introduction of digital technology, even though the pace at which this occurred may not have been as fast as in other disciplines. This could possibly be due to the fact that we are slow to adapt a new technology and can be considered what the digital world refers

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 7


VIEWPOINT

to as ‘laggards’. We are certainly not know to accept change very easily, and this can mainly be due to the perplexing nature of the services that we provide where we are required to uphold an unbelievable level or accuracy using data which is constantly changing. However this doesn’t make us immune to disruption, but ever more vulnerable. A recent report released by the Property Council of Australia and produced in partnership with the Green Building Council of Australia and EY, surveyed over 550 industry executives on the topic of disruptive innovation, and found that the likelihood of this happening in our industry was imminent. The report labelled this as a ‘megatrend’ and identified some contributing trends that could be the cause of effect. Further advancement in digital technology and atomisation, new production methods such as 3D printing and prefabrication, together with the concept of ‘smart design’ could all significantly change the face of the industry. Even areas considered completely separate to out industry such as robotics, virtual reality and gamification were noted as possible causes for disruption. The aim of the report was to be “the catalyst for the industry” to begin thinking about this megatrend and start preparing for the inevitable change and implications of a “disrupted future”. Advancement in digital technology and automation created BIM, and its potential to cause immense disruption to the way the industry operates has made it a dirty word for many quantity surveyors. If BIM is to succeed in providing the information correctly, then

it will potentially remove a considerable scope to the services we deliver.

…START PREPARING FOR THE INEVITABLE CHANGE AND IMPLICATIONS OF A “DISRUPTED FUTURE” The large data held within a BIM has also the potential to flow into another area that has cause a lot disruption, and that is ‘Big Data’. Understanding the notion of Big Data can be a little complicated but it is essentially the organisation of data to reveal patterns. Once the data analytics is completed the results can be utilised to forecasting, risk management and overall decision making. Application of Big Data is not a common approach within our industry, but the potential is immense and can possibly create a completely new layer of service to the delivery of a project. Quantity Surveyors were once the producers of large amounts of project data in the form of a BQ, so the practice of data collection and analytics is not a completely foreign one. The question lies as to how our profession can make the science of Big Data part of the services we provide to the industry. When handling Big Data the consensus within any industry that uses this is to make sure that some form of standardisation has been adopted and applied. With regards to quantity surveying and cost management, this has already begun with the formation of the International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS). An initiative driven

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by IVA award winner Julie Dela Cruz, the ICMS has provided an excellent platform for cost management when considering BIM. In a way the first steps have been paved for our profession to examine the methods of service delivery, and possibly re-imagine the process and If you consider innovation as a basic idea it is clear that in business it is essential for maintaining market competitiveness, while optimising operational efficiency and profitability. And disrupting the current model for service delivery can result in dire consequences for the future of our profession. Some refer to disruption as a form of ‘revolution’ and warn against underestimating the possibility of this happening in any industry. So if we can identify the possible disruption, we can be prepared for the impact and reactor in the best way that suits our future. Taking this a step further, instead of thinking about how to react to minimise the negative impact, we could adopt a proactive approach and maybe even do some disruptive innovation ourselves. Andrea Walsh, the CIO of Isentia recently named 2017 the "year of digital acceleration", which means our profession and the industry as a whole may experience disruption much sooner than expected. With this in mind, the NSW Chapter Council has decided to hold a forum to discuss the future direction of our profession with regards to innovation and disruption. This will be happening sometime in April of this year, so look out for the more information in the fortnightly e-bulletins.

Share your viewpoint Email marketing@aiqs.com.au


DIVERSITY & INCLUSION FIONA DOHERTY, FAIQS

AIQS DIVERSITY COMMITTEE, CHAIR When I was asked to submit an article for this edition of the 'Building Economist' I really wanted to focus on all the positive change that has happed in the Diversity and Inclusion space over the past few years. However, at the time of putting pen to paper, so to speak, was the weekend of the Women’s March, originating in the US and spreading worldwide. This is a clear reminder that we still have a long way to go with issues of gender equality as well as inclusion and fair opportunities for all. Recent political changes in the world threaten to destabilise the progress that has been made over the past few decades. This all may sound a tad dramatic but it really does affect all of our futures. I have recently been appointed the Chair of the AIQS Diversity Committee. In this role I intend to highlight the issues relating to our industry and then, with the support of the committee, develop the tools the AIQS can offer to support members and their business to assist implementing positive change to lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. As background, I am a Director of the ACT office of Rider Levett Bucknall. I originally trained as a QS in the UK. Beginning my career straight from high

school I worked in a small national business as a cadet. I was acutely aware that I was embarking on a career that was male dominated but I started my cadetship under the leadership of a female associate and a fabulous team of professionals. At the time I remember thinking that this was the face of the future – a diverse more gender balanced workplace and that I was at a turning point in the profession. This was over 27 years ago and unfortunately the participation rate for females in the profession has not change significantly. The following are the main drivers that I see changing our work places to a more diverse and inclusive environment.

GENDER PAY GAP WITHIN OCCUPATION LEVELS FOR FULL-TIME WORKERS, BASE AND TOTAL

OCCUPATION CLASS MANAGERS KEY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL EXECUTIVE SENIOR MANAGER OTHER MANAGER NON - MANAGERS PROFESSIONALS TECHNICIANS AND TRADES WORKERS COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL SERVICE WORKERS CLERICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WORKERS

REDUCING THE PAY GAP Whilst organisations like the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) gather the data and tell us the story of what we are doing as business the change has to start with the business. We need to take responsibility in creating change and opportunity. Identifying the best people for the job and paying them what they are worth regardless.

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Continue on page 12 >

SALES WORKERS MACHINERY OPERATORS AND DRIVERS LABOURERS ALL MANAGERS NON-MANAGERS ALL OCCUPATION CLASSES


DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Women make up half of the nation’s workforce, but earn only 77 per cent of men’s average full-time income.

All industries have a pay gap in favour of men. Construction saw an increase in gender pay gaps over the past two years. TOTAL CONSTRUCTION REMUNERATION GENDER PAY GAP

2013-14

25,4%

2014-15

26,3%

2015-16 Men on average earn $26,853 more than women a year, with the salary difference rising to $93,884 at the top level of management

BASE SALARY

TOTAL REMUNERATION

WOMEN

MEN

WOMEN

MEN

$190,035

$249,288

$244,569

$343,296

$172,026

$214,052

$219,767

$293,019

$132,445

$162,457

$162,227

$210,214

$89,833

$114,317

$106,721

$140,710

$84,810

$104,458

$99,003

$125,646

$64,285

$79,133

$76,708

$101,735

$52,326

$57,329

$60,642

$66,906

$58,791

$62,991

$66,905

$72,978

$51,414

$62,328

$63,099

$81,066

$61,371

$68,975

$78,850

$90,473

$47,739

$56,796

$56,163

$71,304

$108,676

$144,249

$132,006

$185,230

$66,770

$79,262

$78,158

$98,763

$73,251

$90,473

$86,512

$113,739

Source: Authors’ calculations based on WGEA Gender Equality data, 2014-15 | s: Cassells R, Duncan A, and Ong R (2016), ‘Gender Equity Insights 2016: Inside Australia’s Gender Pay Gap’, BCEC|WGEA Gender Equity Series, Issue #1, March 2016.

28% 0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

49.7% of the workforce is female

15.9% of the construction workforce is female

16% of AIQS members are female

One out of six CEOs are women

37.1% of organisations have no women on their Boards 29.8% of organisations, women directors make up no more than a quarter of all Board members

Around 12.7% of organisations have up to a third of female Board members

and a further 14.1% up to a half.

Only 6.3% of organisations have more women than men serving on Boards.

There is a huge gap between the best and worst performing industry sectors when it comes to achieving gender equity in Board representation. There are no women sitting on Boards for at least half of all organisations in Construction (61.3%), Mining (54.2%), Retail (50.7%), Wholesale (55%), Manufacturing (56.8%), Public Administration and Safety (64.7%), and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (69.6%). In contrast, nearly two in five organisations in Health Care and Social Assistance (17.3%) and one in eight in Education and Training (12.4%) have over 50% female representation on their Boards. Our findings indicate a clear genderindustry gradient in the share of women serving on Boards.

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 11


> Continued from page 10 But employees need to value themselves as well. I remember finding out that a colleague who was, at that point, less qualified and had less experience was being paid a significant amount more than me. I remember feeling how unfair it was and how that could have happened. So I marched into the HR Directors office and told them what I thought. I got the pay rise and then the promotions started, it was about having faith in my ability and not being afraid to say so!

STEM SUBJECTS We as individuals will not change the school systems or turn a complete industry around overnight. But as companies and institutions we can lead the way. We can better promote the benefits of our industry and throw away sterotypes and encourage students at an earlier age to take up subjects that will lead to the skills we need. We need to address skills shortages and attract the best and brightest into our profession. What are we telling girls from a very early age? What messages are in society that make them steer away from STEM subjects. In a 2014 research paper prepared for the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute some of the reasons were identified: 1. Stereotypical viewpoints about the nature of STEM careers. 2. Traditional associations of particular careers or areas of excellence with masculine and feminine. This particular type of stereotyping associates mathematics, engineering and other STEM fields with masculine 3. Negative perceptions of particular career types held by young women, whether grounded in fact or not.

4. Poor direction from parents and teachers can also play a role.. 5. The lack of female role models - both high school teachers and industry professionals. Tackling all of these issues will take leadership on many fronts including government, community, schools but obviously industry as well. We can take the lead and look at initiatives such as mentoring programs, interaction with schools, scholarships etc. Looking at our own role models and getting them out in front of people.

FLEXIBILITY IN THE WORKPLACE. There has been a lot of talk about this topic and I believe it will be the game changer! So what comes to mind when we think of flexible work places...mothers maybe? One of the key things we need to remember is it’s not just women who have children. It’s time to recognise that parenting generally involves two people and both of those parents may want to share responsibility. It’s also not just about parenting – what about people with aged parents they need to care for or how about people with a serious sporting commitment for example. Creating a work environment that is flexible to our employees needs can be majorly beneficial to the business. We are not talking about a work/life balance, it’s about total balance – for the employer and employee. More and more evidence is showing that flexible workplaces deliver higher productivity, enhanced motivation and increased loyalty. Canberra architectural practice DJAS actively encourage flexible working arrangement within its senior

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management. Talking to Alisa Moss (head of interior design) she explained that she left on parental leave and when she came back to work it was on her terms, which evolved into a 3 day a week working pattern but noted that this is office time – she is available to her clients and team 24/7 and regularly works from home. As practice Director the late Alastair Swain stressed it’s about the deliverable and the quality of the work - as long as this doesn’t suffer then its all on the table. The latest development that I have become very interested in is the Equilibrium Man Challenge. The Challenge aims to advance the take up of flexible work practices in order to allow people to achieve greater equilibrium in their lives. They prefer the concept of ‘equilibrium’ to ‘work/life balance’ because it better reflects the complexity people have in their lives. The Equilibrium Man Challenge reflects the fact most people do not necessarily want to have to make simplistic choice between their career and other interest or commitments but would rather better manage all of the interests and commitments they have, through more flexible work practices RLB Australia are currently developing our strategies to address these issues. I believe we need to lead the way because we need to attract best and brightest people into this profession to secure our future. We need to look at our workplaces and see what can be changed to make them the most attractive place to work.

THE BOTTOM LINE In summary, the numbers speak for themselves and they are saying one thing very loud and clear to me “ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH” .


There’s nothing particularly “blokey” about provided strategic cost advice to a client on a multimillion dollar project; this is about an individual intelligence and career drive. So why is this industry so male dominated? Why the push for more women? Why haven’t our participation rates changed significantly in 20 years? Any why does it matter? What will happen to those potential university graduates – don’t we want them in our industry? We need to plan for the future and create home grown opportunities in our industry. A study (Apr 2105) by The Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation (C4GEi) and Infinitas Asset Management shows that “companies that have genderdiverse boards are delivering 7 per cent per annum higher returns for investors than companies that have no women at all” (Infinitas director Steve Macdonald) So its good for the bottom line! So what are we going to do about it? How are you going to make a difference? How are we going to make a difference? As one of the 16% of females that make up our profession, I hope that I have provided some food for thought! Borrowing from David Morrison who borrowed from Machiavelli: “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things”

HELEN BADGER NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION (NAWIC), CHAIR

There are many stereotypes associated with the construction industry mostly due to the dominance of men in the workplace and traditionally women only having roles as the receptionist or secretary. Thanks to the work of many pioneering women in the last decade this is no longer the case. In Australia women are now represented in every aspect of the industry from directors, engineers, professionals, tradeswomen, suppliers and in all fields such as property development, mining, commercial construction and transport. NAWIC is represented by Chapters in every State and Territory where women have the opportunity to network to support and mentor women in these diverse roles. There is a quite but powerful movement where successful women are the role models opening up opportunities for women to have greater participation in the industry. Generally a male dominated construction workplace can be a disincentive for women and the ones who do challenge these workplaces tend to have a thick skin and an inner core of strength to be successful. Where companies are open to engaging women there is the immediate advantage of access to an additional 50% of the talent pool thus increasing the available choice of skills and experience. There is no doubt that within the construction industry some companies have embraced the benefits that women bring to their business and are reaping the rewards. Unfortunately, these companies are still in the minority and

it is essential that we embrace these enlightened companies to work with NAWIC to continue to extol the benefits of a diverse workplace in addition to encouraging women to consider the unique local and international opportunities that are a career in the construction industry can provide. Women bring different perspectives to the workplace formed by their

GENERALLY A MALE DOMINATED CONSTRUCTION WORKPLACE CAN BE A DISINCENTIVE FOR WOMEN AND THE ONES WHO DO CHALLENGE THESE WORKPLACES TEND TO HAVE A THICK SKIN AND AN INNER CORE OF STRENGTH TO BE SUCCESSFUL

experiences, backgrounds and family dynamics. In the construction industry having women on the project teams at the trade and management level is changing the male dominance and altering work practices. The men are realising the importance of fairness and balance and the economic and managerial benefits it brings. I have observed that the younger men do not seem to have the same gender

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notions bias as their older counterparts and don’t appear to be threatened by the competition women bring to their positions. Adrian Esplin General Manager of a construction company in South Australia confirms that he, and many men aged 40 and under have grown up with a different culture of fairness and equality that has developed at home, school and university. They are flexible to change and are actively involved in supporting women as they want their daughters to have opportunities not negative experiences in the industry. Mr Esplin advocates the different point of view that women bring to project teams where challenges and discussion often leads to better informed decisions and a better final result. Construction companies are always seeking ways to improve efficiently and profitability, having a gender balanced workplace will do that being mindful that Australia does still have a gender pay gap and that profitability should not be achieved by paying women less. In the NAWIC 2016 Journal, Rebecca Cassells Associate Professor of the Curtin Economics Centre states that “the female manager working in male dominated industries such as construction are more likely to be renumerated closer to their male peers than those working in female dominated industries. The construction industry employs around nine male managers for every one female yet the managerial gender pay gaps are both relatively low for this sector and well below the industry average”. This is good news for our industry and one of the reasons why NAWIC acknowledges companies who are actively engaging women. The prestigious NAWIC Crystal Vision Award has historically been awarded to a women who demonstrates a

AS A GROUP WE WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH HARDER, BE ACTIVE, KEEP THE CONVERSATION CURRENT AND PROVIDE MENTORING AND SUPPORT FOR WOMEN TO BE IN AND STAY IN THE INDUSTRY

long term commitment to supporting, promoting and engaging with women in the industry. In 2016 for the very first time four of the Chapters presented this award to construction companies. These companies have been active in addressing unconscious bias in their recruitment, auditing and monitoring remuneration levels and providing work life initiatives that benefit men and women. The pay gap is worthy of analysis in our industry because generally salaries are negotiated based on the employees expectations and ability to ‘rate’ themselves and justify the value of their skills and experience. This approach of self-promotion that is necessary to negotiate a salary comes naturally to men and not so easily to women. Women tend to be more democratic, give credit to ‘the team’ and shy away from ‘I’ statements. Through the NAWIC network and mentoring programs women have access to coaching and support in negotiation skills to empower women to actively close the pay gap.

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In Gooldman Sachs JB Weres “Australia’s Hidden Resource : The Economic Case For Increasing Female Participation” they report “that there would be massive positive benefits worldwide in equalising the ratio of men to women in the workplace. In Australia alone, the report estimates that it would boost our GDP by 11%. Current statistics show our industry is achieving better outcomes than others in Australia at the moment but we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball. The gender pay gap is unfair and must be addressed along with other issues such as assisting women to return to our industry after having children and increasing the number of women at the general manager, CEO and board level. In the four years that I have been a National Director of NAWIC I have seen the number of women increase in diverse roles. As a network we are very good at identifying and aligning with the companies that ‘get it’, their mantra is “opportunities not obstacles.” We also know the companies that are restrained by conservative thinking and resistant to change, and we bring them under our influence to effect change. As a group we will continue to push harder, be active, keep the conversation current and provide mentoring and support for women to be in and stay in the industry.

…PROFITABILITY SHOULD NOT BE ACHIEVED BY PAYING WOMEN LESS


SARAH SLATTERY, AAIQS SLATTERY AUSTRALIA, DIRECTOR

While the diversity drive is making a meaningful impact on the number of women in the property and construction industry, it’s time to broaden our focus. Winnie Zhu, Site Engineer, McConnell Dowell

A raft of research has found that diverse organisations are more profitable. For instance, a study from the La Trobe Business School, released last year, found a correlation between board diversity and superior performance. The largest study of its kind in Australia examined the nation’s top 500 listed companies between 2005 and 2011, uncovering a positive and significant association between female non-executives on boards and financial performance. Last September, Thomson Reuters released an analysis of the practices of more than 5,000 companies in the first Diversity and Inclusion Index. The Index found that diverse companies create more innovative products, happier customers, and financially outperform their peers. Why? Because diversity powers creativity and acts as an antidote to ‘groupthink’. Or as Apple’s Tim Cook has said “we rely on our employees’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives to spark innovation”. At my firm, the gender diversity score has already been settled. Half of our company’s growth sector leaders are women, and 42 per cent of our workforce is female. Four of our directors are female. Not a bad result, considering the top five QS firms in the country can boast just a handful of female directors.

Vicki Bilro, Serisha Sookraj and Arlena Khufa,- Perth Stadium curtesy of Kelly Bucksey and Multiplex

While I’m proud of my firm’s record on

gender diversity, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. True diversity encompasses a range of factors – from age and ethnicity to religious background and sexual orientation. As the need for advisory services grows globally, most QS firms are in a ferocious hunt for talent. And this means thinking imaginatively and stepping outside the established parameters of what talent looks like.

RETHINKING RECRUITMENT There’s a reason why birds of a feather flock together – because it’s easy for them to do so. People usually look for a spark of commonality when they are choosing new staff. Research from the Kellogg School of Management in the United States, for example, has found that hiring is not just about skills sorting. It is also a “process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and firms”. Employers tend to seek out candidates who are not only competent but culturally similar to themselves. Human resource departments can end up recruiting clones – but if you have a diverse client base, you need a diverse mix of employees. Our organisation has introduced a recruitment strategy that emphasises personal characteristics over skill sets or exam results. And the impact of this strategy on the composition of our workforce cannot be understated. We look for people who show an innate sense of curiosity, a capacity to learn, an enthusiasm for our industry, ability to overcome adversity and the confidence to engage with clients. We believe these traits are more important than where someone went to university or how many high distinctions they achieved. Drive and determination don’t just come from

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AS THE NEED FOR ADVISORY SERVICES GROWS GLOBALLY, MOST QS FIRMS ARE IN A FEROCIOUS HUNT FOR TALENT. AND THIS MEANS THINKING IMAGINATIVELY AND STEPPING OUTSIDE THE ESTABLISHED PARAMETERS OF WHAT TALENT LOOKS LIKE. finishing a Masters’ degree. It can be demonstrated by holding down two jobs while at university, balancing the needs of a young family or stepping back into the profession after time away. We are also conscious of not recruiting too many people with the same personality profile. We don’t need an entire office filled with outgoing gogetters who want to spend their days chatting with clients. We also need the thinkers and technical experts who prefer to be in the back office, and without whom we wouldn’t get the job done.

WISE WORDS ADD VALUE We also recognise the inherent strength in having an age-diverse team. While roughly a quarter of Australia’s population are 55 year and over, they make up just 16 per cent of the total workforce. A diverse workforce is one that brings people from all age groups – from the enthusiastic Gen Y tech-wizard

to veteran Baby Boomer who has seen it all before. Our workforce ranges from a freshout-of-school 21-year-old to a highlyproductive 72-year-old. Our elder statesman is known as the ‘go to’ person when anyone is facing a technical conundrum. He’s always available and approachable, and brings depth to our team. We have benefited from older staff joining us from other firms rather than retiring. We recognise their experience and expertise, and they have become valuable members of our team. Meanwhile, our youngest team members are positively bubbling with enthusiasm and energy. They bring with them new insights gleaned from the cuttingedge of academia and from a lifetime’s immersion in technology. Together, youth and experience add strength to our workplace.

LIFELONG LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT We recognise learning doesn’t stop the day you get your degree, and have created a structured learning and development program to supplement on-the-job skills, retain staff and drive performance. This program covers diverse topics that are open to everyone – from networking techniques to business writing basics, and from preparing for meetings to the art of listening. Other training is focused on technical proficiency, and aligns with our recruitment strategy – because we know people with the right attitude and characteristics can gain the technical skills needed to flourish in our organisation.

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LET’S GET FLEXIBLE The term ‘flexible working’ is often associated with mothers balancing work with family life – but in our organisation flexibility is a much broader concept. Many of our staff have adopted some form of flexible working. Our emphasis is on developing individual arrangements for each employee. For some people, flexibility means the opportunity to work from home one day a week, finish at 4pm or incorporate an intense training schedule around work. For others, flexibility is about having time off to travel or have children, to negotiate additional annual leave or work from another office a few times a year so they can visit family. While flexibility is an ongoing challenge in any small company, we are always looking for creative ways to accommodate work life balance and to help people bring their ‘whole selves’ to work.

A CULTURE OF CONTRIBUTION One fascinating study by Deloitte found that more than half of all workers cover up some part of their identity to fit in with people from the LGBTI community and minority religious groups most likely to feel the need to “check stuff at the door”. At Slattery Australia, we operate with the underlying tenet that each of us is of equal worth. We believe our organisation will be richest when all members of our team can bring their diverse life experiences to work. But this philosophy is not without its challenges – and creating a culture of


inclusion takes time. In our firm, bringing a diverse group of people together doesn’t mean they must all participate in team lunches and hang out together at the pub after work. But it does mean working together to build a common value system. The people who work at Slattery Australia are motivated to make a positive impact on people, places and the planet. We encourage industry participation and helping our people to ‘give back’ to their community – whether it’s raising money for charity or participating in corporate cycling days. Embracing diversity is in part about recognising that each of us has different drivers. By working with those drivers, people feel valued, part of the team – and ultimately part of their company’s success. We also encourage people to speak up and have a voice. We recognise that this is challenging for some team members, particularly those from other cultural backgrounds where public speaking isn’t a regular part of school life. People choose to contribute in different ways, whether that is through their mentor, in

HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENTS CAN END UP RECRUITING CLONES – BUT IF YOU HAVE A DIVERSE CLIENT BASE, YOU NEED A DIVERSE MIX OF EMPLOYEES

DIVERSITY CULTIVATES A SENSE OF BELONGING, WHICH IN TURN SUSTAINS RETENTION, DRIVES RECRUITMENT AND CREATES PROFITABLE, HIGH-PERFORMANCE WORKPLACES a technical learning and development session or in a staff meeting. The key is to foster a culture where everyone is encouraged to contribute. We have a structured ‘insights’ session at our staff meetings, where employees present on a topic that interests them – this may be anything from a technical challenge overcome to a cultural practice explained. For example, one colleague shared insights into Chinese etiquette which helped our staff to liaise more effectively with our Asian clients. Another colleague presented the latest corporate fashion trends. The benefit of getting people to contribute based on what interests them means invariably the topic interests others and the presenter is a confident, inspiring expert.

TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE TARGETS While businesses across Australia continue to debate the merits of targets and quotas, I think this is a distraction. Any organisation serious about maintaining its competitiveness must embrace diversity as a strategic business imperative - and that makes chasing targets or numbers irrelevant. Growing a workplace culture centred on inclusion, diversity and respect is what encourages people to flourish. When they can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work, then they can give everything to their task. Diversity cultivates a sense of belonging, which in turn sustains retention, drives recruitment and creates profitable, high-performance workplaces.

DIVING INTO DIVERSITY AT SLATTERY AUSTRALIA 80 STAFF AROUND AUSTRALIA 42% OF THE WORKFORCE IS FEMALE 12 CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS ARE REPRESENTED AGES RANGE FROM 21-72

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Alison Mirams, AAIQS Chief Executive Officer, Roberts Pizzarotti

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SPOTLIGHT

Having regular conversations about the contribution of women to the sector is important because it recognises that women working in building is normal – and having a diverse team is a productive way to run a business." After successfully operating in executive roles in Australia’s largest property, construction and infrastructure firms, Alison Mirams has taken on the challenge of leading a new tier one construction joint venture, Roberts Pizzarotti Pty Ltd, as chief executive officer. Prior to Roberts Pizzarotti, Alison led the NSW/ACT regional business unit for Lendlease’s Building business for nearly three years. Managing annual turnover of more than $2 billion, Alison was responsible for the safe and profitable delivery of complex construction projects, ranging from the ICC Sydney precinct in Darling Harbour, through to commercial, residential, health, defence and education projects. Prior to joining Lendlease, Alison enjoyed a successful sixteen-year career at Multiplex, rising from contracts administrator to regional director. Her rapid rise in the organisation was due to her keen negotiating skills, tenacity, and construction savvy – demonstrated on the two final projects she delivered for Multiplex – Star City Casino and University of New South Wales Tyree Energy Technologies Building. A prominent female executive in an industry renowned for a lack of diversity, Alison is a leader and mentor, and is regularly asked to address industry groups as a keynote speaker. Alison has a Bachelor of Building (Construction Economics) and a Graduate Diploma in Urban Estate Management from the University of Technology Sydney.

1.

WHY CELEBRATE WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?

I can answer this in terms of my own experience – when I was starting out in the sector, there was not much acknowledgement of women in construction… mainly because there weren’t many actually working in the sector. In hindsight, it would have been good to have had more contact with senior women and heard their stories. Having regular conversations about the contribution of women to the sector is important because it recognises that women working in building is normal – and having a diverse team is a productive way to run a business.

2.

HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A QS? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ROLE?

My grandfather was a QS but he died before I was born. When my father was growing up, my grandfather always discussed his work and took Dad to see buildings under construction. They discussed different construction techniques, tower cranes and architecture. My father raised my sister and I with the same discussions. I studied Quantity Surveying and my sister studied Civil Engineering. My first role was at Travis McEwen Group in the QS section. It was only a small team

of five. I was extremely fortunate to have a boss ( John Humphreys) who believed in taking young people to every construction site and sent me on a lot of computer training courses. I am extremely grateful for the early education John gave me.

3.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I am proud of all the projects I have worked on for different reasons. A couple of projects have special place in my heart. Firstly – The Star – this was the construction of the Pirrama Road Building and the Darling Hotel in Pyrmont, NSW. I worked incredibly hard to secure this deal. It was at the start of the GFC and it really was a ‘must win’ project for us. In order to meet the client’s brief, we redesigned the Pirrama Road Building. The architectural design that you see today is our alternate design that we developed with Fitzpatrick + Partners. UNSW Energy & Technology Building – This was a technically complex building with very high specification laboratories. It was built by a young site team that had the most infectious team bond and they went above and beyond to deliver an exceptional building for the UNSW. The Charles Perkins Building – This was another project where we designed a building to meet the clients brief and to deliver significant cost savings to the initial architectural design. It is immensely satisfying to see your alternate design

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 19


built and receiving positive feedback from faculty staff and students at The University of Sydney. Beyond projects, I am immensely proud of being able to help a young man during a tragic period in his life. When I was at Multiplex, we had an apprentice carpenter

A prominent female executive in an industry renowned for a lack of diversity." who through a tragic accident at home, became a quadriplegic. With the assistance of the company and his project team, we looked after the injured man’s family whilst he spent a month in ICU, got him back to work and retrained him as a contracts administrator. With the assistance of loyal subcontractors, we raised over $200,000 at a fundraising lunch to help fund future medical bills and rebuilt his house at no expense to him. It was an honour to help a young man get his life back on track after such a tragic accident.

4.

IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE BENEFIT FROM BECOMING MORE DIVERSE? IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HAS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BECOME MORE INCLUSIVE TO WOMEN?

During my career the construction industry has become much more diverse. I remember ten years ago not being able to fill one table of ten at a NAWIC function. Last year, in my previous role, we had ten

tables. The conversations have moved from talking about employing women to reporting statics on actual employment figures. Having said that, there is no doubt there is still a long way to go. The construction industry benefits from diversity. Women bring a calm to the otherwise ego driven, male dominated construction meetings. But I believe the greatest benefit is diversity of thought. Construction requires the solving of complex problems and to have diversity of thought in teams is a great benefit.

loves seeing the cranes on ‘mummy’s work sites’. I’m sharing the same stories with him that my grandfather passed down to my dad – that makes me feel proud – and inspires me to keep going.

timeline . 1991

Finished year 12 high school

1992

Commenced working at Travis McEwen Group as a cadet QS

1995

Graduated UTS B.Build (Construction Economics)

1997

Appointed contracts administrator at CF Progress Developments

1998

Appointed contracts administrator at Multiplex and Graduated UTS Grad Dip. UEM

2001

Promoted to contracts manager at Multiplex

2005

Promoted to commercial manager at Multiplex

2006

Promoted to regional commercial manager NSW/QLD at Multiplex and Promoted to regional director at Multiplex

Be yourself and don’t feel the need to behave like a man even though you are in a male industry.

2014

Appointed general manager Lendlease’s Building business in NSW/ACT

And please look after and grow other women in the industry.

2016

Appointed CEO Roberts Pizzarotti

5.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN KEEN TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY?

Make the most of every challenge given to you. Find a mentor from the industry and a sponsor who is more senior than you in your organisation. The mentor will give you advice and the sponsor can drive your career from above. I have certainly benefited from both. Don’t concentrate on the challenges of being a female. If you’re invited to events, don’t question if you’re there to make up the female numbers – enjoy the fact you’re there and make the most of the opportunity!

6.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

I’m inspired by lots of different people every day – not necessarily the famous and the celebrated. My family are very supportive of my career, and my young son

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Sponsorship Opportunities

ING D A LE

2017 CONFERENCE 2015 Conference

E LLENCE XCE

UGH O R TH

NZIQS would like to invite AIQS members to come on over to our 2017 Annual Conference Leading Through Excellence The conference will be held 21-23 June 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. We have a great line up of speakers and topics including

The conference social programme includes

• Motivational

• Welcome Cocktails

• Engineered Timber • Cost Escalation

• Conference Dinner – an interactive food celebration

• Building Life Cycles

• Partners Programme

• Golf Day

• Bonds and Retentions • Coping with Stress in the Workplace and much much more

In the true spirit of ANZAC we welcome AIQS members to register at the discounted NZIQS member rates – the more the merrier!

For more information and to register visit www.nziqs.co.nz/events/conference2017


SPOTLIGHT

Edna Yeo, AAIQS, CQS Executive Quantity Surveyor, MBMpl Pty Ltd

Edna has over 10 years of construction consultancy experience working on various new build and redevelopment projects. She has extensive knowledge and experience particularly in the delivery of Healthcare and hospital projects.

1.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT?

I was considering a career in the Legal & Finance sector when my father suggested Construction Management as a potential option. As I researched the available University courses, I was pleased to learn that by pursuing a Construction Management and Economics degree, I would be entering into a profession within the built environment industry that also offered an element of legal and finance; as well as offering me the opportunity to get out from behind a desk. In the early days at University, I was also introduced to the AIQS which led me to eventually choosing Quantity Surveying as my major.

Our industry historically has been male dominated however during my time as a QS I have been in the fortunate position of working with and for many talented female industry professionals. The number of women in the industry is increasing year on year and that is something we should all celebrate and promote.

2.

YOU ARE NOW PRESIDENT OF THE AIQS VIC/TAS CHAPTER AS OF SEPTEMBER 2016 – WHAT WILL YOU BE PROMOTING? WHAT IS OF INTEREST TO YOU FOR THE VICTORIA CHAPTER?

Late last year, as the Chapter Council was discussing strategies of increasing membership, I did a data analysis of the percentage of female members in comparison to the total number of members in the VIC Chapter. Whilst initially I did it out of interest and curiosity, the statistics were both alarming and disappointing. Only 20% of the VIC Chapter members were female and of the 45 members who are a Fellow, Honorary Fellow or Life Fellow, only one member was female. Our National average is lower at 14% females compared to our male counterparts. I recalled from my University days that my course had a good balance of male and females and even when I entered the workforce, I worked in an environment where there was a good gender balance, including working with females in high positions.

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Why are females not coming through as members? Is there a difference in perception to the membership between male and female? As Chapter President, I seek to understand why women are resistant in pursuing membership with the AIQS despite staying in the profession and to provide assistance to overcome any barriers they may face. Whilst a two-year term may not be a long time, during this period I intend to make a change and create awareness within the industry that it is an issue not to be ignored. The Certified Quantity Surveyor (CQS) status comes into effect this year, which will elevate the status of our profession. It is important that the people in our profession recognise the effort the Institute has made to get to where we are today and as much as I would like to see our members applying for the CQS status, I hope to also see an improved gender balance of our membership overall. In addition to the above, the VIC/TAS Chapter acknowledges the need to expose our younger generation to the Quantity Surveying profession. We have identified that targeting students whilst at the more junior level (Year 8, 9, 10) would be beneficial as often when they have reached their VCE years 11 & 12, decisions on subjects have already been made. We aim to speak to career councillors and to younger students with the aim of creating


The Certified Quantity Surveyor (CQS) status comes into effect this year, which will elevate the status of our profession." awareness of our profession and our contribution to the wider construction industry.

3.

HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?

I started at Padghams & Partners (currently Currie & Brown) in 2007 as a Cadet QS working part-time as I was completing my final year at the University of Melbourne. I stayed with the firm for the next 9 years up until joining MBMpl in June 2016. In June 2016, I took a leap of faith; left my comfort zone and joined MBMpl to pursue a different kind of growth, to experience new opportunities as well as challenges in a different environment and have never looked back. I am very fortunate to have worked in an industry with employers who have and continue to provide me with a solid foundation to build my career and support my continued growth.

4.

Since the start of my career, I have predominantly worked on projects in both the Healthcare and Aged Care sector. I learn something new from every project that I have been involved in and value the opportunity to work with different project teams and clients. The sense of satisfaction from working on projects that have significant social and community impact has always been a motivation for me, and keeps me interested in what I do. Of significance to me is the redevelopment of a local hospital project. I first worked on the project from 2008 as a Graduate assisting the Senior Cost Manager; to 2012 where I led the project as the Senior Cost Manager for the two stage redevelopment of the community base hospital.

5.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY BARRIERS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS? No, to be honest. I have been very fortunate with the people I have worked with and the projects I have worked on and have not experienced any barriers that I can think of. However, I am sure that there are women out there that have not been as lucky as I have which is why we need to continue to promote and support women coming up through the industry.

6.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN KEEN TO BECOME A QS? Do it!

The opportunities in this choice of career are aplenty. I have travelled interstate and internationally with this profession supported both by my employer and the AIQS; worked on various projects for both public and private sector clients, and hope others interested in this field would find it as rewarding as I have.

ANY FURTHER COMMENTS OR THOUGHTS? The passion to learn, pursue and grow has certainly helped me both personally and professionally enabling me to achieve what I have today.

... timeline .

2005

Graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BA in Planning & Design

2007

Graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BA Hons in Property & Construction

2007

Started working as a cadet QS for Padghams (currently Currie & Brown)

2010

Appointed Senior Cost Manager for Currie & Brown (previously Sweett Group Australia)

2013

Elected Treasurer of the VIC/ TAS Chapter Council

2014

Appointed Associate for Currie & Brown (previously Sweett Group Australia)

2014

Young Quantity Surveyor Group (YQSG) Participant for the Annual PAQS Conference.

2015

Elected Vice President of the VIC/TAS Chapter Council

2016

Appointed Executive Quantity Surveyor for MBMpl Pty Ltd

2016

Elected president of VIC/TAS Chapter Council

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

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Irena Kuzman, MAIQS Business Development Manager, MBMpl Pty Ltd

1.

WHAT SKILLS HAVE HELPED YOU SUCCEED?

Constant inquisitiveness coupled with perseverance to achieving a positive outcome has allowed me to go places and do things I never thought were possible. I was lucky to have wonderful mentors that nurtured this in me, but at the same time taught me the importance of maintaining integrity and mindfulness in everything that I do.

2.

WHAT EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY SINCE YOU STARTED?

There are many reasons to celebrate women in the industry. From raising awareness, to giving recognition, to noting progress made in increasing female participation. However, one reason that I personally feel is of greatest importance is to remind us and everyone else that we belong in this industry.

to our profession, is in digital technology and BIM. It has been fascinating to see how this has changed the methods of project and service delivery not only in Quantity Surveying, but almost all disciplines in the industry.

3.

IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HAS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BECOME MORE INCLUSIVE TO WOMEN?

It is quite apparent that the industry is striving for better gender diversity, and many top firms are proactively pursuing more female talent through initiatives, programs and mentoring.

Sustainable Development gained pace around the time I joined the industry, and it has been very interesting to see it go from idea to establishment of what is now an industry norm.

However there has been very little progress in achieving this within upper levels of management, which is something that needs to be addressed to gain true and equal engagement of the female workforce, and not just mere participation.

Another development more directly linked

How this is remedied is difficult to

24 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

There are many exciting developments for 2017, but the most relevant to all members is the CQS qualification which is aimed at elevating the profession to new heights." pinpoint as there are many contributing factors, but the acknowledgment of the issue and wiliness to fix it is a move in the right direction.


5.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?

Our number one priority is our members, meeting their needs and making sure we serve as a connection between the Institute and the QS community.

4.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY BARRIERS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS?

Unconscious bias is the biggest killer of gender diversity, and it is one barrier that I keep coming up against time and time again. The unconscious assumption that a female employee/co-worker/assistant is going to be/do/say/want something a certain way without any confirmation from said person basically stops progress before it has even begun.

I know it’s a cliché but “there is no ‘I’ in team” would have to be one of the pieces of advice that has stuck in my mind all these years. Mastering the ability to put ego aside for the greater good of the team, but bring your individuality and expertise to achieving a better outcome or solution, is one of the most important things that anyone can achieve in today’s professional environment. Another piece of advice that one of my greatest mentors has given me is "Maintain the rage. Always". It has almost become a mantra that fuels my fire and helps me remain dauntless.

6.

YOU ARE NOW PRESIDENT OF THE AIQS NSW CHAPTER AS OF DECEMBER 2016 – WHAT THEMES/ EVENTS/TOPICS WILL YOU BE PROMOTING? WHAT IS OF INTEREST TO YOU FOR THE NSW CHAPTER?

The NSW Chapter has come a long way in the past couple of years, and my efforts will be to continue and add to this success. Our number one priority is our members, meeting their needs and making sure we serve as a connection between the Institute and the QS community. There are many exciting developments for 2017, but the most relevant to all members

is the CQS qualification which is aimed at elevating the profession to new heights. The Chapter will be working hard to help all our members attain CQS status to allow them to progress in industry and project engagement like never before.

timeline . 2003

Started working as cadet QS at WT Partnership

2006

Graduated from UTS with a B Bld in CE with Honours

2008

Started working as a Quantity Surveyor at MBMpl Pty Ltd

2009

Appointed Cost Manager of the South Sydney region in the "Building the Education Revolution" (BER) government program

2012

Joined the AIQS YQS committee and became Councillor in the NSW Chapter

2013

Elected President of the YQS committee

2014

Won AIQS IVA Future Leader award

2015

Promoted to Business Development Manager of MBMpl Pty Ltd

2016

Elected president of NSW Chapter Council

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 25


Sarah Slattery, AAIQS Director and State Lead, Slattery

Two particularly memorable developments include The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) – both now celebrated as innovative examples of Melbourne design. Sarah is currently Project Director for a number of Slattery’s key projects including Cabrini Hospital MC1, the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Alexander Theatre Redevelopment at Monash University.

1.

HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE INDUSTRY? While I was at university I worked parttime for my fathers company at Slattery. I worked hard juggling university and the challenges of being a young female QS in

Having a supportive network of women and celebrating women for their achievements is definitely something that should be acknowledged and supported in all sectors. I am involved in a number of networking groups for women and this support has helped me so much and led me to where I am today.

a male-dominated industry. My passion for solving problems and helping clients spend their money delivering amazing projects helped drive me to be the best I could be and where I am today.

2.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? I have always loved maths and numbers, buildings and design but was also very passionate about music. When I finished school I was intent on studying music and my mother made the suggestion that maybe I should look at getting into the built environment. After having a long think about it, I went to RMIT and studied a Bachelor of Construction Economics and have never looked back.

26 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

3.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? There are so many projects that I am proud of. One of these would have to be Storey Hall at RMIT in Melbourne. This was one of the first projects I worked on as a QS. It was an amazingly complex project that we were able to help deliver on-time and on-budget. It is a project I will always

GEELONG LIBRARY AND HERITAGE CEN


NTRE

be particularly proud of as it changed the shape of the university by becoming a drawcard for attracting students. Secondly, Geelong Library and Heritage Centre which was completed in 2016, and has really helped to put Geelong on the map. Another project to mention is our Slattery office fitout in Melbourne, which was designed around improving efficiency and increasing staff morale through a beautiful space. This fitout won the International Interior Design Association Global

The main barrier I have faced in my career was around networking. When I was younger I remember going to functions where I was one of only a handful of females surrounded by hundreds of men. I remember feeling very uncomfortable and this was where the idea for the annual Slattery Women’s Lunch originated. It started off in Melbourne and was very small with just 13 women and has now grown with a guest list of 400+ women, and are held nationally. This initiative has enabled women to build their network in a more comfortable environment.

It is true that women now feel more comfortable because the industry is shifting but there is still a long way to go a Property Council of Australia initiative where committees aim to be 40% women, 40% men, and 20% either gender. This initiative has seen some really great results around female participation at senior levels.

SLATTERY OFFICE

Excellence Award for Corporate Office and five years on staff are still coming to work with a smile on their face. I love how design can impact so positively on people’s lives, and this is a perfect example of that. The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, which we are currently working on, really ties in with my own passions for music so to be part of this project is amazing and will be an absolute joy to see once it’s completed..

4.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY BARRIERS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS?

I have noticed a shift in more females holding senior leadership roles and being active in the property industry. More senior women translates to a bigger support network for younger women coming through. - In what ways does the industry as a whole benefit from becoming more diverse?

5.

IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HAS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BECOME MORE OR LESS INCLUSIVE TO WOMEN? WHAT WERE THE SIGNS THAT THE ENVIRONMENT MAY BE SHIFTING? Yes the construction industry has definitely changed over the years and there are now a lot more women. I served on the Diversity Committee for the Property Council in Victoria for the past two years and there were some amazing transitions seen around women’s involvement. 40:40:20 is

Businesses do better when there is diversity. Our clients are diverse and want different things and we need to meet their needs. The industry benefits from the varying perspectives that women bring. We need to focus on unconscious bias, which is a big issue facing our industry. It is true that women now feel more comfortable because the industry is shifting but there is still a long way to go.

6.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? The most important career advice I have received is to be authentic and genuine. Be true to yourself and always back yourself.

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 27


UniPhi

SPONSORED STORY

COSTS BENCHMARKING

Over the past 5 years, UniPhi has worked closely with leading cost consulting and engineering businesses to automate the capture of key benchmark data and develop interfaces for the analysis and reporting of this data, winning to Australian Business Awards for innovation along the way. With work to improve and perfect this outcome ongoing, Mark Heath, UniPhi’s Founder and Managing Director reflects on the journey to date.

Both cost and quantity benchmarks are commonly requested by clients (both internal and external) of cost management services. Providing this data is an onerous and low value add task of the cost estimator. When brendan lukascost managers receive requests of this nature, or alternatively, when assessing the validity of a cost plan, manual processes are followed. Spreadsheets are compiled, paper based bulk checks done and MS Word reports written. This is both time consuming and prone to error. This is because many organisations do not have a centralised benchmarking database and reporting solution and those that do capture this information as a side exercise to their day to day activities. Pressure on cost managers to provide indicative estimates for early stage investment appraisals drives the need for cost benchmarking solutions that can provide the basis for parametric modelling. Using benchmarks to sense check estimates, assess design principals and guide early stage investment decisions is logical and can value add services that the cost manager can provide. Unlocking the valuable IP stored in years of estimates and post contract cost control reports along the way. The biggest issue to completing benchmark analysis is the time taken to collate and verify cost information into an ad-hoc spreadsheet or a standard benchmark database. As this work is unpaid work (from a cost consultancy perspective) it is often a rushed afterthought and the time taken means there is little left to analyse and interpret the results. For those organisations that have built a bespoke benchmarking system, the problem becomes its maintenance and expansion as the capture of information in the database is again an unpaid and thankless task. At UniPhi, we saw the opportunity to incorporate

28 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

the capture of benchmark data into the standard process of estimating and managing post contract cost information. UniPhi’s software was already designed around the capture of project by project portfolio information and already had a cost management module and a contract management module so this gave us a head start. The next key piece of software development was the integration of industry standard estimating tools with our software. Systems integration has evolved rapidly over the last three years with the release by software vendors of web services and APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow for intercommunication without

THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTOR OF BENCHMARKING SOFTWARE IS TO EMBED THE CENTRALISED COST DATA CAPTURE INTO THE COST MANAGERS DAY TO DAY, REMOVING THE NEED FOR COST BENCHMARKING TO BE A SIDE ACTIVITY the need to know the other systems architecture. This evolution allowed us to quickly solve the importing of a cost plan problem. Now, the “killer app” for the end user is to import cost plans at the press of a button. However, we also recognised that we needed a way to incentivise the cost manager to import their cost


LOCATION COMPARISON ELEMENT COMPARISON

LONDON NEW YORK

ELEMENT

AVERAGE COST RATE

PROJECT A

PROJECT B

PRELIMINARIES

266

475

826

BUILDING

2,460

2,471

4,137

DUBAI

OTHER COST

30

31

420

SYDNEY

TOTAL COST

2,756

2,977

5,383

SINGAPORE LOS ANGELES

1000

2000

3000 AVG. COST/FECA

4000

estimate into the system. If we could integrate the import of the cost plan into the way a cost manager worked then we would resolve the issue of a system becoming stale over time. The solution was to simplify the method of documenting the cost plan outcome by having a document template engine that removes the need to generate the cost plan letter in MS Word and allows data imported into the system to be reused in the letter dynamically. Stylesheets could be developed that ensure the end report renders to PDF with the particular organisations style guide applied for a professional looking finish. This engine was also used post contract to generate progress payment recommendations, bank reports and PCG reports; incentivising the cost manager to update the cost estimate into a tender price estimate. The third piece of the puzzle was creating a link between pre and post contract costs. As the tendered price is normally captured against trades, a link needs to occur between this trade structure and the element structure. Again, this can’t be a manual process or else it just won’t be done. When the trade price is updated, the elemental price needs to automatically update as well (the caveat to this is the level to which this linking occurs). Next, and of critical concern for the cost information, is the validity of the data over time. The system needs to be able to inflate old cost plans. This “tender price index” should be two factored on location and time. Capturing a valid two factored index is crucial to the

5000

success of the cost data into the future, however, even if this component is missing, there is still significant benefit to the quantity and cash flow data over time. Finally, there needs to be a reporting engine that gives answers to all the possible benchmarking questions. Putting all this together means that the cost manager not only gains a benchmarking database for analysis and value add but also streamlines their more mundane task of report writing. Like most software that drives change, getting end users to utilise this process is easier said than done. Key hurdles to achieving an automated process for capturing benchmark data include: 1. Deciding on a standard elemental structure – Answer for buildings, just use an industry standard (e.g. NPWC, NRM etc) 2. Getting estimators to consistently estimate using this structure – Answer, create a template and sell the downstream benefits of automated sense checks and benchmark data. Of course this isn’t the greatest answer with commitment from the organisations leaders also being crucial. 3. Getting estimates to have inherited control quantities at the elemental level – As per 2 above 4. Matching tendered price back to this elemental structure – Answer, live with this data being at the summary level (e.g. substructure, superstructure)

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 29


Reporting capability able to create the following:

BENCHMARK RATIO

1. Average elemental rates for particular sectors, project types, asset types and work types for a particular location or across locations or across a sample set of projects

$ M²

rather than the elemental level and drill down only when there’s large variances pre and post. 5. Indexing prices for both time and location – Answer, use industry metrics where possible and create your own for further competitive advantage if you feel there’s a saleable benefit. 6. Getting the template engine to be flexible enough to support the various methods of reporting – Answer, if it’s good enough for 75% of cost plan reports so focus on these and don’t require 100%. This is the most complicated part of the puzzle and requires iterative feedback and commitment to compromise to achieve a new styled report with data and analysis playing precedence of style and form.

From a more general perspective, a significant hurdle is the creation of trust in the end outputs. Cost managers need to be precise in their estimates so it is a huge leap of faith to get them to trust an algorithm that might create an estimate in minutes or even to utilise the benchmark data in sense checking their current cost plan. This is where there is still an opportunity for the industry to evolve and become analysers rather than creators of cost information. The evidence we have collated on the law of large numbers has shown than building large databases of cost benchmark information reduces the need for that information to have everything 100% correct for each cost plan. An example is a museum in Perth that was estimated using a cost algorithm from benchmark data generated from US Cost plans. The estimate was with $1m of the bottom up estimate. Ultimately, organisations that invest in systems and processes focused on unlocking their IP end up having: A centralised database and intuitive interface that connects to core cost planning tools that allows cost managers to quickly and accurately import their estimates.

30 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

2. Average trade rates over the past 12 months in a specific location to update a rate library in a cost planning tool 3. Average cost per floor rates as a bar chart for particular sectors, project types, asset types and work types for a particular location or across locations 4. Efficiency and design ratios, for example wall to floor ratio, wall area finishes comparison, perimeter over plan ratio and functional units to floor area etc. 5. List of Architects from most expensive to cheapest for a specific work type (e.g. New Build, Refurbishment etc) in a particular sector and similar asset type (e.g School) 6. List of the top 10 most expensive buildings (based on whatever ratio the user chooses for example floor rate) by asset type (e.g. museums, office towers, residential apartments etc) across a location and period of time. 7. Design characteristics and functional units of each project listed (e.g. excavation required, area per floor, no. of levels, no. of rooms etc) 8. Using past projects, phase new estimates into accurate ‘S’ Curve cash flow

These outputs can differentiate the cost manager and provide real value to an increasingly commoditised service offering.

COST BENCHMARKING AWARDS ABA100 WINNER

IN 2015, UNIPHI WAS ONCE AGAIN BEEN RECOGNISED AS AN ABA100 WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS AWARD FOR PRODUCT INNOVATION FOR ITS DEVELOPMENT OF BENCHMARKING SOFTWARE

ABA100 WINNER

IN 2014, UNIPHI WAS RECOGNISED AS AN ABA100 WINNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS AWARD FOR INNOVATION FOR ITS DEVELOPMENT OF BENCHMARKING SOFTWARE

GLOBAL UNITE

IN 2013, UNIPHI WAS CORE TO GLOBAL UNITE WINNING AECOM’S EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR BEST INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

This special feature has been brought to you by UniPhi, for further information or if you have any questions in relation to this article please visit http://uniphi-software.com or contact info@uniphi.com.au


SPOTLIGHT

Trudi Kirk, AAIQS Associate, Currie & Brown

As an Associate based in the Currie & Brown Melbourne office, Trudi is responsible for Cost Planning and Management providing a proactive and professional service to her clients. Trudi has been responsible for facilitating numerous successful project outcomes and has gained a broad cross section of exposure and experience, in all aspects of Cost Management and Quantity Surveying on a wide range of building construction projects including, commercial, community service, religious, residential, education, health and aged care.

1.

HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A QS? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ROLE? My first role was as a graduate Quantity Surveyor. I remember my first few days was measuring up a country hospital project into functional areas. Prior to this I’d been working for many years as a book-keeper and was used to money balancing to the last cent. But no-one told me that measurement was not quite the exact science that I thought it should be. I

Diversity benefits the industry as it encourages our young people to choose the career they’re most interested in, and not what is perceived as appropriate, which in turn gives employers in the industry a wider range of talent to choose from.

think after I measured my functional areas, and tried to balance to the overall area of the building, I spent a day looking for the mistake I’d made, as my functional areas added up to something like 5m2 less than the overall area of the building which was something like 1500 m2.

2.

WHAT PROJECTS ACROSS YOUR CAREER THUS FAR ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? I can’t say that I’ve ever thought that much about my projects after I’ve finished them, unless I’m out somewhere and it’s to show my 11 year old son some of the projects I was involved in. He’s a captive audience that is easily impressed, doesn’t realise that the component of the project I work on is just that – part of the overall process. But I think the projects I am most proud of at the end are the projects that have presented challenges along the way, or that I have learned from. My first project was the University of Adelaide New Engineering Building (now called the IngKarni Wardli Building). I worked on that all the way through from the

early cost planning stages right through to final account. At the time I worked on that project, I was barely out of University, but was given the opportunity to run with the Contract Administration with only about 12 months experience at the time. I learned a lot – survived the experience and there’s probably not much more to say than that.

3.

WHAT CHANGES DO YOU FORESEE IN THE QS PROFESSION OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? I know what I’d like to see, and that would be better uptakes of technologies, and developments of programs to make the day to day that we do more streamlined. When I think back over the last ten years, I think the big change has been going from literally a scale ruler and printed drawings to computerised measurement. I think though, there is still a long way to go.

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 31


4.

IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE BENEFIT FROM BECOMING MORE DIVERSE? At the risk of stating the obvious, I think diversity is simply a way of life now, and includes a lot more than just being a woman in the Construction/QS Profession. Diversity embraces all the qualities about ourselves that make us different from other people and recognizes that whilst we’re all about delivering the same end result, we’ll go towards that result with completely different agendas and from a different perspective. I’m of the opinion that this diversity encourages everyone to learn to communicate in a manner appropriate for the audience, which is an invaluable skill to keep building as you work through your career. I also think that diversity benefits the industry as it encourages our young people to choose the career they’re most interested in, and not what is perceived as appropriate, which in turn gives employers in the industry a wider range of talent to choose from.

5.

WHO INSPIRES YOU? There is definitely no one person who inspires me. I’ve worked for a number of different leaders in my career so far, and the people who have inspired me the most are those I’ve learned something from that may not even be related to technical skills, but are related to behaviours. Those people are the mentors who have taught me how to communicate, how to conduct myself in meetings, and how to adapt to client expectations

I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of people I would call both mentors and friends. I try to focus on the strengths of those people, as they inspire me to be constantly bettering myself.

6.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN KEEN TO GET INTO CONSTRUCTION/QS PROFESSION? WHAT SKILLS HAVE HELPED YOU SUCCEED? Have I succeeded? I think I’m still on the way, and am still building my skills (no shameless self-promotion here). Act like a woman – I’d like to think we’ve moved on from the perception of women being required to act like men in the industry. A wise man once told me you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Be feminine, be personable, you can always be taught technical skills. Be enthusiastic, willing to learn, and not afraid to try and fail. When you are first learning, you are expected to try and fail. You’ll be looked upon more favourably for trying and failing, than for not trying at all. Just own your mistakes, try and learn from them, and hopefully not do them again. Be flexible and adaptable – that’s how you get opportunities. Put your hand up and volunteer for projects, especially while you’ve got people around you to support you and teach you. Communicate with your employer. In my opinion this is especially important if you have family obligations. I am fortunate in that I have a partner who can pick up my slack if I’ve got deadlines to meet,

32 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

but it also goes the other way when he is travelling. I have found that if you work hard and put in when you can, there will not be an issue when you have to take a bit of time out to meet family obligations. Another wise piece of advice I received once upon a time, was to always keep calm. This can be hard, as I think (rightly or wrongly) that women may be inclined to take criticism personally when often this is not the case. In these instances we should all take a deep breath, and focus on the subject of the criticism which may in fact be as small as a rate in a cost plan.

ANY FURTHER COMMENTS OR THOUGHTS? Don’t underestimate the value of your University Education for the less tangible skills such as meeting conflicting deadlines, and group work. When you get into the work force, clients aren’t going to care how many cost plans you’ve got due on the same day, and you’re not going to like everyone you work with, so you’ll have to learn to adapt and overcome. It’s one of the most important, but less valued skills you learn when you’re at University, and it’s not until you have been working for a while that you’ll realize that. And finally, you may be an expert in your field, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. It’s perfectly ok so say you’ll run something past a colleague back in the office if you don’t know.

...

Always keep learning, updating your skills and taking on new challenges.


INSIGHT

LOOKING FORWARD

LOOKING FORWARD 1 6 built environment academics share their insight on the top topics for the year ahead!

CUSTOM BUILT RENTAL HOUSING

Hazel Easthope Senior Research Fellow University of New South Wales

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the potential for a more developed market for institutional investment in rental housing in Australia. This is an exciting shift. What we are talking about here is custom built rental buildings funded by investment capital and managed by professional rental management companies. This has the potential to bring all sorts of benefits to tenants in regards to security of tenure and quality of dwellings and to investors in terms of efficiencies resulting from economies of scale and risk diversification. While other countries have had developed institutional rental sectors for some time (such as the US), there has been less appetite in Australia for this type of housing investment until now. It seems that the stars are now aligning in Australia to make institutional investment in rental more attractive. Institutions with money to invest (such as superannuation funds) are finding it harder to find real estate to invest in as there are a finite number of commercial properties available. There is also interest because evidence from the US suggests that investment in rental housing is counter-cyclical so when things are going badly in other sectors they tend to go well in the rental sector, making institutional investment in rental housing an attractive option for diversifying risk in investment portfolios. At the same

time there is an openness on the part of governments at all scales to consider alternative means of providing housing during a ‘housing affordability crisis’ in Australia, opening up the possibility of a discussion about how institutional investment in rental housing might be facilitated or enabled through changes to planning regulations, taxation laws or other government interventions.

2

BUILDING DEFECTS

Hazel Easthope Senior Research Fellow University of New South Wales This is not a new topic, but it’s one that’s going to continue to get traction this year. Images of the fire engulfing the Lacrosse towner in Docklands back in 2014 and the revelation that the same combustible cladding was used on apartment buildings around the country brought widespread public attention to a problem that was already well known to those within the construction and property management industries – that there are systemic problems with building defects in Australian residential developments. Building defects are a wicked problem with multiple factors contributing to the likelihood of significant defects occurring, including (but not limited to) the availability of skilled tradesmen (more pressing during building booms), the introduction and availability of new

building materials, increasing innovation in the design of buildings made possible with the introduction of computer-aided design, project-management approaches to construction (especially when project managers do not have the necessary skills), the withdrawal of government oversight in the building process, and the prevalence of off-the-plan sales. Defects occur in all types of buildings, but the increased attention being given to defects in residential and mixed use apartment buildings highlights the complexity of rectifying these problems when multiple owners are involved in dealing with defects in complex building forms.

3

MANAGING RESILIENCE ISSUES IN OUR CITIES

Sara Wilkinson Associate Professor University of Technology Sydney We are in a period of rapid urbanisation, population growth and manifestations of climate change. In early February 2016 Sydney and other parts of NSW experienced intense heat and intense rainfall, which lead to threats of potential power outages and blackouts; all within the space of a few days. It took hundreds of thousands of years for global population to grow to 1 billion, in another 200 years it grew seven times. By 2011, world population had reached 7 billion and in 2015, it increased to about 7.3 billion, and the UN predict it to reach 8.5 billion in 2030. This growth is driven mostly

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 33


by greater numbers of people surviving to reproductive age, combined with considerable changes in fertility rates, increasing urbanisation and accelerating migration. These trends have far-reaching implications for future generations. Our world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. More than half the world’s population now lives in towns and cities, and by 2030 this number will increase to around 5 billion. By 2050 it is estimated 66% of the total population will be urbanised. Although much of this urbanisation will unfold in Asia and Africa, bringing enormous social, economic and environmental transformations; all countries and cities will be affected. Urbanisation could usher a new era of well-being, resource efficiency and economic growth, however cities also house high concentrations of poverty and inequality. Our cities will grow, in many cases, faster than ever before; Sydney is predicted to grow by 1.3 million between now and 2030. As such, we need planning and governance that delivers transition from one level, scale and type of development to others at the city scale, ensuring infrastructure, including green infrastructure, can support growing populations and changing land uses. Climate change is held to be one of the greatest challenges of our time, unless its all a hoax of course, or ‘fake news’. The World Bank Group Report in 2015 on Building Regulation for Resilience: Managing Risks for Safer Cities noted in the last two decades natural disasters have claimed 1,300,000 lives, affected 4.4 billion people – over half the global population, and have created US$2 trillion of economic losses. They noted that high-income countries with advanced building code systems experienced 47% of disaster but only 7% of fatalities and therefore a prima facie case exists for rigorous regulation. Significantly The World Bank Group called for a fundamental shift from managing disasters to reducing the underlying risks. Increases in global temperature,

sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries. These are examples of so called ‘chronic’ stresses. It is said the survival of many societies, and of the planet’s biological support systems, are at risk. As a response, the UN published the 2015, ‘Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development’ report. It stated that 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of a universal Agenda, building on the Millennium Development Goals and completing what they failed to achieve. The goals and targets are integrated, indivisible and balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. The goal that relates most directly to the built environment and green infrastructure is Goal 11. ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ (UN 2015). Clearly ‘inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,’ urban settlements and cities provide the setting for the delivery of many of the other sustainable development goals too. For the record, here, I read inclusive as being diverse. For example, Goal 3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages’, is clearly related in part to the quality of the buildings in which people live and work, as well as access to green space. Our role as built environment stakeholders is crucial and cannot be under-estimated. At the professional level we are not yet fully engaged in, or aware of, the 49 resilience issues identified by the Rockefeller Foundation in the 100 Resilient Cities programme. Sydney and Melbourne are both in the first round of cities in the programme and have published resilience strategies. Few would know what the resilience issues facing these cities are, nor the difference

34 - MARCH 2017 - THE BUILDING ECONOMIST

between acute and chronic issues. For the record, Melbourne has 14 issues which include; ageing infrastructure, coastal flooding, declining or ageing population, disease outbreak, drought, economic shifts, heatwave, lack of affordable housing, rainfall flooding, rapid growth, rising sea level and coastal erosion, social inequity, terrorism and wildfires. Sydney has been relatively moderate, identifying 10 issues many of which are shared with Melbourne. Sydney issues are; ageing infrastructure, heat wave, infrastructure failure, lack of affordable housing, over taxed/under developed/unreliable transportation system, rapid growth, rising sea level and coastal erosion, social inequity, terrorism and wildfires. Clearly some of these issues are not related to buildings directly such as social inequality, however many are and there is a role and potential for built environment professionals to take a leadership role in advising clients about these issues and how we can mitigate their impact through changes in design, construction and operation practices in our built environment.

4

DIGITAL DATA

Julie Jupp Associate Professor University of New South Wales The integration and utilisation of large volumes of data is not new in construction. However a new and particularly pertinent form surrounds the role that digital data streams are playing on complex building and infrastructure projects. New capabilities in digital data streaming are enabling better decisions in real-time – and they’re not just decisions that impact project performance; the aggregation of data derived from the


field has important benefits for construction companies at the business level. Leading construction and BIM consulting companies are generally known for their digital engineering services and are increasingly using drones to stream information from site back into workflows and production control systems in the office. The stream of real-time data from site events is increasingly seen as a way of creating new value. Tier 1 companies are driving these new capabilities but what we will continue to see are Tier 2 and 3 contractors beginning to ‘piggy-back’ or even ‘leap frog’ the R&D initiatives surrounding intelligent construction services that leverage innovative digital data streaming technologies. In contrast to the manual collection of inputting the more conventional project management data, digital data streams are generated as project and organisational events occurring in real time, shortening the decision-making cycle and deepening a construction company’s understanding of its operations, supply chain and future market. Although data processing has been employed throughout the last 50 years of construction, the past few decades have marked an increased usage, with a progression from simply amassing large volumes of data using standard manualentry project and field management systems, to employing automated data harvesting, processing and analytics strategies. Over the next five years, these trends in data collection and analysis will culminate in increasingly sophisticated digital data streams that target construction environments – streams that aggregate and agglomerate data – providing the large quantities of high quality data required to utilise more advanced forms of analytics, including predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). From the AI standpoint, the construction industry is set to benefit over the next 5-10 years in two distinct ways from machine intelligence. The first is what we typically think of when the application of AI comes to mind in a construction context and that is the intelligent support and replacement

of a variety of manual labour activities that are either inefficient or present some level of risk that could otherwise be avoided. For example, the use of AI on site is steadily growing in construction; in particular on the jobsites of Tier 1 contractors who are applying machine vision in robotics applications such as automated bricklaying and the use of autonomous construction vehicles and material handling robots. As these technologies evolve, the use of machine vision capabilities will also grow in the next five years in terms of its use in surveying and analysing materials and structures. AI techniques have wellestablished applications in the development, quality control testing, and optimisation of building systems, which creates a tighter coupling between the design and fabrication stages; we will continue to see these intelligent capabilities and workflows expand into new project management approaches that leverage AI onsite, including its application in onsite safety management so as to predict injuries. However it is the second distinct way that AI can help the construction that is set to disrupt the industry and this is its application to business management. Increasing levels of maturity in digital data streaming technologies in construction has the potential to provide the much needed transformation of traditional business models. As more information becomes available and more aspects of the construction project and an organisation’s business units harvest digital data streams, a new set of tactical and strategic opportunities will emerge for these firms. Tactical approaches include producing immediate action (process-to-actuate) or longer-term analysis (assimilate-to-analyse) based on aggregated data streams. Strategic initiatives include using data insights from multiple project programmes, which may be defined at a regional, national, state or local level, to identify new market opportunities in global business environments. As digital data streaming technologies evolve and the value of the data that can be harvested becomes better understood in the construction industry, firms will then need to

learn to integrate this data into a new modus operandi. There are a number of important characteristics to assess a contractor’s readiness to handle these capabilities, including the company’s mindset, skillset, dataset, and toolset – all characteristics that are common to any IT adoption process.

5

SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION IN ALL WAYS

Vivian WY Tam, Associate Professor & Khoa N Le, Senior Lecturer Western Sydney University Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (2012) predicted that in the coming decades, mankind would likely witness an increase in general temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events, such as storms, floods, droughts and bushfires. If no action was taken to reduce emissions, the greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere would double that of the pre-industrial level by the year 2035, leading to a temperature increase of 2oC. Further, it is predicted that there would be more than 50% chance of a temperature increase of 5oC in a long term, leading to a drastic change in mankind living patterns. Over the past decade, based on projected values and observations of an Intergovernmental panel on climate change, several other risks were identified namely, sealevel rise, drought and drying, ocean acidification and extreme events.The State of Climate Report 2014 (Bureau of Metereology Australia & Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, 2014) expected a further decrease in rainfall in Southern Australia and droughts were projected to be severe and more frequent. For 1901 to 2011, the mean global sea level had risen

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INSIGHT

LOOKING FORWARD

by 19cm (Intergovernmental panel on climate change, 2014). Further in 2013, the United Kingdom experienced its hottest heat wave compared to at least 500 years back and it was expected that by 2040 half of all the summers in Europe would be hot or even hotter than in 2003 (Committee on climate change, 2014). The Australian government position paper on adapting to climate change in Australia (Department of Climate Change Australia, 2010) identified that climate change risks would be pervasive, having an impact on economy, society and environment. In 2015, based on the projected facts and figures, Australia was to set emission targets by 2020 with the consultation of business and community. Focusing on all the facts and figures, it was inevitable to focus on drivers which lead to this severe adverse impact on environment. Generally sustainable development deals with the use of resources in a much efficient and effective way without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Further, it is practiced in many disciplines and construction industry being one of the main sectors which has adverse impact on the environment, adoption of sustainable construction practices is considered as a sheer need of the society. Therefore, considering that requirement, a greenbuilding concept is now being embraced by the construction industry and by now there are many green-building rating tools being developed to evaluate their performance worldwide. However, one of the main barriers of developing green buildings is the misconception prevailing in the society on the cost premiums. The life-cycle cost savings of green buildings are not yet considered and perceived by the society. This plays havoc in greenbuilding development and there is clearly a lack of life-cycle costing options available in the initial stages of greenbuilding development which prevents the industry professionals from making informed decisions.

6

REDUCING GREENHOUSE - GAS EMISSIONS USING LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS

Vivian WY Tam, Associate Professor & Khoa N Le, Senior Lecturer Western Sydney University Greenhouse-gas emissions have become one of the most impacting environmental issues in today’s society. A greenhouse gas can be defined as any gas which absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere. Typical greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are CO2 of about 76.7%, methane (CH4) of about 14.3%, nitrous oxide (N2O) of about 7.9%, and fluorinated gases (F–gases) such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) of about 1.1% (Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change 2014). A rapidly increasing trend in global CO2 emissions particularly since the early nineties (23.64% since 1990) has led to the generation of about 50,000 million tonnes of CO2-e worldwide in 2010 (Joint Research Centre 2015), of which approximately: 30% come from China or 10.6 million tonnes, 15% from the United States of America (USA) or 5.9 million tonnes and 10% come from the European Union or 3.4 million tonnes. According to climate experts, global warming is directly proportional to the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases. In Australia, the annual average temperature has increased 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1910 and substantial warming has occurred in Australia’s surrounding oceans. Further scientific climate-change evidence shows that sea levels rise and change with marine and terrestrial life have occurred to consistently react to the warming of our planet. The heaviest greenhouse-gas emitters in the world are China, USA

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and India, with Australia being at the lower end of the world’s top 20 polluters, representing around 1.1% of global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2015 (Joint Research Centre 2015). However, with about 26 tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) per person, Australia has the highest pollution rate among all developed countries. Even achieving the unconditional emissions target of: (i) 5% reduction from the year 2000’s levels by the year 2020; and (ii) 45% reduction (30% for Europe and 36% for USA) in emissions intensity from the year’s 2005 levels (Australian Government 2015), Australia is still expected to have the highest per person emissions and emissions intensity by the year 2020 among the developed countries. Therefore, extra efforts in reducing greenhouse gases are imperatively important. Life-cycle analyses not only can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions but also reducing cost, energy consumption and improving energy efficiency. However, these need to be prepared and determined by organisations’ strategic planning.

7

THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESSIONS

Sara Wilkinson Associate Professor University of Technology Sydney

These are indeed the most uncertain of times. 2017 has got off to a tumultuous start, particularly with respect to the inauguration and initial policies introduced by President Trump. Almost daily controversy surrounds every tweet. At a less media catching level,


many professional bodies globally are reviewing their future prospects as digital technologies continue to disrupt and challenge previous practices and professional services offered to clients. For example, lawyers report that many disputes are now resolved online with individuals either using people residing in other countries and charging lower fees, or, using the internet to determine how previous similar disputes have been resolved. Accountants too are feeling the impact of digital technologies. Some research has raised concerns about the content of existing education provision and whether academic institutions are educating professionals for the 20th century, but not the 21st century. Along with perceived threats of digital disruption, artificial intelligence, automated services such as valuations, declining fees, ageing professional body memberships, the built environment professions need to consider their place along with requirements for education and knowledge and skills of existing and future members. What does the future hold for us? Is it positive or are we unknowingly entering a period of inexorable decline? Whilst the initial response to change is typically apprehension and a fear of the unknown, it is possible that some positive outcomes might result. The key is to be aware of the changes and the implications of those changes, and at the same time, reviewing where new opportunities might lie. We need to identify what these issues, threats, challenges and opportunities might be for Australian built environment professionals in the context of new knowledge, emerging trends and practices. An API study conducted at UTS and RMIT in 2016 with colleagues Associate Professor Hera Antoniades and Dr Dulani Halvitigala, found that there were 12 key issues threats and challenges facing Australian valuers, and identified 12 knowledge areas and skills that would be required in the future, as well as 10

important emerging trends and practices members would need to contend with. Threats included issues such as digital disruption, loss of control of data, fragmented representation, declining fee levels and a lack of nationwide uniform regulations and practices. The knowledge and skills required in the future included a need to develop more inter-disciplinary skills, develop knowledge in understanding ‘business strategy’ and soft skills, develop more market forecasting skills and a stronger awareness of property cycles and forecasting trends and to develop advanced data analysis techniques. Whereas the emerging trends included globalisation of practice, increased collaboration, increased employee diversity and strong leadership. Emerging trends and education needs for QSs should also be explored and reviewed.

8

REFORMS TO NEGATIVE GEARING AND CAPITAL GAINS

Hera Antoniades Associate Professor University of Technology Sydney During the last 12 to 18 months politicians, media and industry argue whether or not reforms are needed for the property industry with regards to these taxation themes. There is speculation that if negative gearing were abolished or modified this would help with the affordable housing crisis. However the difficulty with this change is that by assisting one sector to benefit, another sector is disadvantaged. For instance, the “mums and dads” who purchased their one investment property for their future retirement would not

be able to sustain ownership of their investment property if the negative gearing option was not available. There are varying research outcomes which demonstrate the potential savings and benefits if the negative gearing was abolished or modified, with the majority of these outcomes focusing on government savings and a possible price reduction for property. However, there is no forecast on the long term impact for future retirees who aim to acquire one investment property. Similarly changing the capital gain application can also have an adverse impact for current investors, planning to sell their investment property in the future. Whilst reform for negative gearing and capital gain calculations are long overdue for the built environment, it is necessary for the government to take into consideration all affected players; and more importantly, the blame for the lack of affordable housing might not necessarily lie solely within these taxation regimes but could also be directed at other issues such as: potential home buyers lacking an adequate savings plan ; unrealistic expectations when selecting the location, type and size of the property to purchase; inability to temporarily sacrifice lifestyle expectations and needs; stamp duty placing an enormous burden to the existing cost of purchasing a home; lack of public transport infrastructure for quick access to workplace and other social requirements; lack of public infrastructure for recreational activities, educational institutes and shopping needs. In summary, taxation considerations for the built environment industry are long overdue, however it is important to understand the interconnection from various sectors and the positive and negative impacts on housing affordability.

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9

OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING AND FORENSIC TRUST ACCOUNTING

Hera Antoniades Associate Professor University of Technology Sydney During the last 100 years, regulatory policy has been developed to exemplify the standards for social responsibility and ethical behaviour between property agents and their principal. The licensing of property agents in Australia is regulated under the auspices of individual state and territory Offices of Fair Trading. Examples of trust money include deposits on sales, rent from tenants, bonds and prepaid advertising. Transactions relating to deposits on sales usually involve large amounts of money, with property agents normally holding a percentage of this amount in their trust accounts. However, consumers engage in property transactions relatively infrequently and therefore have limited knowledge of the property sector industry. Consequentially, licensing regulation is regarded as an important way of protecting consumers (Fair Trading July 2008). So the safe keeping of these monies held in trust, and the level of competence by the people who supervise this money requires an ethical code of conduct to preserve and enhance consumer protection. However, in recent times, a risk management objective of the legislation has highlighted the need for the correct handling of trust money. For instance, there are many instances where consumers have

lodged complaints against their dealings with real estate agents, and in recent times the consumer complaints have continued to increase. These complaints include non-disclosure of a vested interest, misrepresentation, unethical conduct and trust money fraud. Contributing factors for an increase in trust accounting fraud include the large sums of money processed through the property agency trust account, the ease of access to internet banking with minimal paper trail requirements, and a relaxation on the educational requirements for licensing purposes. Fair Trading has recently undertaken a complete review of the educational criteria and qualifications for the property industry with an intention to overhaul these requirements and re-introduce standards which existed previously. This will be an important year for the property licensing regime if the changes recommended are implemented. Whilst it is expected that ethics and integrity form part of a person’s upbringing, the reinforcement of these principles through education is highly recommended, coupled with a solid understanding of the accounting framework for trust accounts. In conclusion trust accounting and occupational licensing are an important regulatory mechanism to aid consumer protection for property agency transactions. The legislative obligations placed on real estate agents can be enormous and time consuming. However, it is ultimately the licensee of the property agency who is considered accountable for all trust money held on behalf of the property owner, tenants, purchasers and other stakeholders with a vested interest.

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10

REDEVELOPMENT OF AGEING APARTMENT BUILDINGS

Hazel Easthope Senior Research Fellow University of New South Wales

With recent changes in the law in New South Wales (NSW) to allow a majority of owners in a strata scheme to vote to terminate their scheme as the first step towards selling it to a developer or knocking it down for redevelopment, more people have started talking about what to do with their ageing apartment buildings in the long-term. NSW is not alone in this regard, the Northern Territory brought in similar changes before NSW and Western Australia and Queensland are likely to do so shortly. For some strata owners this will be a welcome change that opens up possibilities for capital gains and a better living environment, for others it will be an unwelcome challenge to their property rights and everyday lives. For tenants it will be just another reason to be asked to leave. However, whether or not it results in more strata titled apartment buildings being knocked down and rebuilt, the change in the law will mean that more apartment owners start to talk about what to do with their buildings as they get old and what the alternatives might be to simply patching them up as they wear out. These conversations are important and open up all sorts of potential for the housing industry, not only in terms of rebuilding apartment blocks, but also re-designing and upgrading existing apartment buildings so that they better meet the needs of their residents.


QUESTION SPOTLIGHT

WHY IS DIVERSITY IMPORTANT FOR THE INDUSTRY? Julie Jupp Digital Design and Construction Within educational institutions the number of women in engineering and construction project management roles has remained low, despite university campaigns to show women the diverse range of disciplines on offer. This year alone in the BA Construction Project Management at the University of Technology Sydney, only 20% of our first year intake are women. Some would argue that the gender imbalance in the education pipeline is less significant than equality in the workplace and equality in salary and senior roles. However this argument is flawed and to some extent raises the “chicken and egg” paradox about diversity in the workplace versus diversity in the education pipeline and in my role as a university professor I feel that it’s just as important to fix the gender imbalance at the tertiary education level as it is to address equality in the workplace. Diversity in the university classroom is vital to the continued success of not only the Australian construction industry and economy but also to the new digital capabilities being taught, and this will therefore have impact on the continued digital transformation of traditional working practices. Our digital design and construction subjects here at UTS rely on greater levels of diversity in the problem and project based approach that we take in the Construction Project Management degree. Teaching digital technologies is not just about the ‘picks and clicks’ of software training, it is more about an integrated approach to the technologies, processes and policies used on projects delivered using building information modelling (BIM) and managing multidisciplinary collaborative teams in this context. Fostering

diversity in student teams is difficult when there aren’t enough females to populate groups. We find that diversity in student teams fosters more creative, more flexible, and more innovative outcomes in subjects that are focused on producing digital design and construction outcomes. Now is a great time for women to enroll in degrees that will lead to working in the construction industry, whether that be in a design, engineering or construction based role. New technologies are supporting dramatic changes in not only the way AEC professionals work but also in the way universities approach teaching and learning. The traditional roles that have been responsible for rigid frameworks in tertiary education, professional development, and glass ceilings in the workplace are changing more rapidly due to the digital transformation of the industry. This transformation coupled with the demand for graduates with digital capabilities in BIM and management, provides exciting new opportunities for younger female architects, engineers and construction professionals that did not previously exist. At UTS, we strive to challenge and change the construction industry and we are making great progress. Our teaching and research in the areas of BIM, virtual design and construction, digital engineering, and AI mean that we are increasingly engaged with industry change agents. Practitioners and organisations who first build virtually are able to relate to and support our teaching and research approaches that utilise the virtual world as a vehicle that allows us to take abstract concepts and understand as well as test their application, making learning outcomes more concrete. Although addressing diversity and equality in the construction industry may seem like a daunting challenge, the use of technology in our tertiary institutions means that we can shift construction education away from the

stereotypes that many people still associate with the industry.

Sara Wilkinson Chartered Building Surveyor – Sustainability & Building adaptation LIVE RESEARCH: The Algae Prototype Panel (The APP Project) [2017] / A National Green Roof And Green Wall Policy For Australia [2016-2017] We only have to look at Darwin’s seminal Origin of the Species to learn how diversity is essential to survive and even thrive in the future. It is the way of things; that the fittest are those who survive the best. We should read the fittest as those who take the time to comprehend the world around them and explore different ways of dealing with change. Collectively, it goes without saying that the fittest are also diverse. It is also said the only constant is change; and indeed, these are rapidly changing times. Currently the major change drivers for the future include globalisation, population growth, rapid urbanisation, political instability, a precarious economic future for many as the employment market and jobs change and, of course, climate change. So, the future is uncertain to say the least. Our industry has huge potential to affect many of the changes in respect of the type of built environment we deliver. Undoubtedly some of our fears will be unfounded and other issues, things we should be fearful of, will impact on us without us being fully or even partially cognisant of them. One of the ways of surviving and thriving even, is to embrace diversity and difference. Inclusion as opposed to exclusion.

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Collaboration and cross-disciplinary work will lead to innovative solutions to the new problems we face. As such we are likely to find some of the perceived future problems, if handled well will be opportunities for humankind to live safer, healthier more fulfilling lives. In learning about resilience, it is those individuals, systems and cities that accept that inevitably, we will be affected by adverse chronic and acute issues, events and circumstances that will fare best. If we learn about the causes and nature of these issues and events, and at the same time, appreciate that post event we may not be the same, we can become more resilient. Part of this ability to embrace the future and to be resilient is embracing diversity. My own awareness of diversity in the industry started the day I walked into my first class in 1981 in London, when I looked around and thought ‘where are all the girls?’ I was one of four in a class on 40 odd students. Naively, I hadn’t given it a thought. I was told by one lecturer in a lesson site safety; ‘Sara, I can’t see you going on site, so you don’t have to stay for the class’. When working, I was often mistaken for anyone but the Building Surveyor, however there were as many times when being female worked for me. I was not confrontational and would reason with contractors when snagging properties, and would negotiate to get work redone to the standard set out in the contract. I did some research in the early 2000s about gender diversity in the UK construction industry and found although some things had changed, more progress on diversity was needed. I am sure it remains the case today in some areas, however we are still making progress. There is so much to learn from others. In the last year, as a Building Surveyor I have worked on research projects with a truly diverse group including marine biologists, biologists,

etymologists, a horticulturalist, a psychiatric nurse, an accountant and flooding experts. I have also worked with others from built environmental disciplines including environmental engineering, environmental planners, environmental architects and landscape architects. These colleagues have been based in Rio de Janeiro, Delft, Stockholm, Reading, Delhi as well as Sydney and Melbourne. Furthermore my professional industry contracts are vital sounding boards and partners in my work; and another diverse group. I am able to take some blue-sky thinking and test it out in the ‘real world’; and I am told on occasion, ‘pull your head in Sara’, which is great because occasionally people say ‘hmm, that’s a good idea’. The richness of this diverse environment cannot be underestimated; the opportunity to learn different ways of seeing and being is immense. It is diverse and, for me, it’s the way of the future.

Hazel Easthope Housing Research photo by Quentin Jones of jonesphoto

LIVE RESEARCH: City Living: Urban Consolidation and the Social Sustainability of Cities [2014-2017] / Planning in a Market Economy: The Case of the Compact City [2015-2017] / Equitable [2017] Everybody needs a place to live. Housing is a ‘product’ that everybody wants. This means that the customer base for the housing market is incredibly diverse. It makes sense that the people who design, produce and manage that housing are equally diverse. Varied experiences contribute to broader understandings of the role that housing plays in people’s lives and to diverse ideas and solutions for meeting housing needs.

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Hera Antoniades Property Taxation, Forensic Trust Accounting, & Policy Regulation for Occupational Licensing LIVE RESEARCH: City Living: The Future of the Property Profession in Australia [2016-2017] / Enabling owners to make informed choices about optimum funding mix in their strata property [2016- Present] The built environment is undergoing rapid change, which can be attributed to the changing needs of society coupled with technological advances. For instance this can included community involvement when designing and constructing locations of schools, stores, open spaces and transport needs. And in the work environment, whilst open planned offices appear to be in vogue this does not necessarily indicate workers are more productive and happier. Diversity is important but should not be implemented at the sacrifice of practical considerations.

Vivian WY Tam Construction Engineering and Management LIVE RESEARCH: Life cycle analyses for green building implementation [2013-Present] /Carbonated recycled aggregate for recycled concrete productions [2015-Present] Diversity allows the industry to participate in high-tech research depending on their specific resources and circumstances. However, diversity must also be rigorous and effective to ensure that different diversified methods employing by different parties can be comparable and utilised by other parties. Diversity has long been a traditional technique to combat specific problems in the industry and it could be not useful if it is not effective and efficient.


LEGAL CASE NOTES

SAFETY FIRST The risk of unsafe work environments and the importance of proper management Unsafe work environments continue to plague sections of the construction industry when they may be easily managed and avoided in order to reduce any risk and damage. Quantity Surveyor’s should be sure to: 1. Conduct their work practices to be aligned with a safe working environment and sound reporting and complaints procedures; 2. Educate their employees of the importance of maintaining safe work practices, particularly those on assignment in different environments; and 3. Act as a trusted advisor to their clients assist their clients to maintain a safe working environment to current standards with allowance for the growing diversity in the industry. Unsafe work environments can have a plethora of consequences for Quantity Surveyor’s and others in the construction industry including a very substantial reputational risk and potential liability for the health impacts upon a person as a result of their unsafe work environment.

MATHEWS V WINSLOW CONSTRUCTORS (VIC) PTY LTD [2015] VSC 728 A number of cases have come before the Courts with regard to unsafe work practices. An example of such a case is Mathews v Winslow Constructors (Vic) Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 728 (Mathews), where the Supreme Court of Victoria awarded a female employee over $1.3 million in damages after it was held that the employer had acted negligently in their: (i) Failure to provide a safe working environment for the employee; and (ii) As a result, allowed the employee to

be subjected to persistent and extensive sexual harassment and bullying by fellow colleagues and subcontractors of the Defendant company. The Plaintiff, Kate Mathews, alleged that throughout the course of her employment with Winslow Constructors Pty Ltd (Winslow), the Defendant, the Plaintiff was subjected to frequent abuse, bullying and sexual harassment from employees of Winslow and from others to whom work had been subcontracted by Winslow. This case involved the principle of vicarious liability for the tortious acts of the Defendant’s employees and subcontractors, or in the alternative, were a result of the Defendant’s negligence in failing to provide the Plaintiff with a safe working environment.

DENIAL OF LIABILITY The Defendant initially denied any liability for the acts of their employees and subcontractors and further alleged rather it was contributory negligence. It is, however, to be noted that at the commencement of the fifth day of the Hearing, the Defendant admitted negligence and therefore it was left for only quantum to be determined. An employer has a duty to supervise their employees, including their actions and performance. This duty of care can lead to circumstances, such as that in Winslow, whereby an employer is held responsible for the unsafe work practices of their employees.

FAILURE OF REPORTING SYSTEMS It was found that the Plaintiff was reluctant to complain to the foreman of the project she was working on as the foreman himself had also been responsible for some of the offensive remarks and harassment that the

Plaintiff had received. When the Plaintiff made a complaint to the individual above the foreman in the company hierarchy, the Area Site Manager, he said to leave it with him and the Plaintiff was moved to another site in September 2009. At the new site, the Plaintiff stated that there was no sexual harassment until late June 2010 when, as described by Forest J, “inexplicably, the Plaintiff was moved back to the original site”. Significantly when an employee threatened the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff made contact with the person whom she thought was responsible for Human Resources at the Defendant Company, the individual responded by inviting the Plaintiff to’…come to my place in Warrandyte and we will have a drink and talk about it.’ Reporting systems should be carefully designed in order to fully discharge moral and legal obligations of employers to ensure that complaints are quickly escalated to a proper level then recorded and actioned appropriately. A mechanism should be in place in order to provide a mechanism to address and recover any deviation from acceptable standards.

IMPACT ON THE PLAINTIFF The Plaintiff subsequently resigned from her position at the Defendant company and consulted a number of psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors whom diagnosed her as having a significant chronic post-traumatic stress syndrome and a major depressive disorder as a result of her experiences whilst employed by the Defendant. The Plaintiff described her circumstances as a result of the harassment at 20 as ‘not feeling well enough to work; every day ruminating about what occurred at the Defendant’s site; having difficulty sleeping and in fact sleeps better during

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the day; often will not get out of bed in the morning; will often return to bed during the day; fluorescent jackets, road works…does not like to leave the house on her own; and the pain from the jaw injury sustained as a consequence of grinding her teeth related to the psychiatric illness is getting worse’.

Tribunal the women were awarded damages of $92,000 as the Tribunal found they had been subjected to a hostile work environment. This case demonstrates that women retain the right to work within respectful environments and further sexually permeated environments will not, and should not, be tolerated by the industry.

COURTS VIEW OF THE IMPACT

It is evident from the cases above that ensuring a safe working environment exists for all employees can include:

Forest J at 33, commented that the Plaintiff ‘has suffered chronic and significant psychiatric injuries that have and will continue to diminish the quality of her life’ and as a result awarded the Plaintiff $1,360,027 in damages. The general damages awarded included compensation for the psychiatric injuries and the jaw injury suffered as an indirect result of the conduct of the Defendant’s Employees and Subcontractors.

WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION SUFFER MORE GENDER BIAS THAN WOMEN EMPLOYED IN ANY OTHER INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA It was considered by Forest J that “Ms Mathews has sustained very considerable psychiatric injuries as a direct consequence of the bullying, abuse and sexual harassment levelled at her by employees and subcontractors of Winslow.”

GROWING AWARENESS It is important to note that cases such as Mathews are not uncommon. Horne & McIntosh v Press Clough Joint Venture (1994) EOC 92-556 involved two female constructions workers who made a complaint about a sexually explicit poster was displayed in their supervisor’s office. After their complaint, more images were displayed and were of an increasingly pornographic nature. The women made a further complaint to the Metals and Engineering Workers’ Union, with their complaints again not taken seriously. After progressing their complaint to the Western Australian Equal Opportunity

i. Ensuring management are welltrained and educated on the handling of complaints from employees in relation to working environments; ii. Ending the cause of an unsafe working environment immediately; iii. A proper reporting system with planned escalation points; and iv. Preventing further harm from occurring in order to reduce damage. Directors of company should take particular care to ensure employees can take a complaint to the director if necessary in order to reduce any consequential losses from the failure to respond to the initial problem. The reporting system should be introduced to all employees from the initial stages of induction and difficult discussions about appropriate and inappropriate conduct should be encouraged and freely engaged in between employees. Employees should be well versed in the unacceptability of harassment and it can help to reduce your exposure by having well-trained individuals who are aware of the consequences of inappropriate behaviour. It is also important to consider the possible impact upon those whom are the recipient of the complaint and ensure it is dealt with appropriately in accordance with a properly developed policy and without “knee-jerk” reactions.

THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY AND WOMEN In the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry of May 2002 it was found that despite women making up 44 per cent of the overall workforce in Australia, only 13 per cent of employees in the construction industry are women

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and since the commission, the figure has remained largely unchanged. Pru Goward’s, Former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, in her speech of August 2002, stated “that women in construction suffer more gender bias than women employed in any other industry in Australia.” It is obvious that with an increase of women into the construction industry, unhealthy cultures and gender bias need to dissipate to create a safer working environment for all whom are a part of the industry.

MENTORING PROGRAM This is not to say that Women are yet to have success within the Construction Industry. In April 20 2016, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Women and the Minister for Employment launched a pilot mentoring program in order to provide support to women in the building and construction industry. The program delivered by the government will seek to encourage women to enter the industry and lead successful careers in the ‘overwhelmingly male-dominated sector’. The program will involve ‘mentoring activities, an ambassador program to engage young women in schools and local communities, and an annual award recognising excellence and women in leadership’ and will likely have a positive impact upon the nature of the industry and the future ahead. The creation of safe and inclusive work environments for all employees, as has been seen largely across many sectors of the industry, is vital to the implementation of the skills of many women that will help to add real value to the industry and see its vitality continue long into the future. Quantity Surveyors, as well as others in the industry, should remain aware that a safe diverse working environment should apply to all employees, subcontractors and other individual’s attending sites and/or their office and the importance of which should be incorporated into employee training in order to mitigate any risks. Legal case notes has been brought to you by Doyles Construction Lawyers for further information or if you have any questions in relation to this article please visit http://www.doylesconstructionlawyers.com or contact doyles@doylesconstructionlawyers.com


SPOTLIGHT

Judy W Njuguna, AAIQS Quantity Surveyor / Project Manager Nairobi, Kenya

1. 2.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? I followed my Dad, he is a Quantity Surveyor. HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE INDUSTRY? I did my work experience as an Estimator at Australasian Construction, a Civil Engineering Company. There was only two of us in the estimating department, and this enabled me to gain extensive experience in estimating. I then joined the Adelaide office of Rider Hunt -now called Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) after I graduated University. I was there for ten years growing in my role and gaining valuable experience. I relocated to Kenya in 2011 and have been working here as a QS and Project Manager.

The construction industry is a male dominated industry - worldwide. By celebrating women in the industry, we highlight their achievements and show others that they can also work and be successful in construction

3.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? I am most proud of the work I did with the University of South Australia. I was involved with their Blue Print 2005 projects; the University was undertaking major construction works at three of their campuses. I worked with the Facilities Management Team at the Mawson Lakes Campus as the QS on; The Mawson Centre – A Library and Community Building, The Garth Boomer Building – an administration Building for Staff and Specialist Teaching Spaces and the Refurbishment and Extension of the Sir Eric Neal Library. I went on to be the Lead QS under RLB to work on the University’s Materials and Minerals Research Centre and at the Mawson Lakes Campus. This is a research building comprising of Highly

Specialised laboratories and flexible learning student Spaces.

4.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY BARRIERS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS? I have always faced obstacles in my carrier. Being a woman and an international student in Australia, I had to prove to my employers that I could handle the tasks and projects that I was given. This involved working long hours to get the assigned tasks done. I would then have to prove to clients that I was capable of handling their projects. I had to learn to be confident when meeting new clients and worked extra hard to understand projects requirements before any meetings.

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Associate Quantity Surveyor, Queensland

Work hard and build your brand with integrity and the rest will follow On my return to Kenya, I had to adjust to the local standards and operation methods. I was required to sit an exam given to University graduates in order to get my local registration. This involved re-learning the basic skills and first principals that we were taught in first year of University in Australia. It took me two years to realise that I needed to think like a student in order to pass the exams.

5.

IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HAS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BECOME MORE INCLUSIVE TO WOMEN?

Yes, the Industry has become more inclusive to women. The number of women in the industry has grown. Today it is not unusual to find that the woman at the table is the Project/Site Engineer and not the interior designer on the Project. We began to see more women walking in hard hats and high visibility vests on construction sites which is a sign that the environment is shifting. This can also be seen in the University Campuses where the number of Girls joining the School of Built Environment has increased. The Industry can benefit from being more diverse to take advantage of the different skill sets. Women have a different approach to problem solving which can greatly help in different projects.

6.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Work hard and build your brand with integrity and the rest will follow.

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Rebecca grew up in Tamworth, regional NSW where she completed her formal schooling. Upon completion of her Higher School Certificate, Rebecca moved to Newcastle where she undertook her studies at the University of Newcastle and attained her degree in Construction Management (Building) with First Class Honours, Deans Medallion and University Medal. Rebecca commenced her career at Clarendon Homes NSW (Investa Property Group) in the capacity of Project Co-ordinator followed by a Contracts Administrator role in the Housing Developments team. Rebecca joined WT Partnership in 2006 as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor and progressed to Associate Quantity Surveyor in 2013. During her career with WT Partnership, Rebecca worked in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices. Rebecca commenced maternity leave in 2015 and is now a mother of two young boys, aged 2 years and 7 weeks. Time between the two pregnancies was spent working with a small Quantity Surveying firm to ensure currency with the industry and key quantity surveying skills were maintained.

1.

WHY CELEBRATE WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


Rebecca Manners, MAIQS The celebration of these successful women allows the next generation of women to consider the construction industry as a career option and as something to aspire to. The profiling and highlighting of successful females raises awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry construction process and have also been attracted to the construction industry; one of my brothers is an engineer and my sister is an architect. Another reason I pursued a career in the construction industry was that I was attracted to the Construction Management course at Newcastle University, as it was delivered utilising Problem Based Learning. This was unique at the time to the Newcastle University Building and Architecture Faculty.

480 QUEEN STREET, BRISBANE PROJECT

Women in our industry need to be recognised for their achievements and participation in what is still considered to be a non-traditional industry for women. The celebration of these successful women allows the next generation of women to consider the construction industry as a career option and as something to aspire to. Many events are held each year throughout Australia and the world, drawing attention to the achievements of women in the construction industry. This should encourage more women to pursue a career in construction. Further, during young females’ formal education years, the profiling and highlighting of

successful females raises awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry.

2.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A QS? WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? Growing up, my family built and renovated a number of houses. I was fascinated with the construction process from demolition through to the final furnishing of the properties. As it turns out, my siblings were also caught up in the

During my studies, I was introduced to the National Association of Woman In Construction association and was inspired by the success of some of the women who were members and who shared their stories with our class.

Work-life balance would have to be the most significant barrier that I have faced. I am a mother to two young boys (2 years and 7 weeks old).�

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55 ELIZABETH STREET, BRISBANE PROJECT

3.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? One project that I am particularly proud of was a fitout completed in 111 Eagle Street Brisbane for a large energy company. The team that was engaged on the project was young, dynamic and predominately female. The value of the project was significant and the construction program was tight. The procurement method adopted for the project was Construction Management and required significant Quantity Surveyor involvement on a daily basis. The project team worked extremely well together and delivered an awardwinning fitout that the client was very proud of. The project team have since worked on other successful projects.

4.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY BARRIERS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THIS? Work-life balance would have to be the most significant barrier that I have faced. I am a mother to two young boys (2 years and 7 weeks old). Six months after my first child was born, I returned to work for a short period of time. The daily challenges that motherhood brings and working for a large international firm unfortunately

wasn’t suitable for our family at that time. I then decided to focus on my young family and at a later date, work part-time with a small boutique company. This allowed me to stay in touch with industry trends and requirements and to keep my Quantity Surveying skill-set current. Working for a smaller firm has allowed for job sharing and therefore mitigates any delays in project delivery. It has also enabled me to have the time during the week to look after my children without the guilt of leaving my projects unattended. Job sharing with another Senior Quantity Surveyor has also allowed for a high level of confidence with project costing accuracy to the client.

5.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN KEEN TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY? Most women will find that many of today’s construction companies are strong supporters of woman in construction. There are many industry bodies out there that allow women to share their experiences, provide mentoring and guidance to others thinking of or who are currently employed in the construction industry. I have personally enjoyed being a member of some of the more specific women in construction associations as I have met other like-minded females in the industry who are looking to share experiences with each other, discuss barriers and how we have been able to overcome them. There are many inspirational females within the construction industry who have been extremely successful within their chosen fields, from Quantity Surveying through to Project Management.

6.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

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...the construction industry has been able to provide a rewarding career to me. It has offered many opportunities to advance my career within the industry, and in turn provided me the skills to be confident in an industry which is nontraditional for women.” There are many woman in the construction industry that inspire me so it is hard to pick just one! The women that I aspire to are those who have been able to successfully balance family and a successful career. They are women who offer their time to others with useful advice and guidance to those that may aspire to be just like them and are leaders in their chosen field. I have been lucky enough to meet many successful, selfless women who are only too happy to provide sound advice and introduce me to other leaders in the industry. ANY FURTHER COMMENTS OR THOUGHTS? In summary, the construction industry has been able to provide a rewarding career to me. It has offered many opportunities to advance my career within the industry, and in turn provided me the skills to be confident in an industry which is nontraditional for women. I recommend that women of all backgrounds who are considering a career within construction to give it ago, knowing there is lots of support available and a rewarding career available to them.


Ivy Blackman, AAIQS Principal Quantity Surveyor, Land and Housing Corporation (Department of Family and Community Services)

1.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? I was born in Shanghai, China. When I was little, I was attracted to all the historical buildings around ‘The Bund’. Most of them were built in 1920 to 30s. For me, they were huge and full of character. I was always wondering who designed these buildings? Hopefully one day, I would be able to do the same. However, when I grew up, I gradually realised that I am perhaps not very artistically talented. Instead, my mathematic instinct is rather stronger. I started to quest how much those buildings would cost and how one could estimate these figures. I like numbers and found it is much more fascinating that through reading and understanding the design and drawings, I could estimate the cost of building.

There is no task too hard, or only suitable for the male candidate

I started to quest how much those buildings would cost and how one could estimate these figures."

2.

YOUR INTEREST IN NUMBERS AND BUILDINGS; WENT ON TO THE COMPLETION OF A BACHELOR DEGREE, 2 MASTERS AND A PHD DEGREE IN CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, FOCUSING ON CONSTRUCTION COST AND ANALYSIS.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE TOPIC OF YOUR PHD DEGREE? The topic of PhD Degree is ‘Modelling and testing cost estimate models to improve the cost estimate accuracy and efficiency’. Establishing an effective cost estimating model to improve cost estimating accuracy and efficiency in early cost planning stages has been a subject which has attracted many research attentions over several decades. However, most of these studies were built by assumption, theoretical analysis or questionnaire survey. The objective of this research is to explore a logical and systematic method to establish a cost estimating model based on the Pareto Principle. In comparison with the previous studies examined, this research is the first of its kind to actually test and validate the use of the Pareto Principle based on a large empirical data sample involving all low-rise residential projects.

THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 47


4.

This research has allowed statistical analysis to establish new cost estimating mode.

3.

AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW AIQS STANDARDS COMMITTEE, WHAT ARE THE AREA OF SPECIALTIES’ THAT YOU WISH TO BRING TO THE COMMITTEE? In short, my diversified experience as a professional Quantity Surveyor and as an academic, alongside my public sector experience; would enable me to contribute to the Standards Committee from three different perspectives, which adds the robust and dynamic viewpoints to the Committee. The experience working for the public sector provides me with the inside knowledge and understanding of government regulation and policy. As a university lecturer, I could use my teaching experience and connection with the academic sector to create a strong connection between the industry and the academic, in order to advance strength from both perspectives. From my viewpoint, I feel that the Quantity Surveying profession is relative small comparing to other professions in the construction industry. Therefore, I am very passionate of mentoring young quantity surveying professionals, in order to attract more young professionals to join the quantity surveying field and profound their skills.

IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE BENEFIT FROM BECOMING MORE DIVERSE? WHAT WERE THE SIGNS THAT THE ENVIRONMENT MAY BE SHIFTING? There could be 2 signs: • more woman included • more female young professionals Over the years, the construction industry has become more inclusive to women. However, I think there is still a lot of work to do to improve the situation. The reason that I feel this way is because there are still a lot of limitations for women to choose professions in the construction industry. My teaching experience highlighted that the number of female students undertaking the construction management course is still relatively small. Overall, I feel that there is not enough promotion or education carried out to attract more women, especially young female joining this profession.

5.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN KEEN TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY? Woman is as capable as man. Always say 'Yes' to the task. There is no task too hard,

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...the number of female students undertaking the construction management course is still relatively small." or only suitable for the male candidate.

6.

WHO INSPIRES YOU? The person inspires me to keep learning and improving in this profession is David Picken. He was my supervisor in Deakin University when I was undertaking my Masters Degree in Construction Management. Also, my husband who encourages me and has beliefs in me.


SOCIALS

BUILDING SURVEYING – COMPLIANCE / INTERPRETATION & COST IMPLICATIONS Melbourne, Victoria 15th February 2017

PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants Director Socrates Capouleas and Liz Haksever, Senior Building Surveyor at PLP, provided an overview of the most recent legislative changes introduced into the Building Code of Australia and discussed two current topics - the use of combustible products in the façade and weather-tightness of buildings, and post construction costs implication of projects. The AIQS thanks Socrates and Liz for their interesting and informative presentation which was very well received by our attendees.

HOW TO INCREASE THE ROI AND DEMAND ON REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENTS Bangkok, Thailand 2nd March 2017

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VALUE MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BY PROF. CHITRA WEDDIKKARA Bangkok, Thailand 2nd March 2017

If you have held or attended an AIQS event in your area and want to be featured in the Social Pages please send the event details and photographs to marketing@aiqs.com.au

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BCI

BUILDING COST IMARCHNDEX2017 THE BUILDING COST INDEX IS PUBLISHED IN THE PRINT VERSION OF THE BUILDING ECONOMIST. IT CONTAINS DATA THAT CAN BE USED AS A PREDICTOR FOR THE ESTIMATED TIMES FOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION AND INCLUDES A SUMMARY OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND ESTIMATED FUTURE CONSTRUCTION COSTS. THE BUILDING ECONOMIST - MARCH 2017 - 51


The Building Economist - March 2017 - The Diversity Issue  

The Journal of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

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