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Project management cover for new office building


Fig. 1 - Lab office construction with finished walls.


International coatings manufacturer in Melbourne's western suburbs.


The client is a global manufacturer of paints, coatings and speciality chemicals. The company have undertaken construction of a new laboratory office at their coatings manufacturing facility in Melbourne's west. For a six-week period the existing project manager was unavailable, and required external personnel to provide cover in their absence.


The purpose of this work was to manage and progress the construction of a new office building and ensure safe working practices while the existing project manager was unavailable.

Project Execution:

To ensure successful execution of the project a comprehensive plan was developed during the handover stage. This was undertaken by:

  • Gathering project and technical information from existing project manager and other relevant documentation.
  • Establishing contacts who could be called upon when the relevant technical expertise was required.
  • Creating a detailed action plan giving specific actions and checks to be completed during 6-week period.​

After the initial handover period, the works were managed by:

  • Providing frequent status reports and communicating any project, technical or potential OHSE issues with all stakeholders to ensure they were resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner.​
  • Contractor management​
    • ​Provision of daily toolbox talks, permit writing, where risks would be identified and mitigating measures would be enacted.
    • On-site supervision to ensure that safe working practices were followed to the client’s required standard.​
    • ​Supervised non-inducted contractors on weekends where limited staff were present to ensure compliance with client security and OHSE policy.
    • ​Ensuring all contractors had valid tickets for the activity they were to perform.
  • Checking of building construction specifications and drawings to ensure correct sizing and fabrication of materials required for AFS wall construction.​
  • ​Liaising with the structural engineer and building surveyor regarding construction specification confirmation and on-site compliance inspection.
  • ​Creation of customised installation procedures for concrete slab and AFS walls due to nearby overhead power lines that were causing a high-risk hazard for workers.
  • ​Organising inspections by structural engineer of existing lab building, where structural OHSE concerns were raised by workers.
    • Coordinated meeting between all parties and the subsequent report.
  • ​Liaising between client, builder and power company to ensure safety concerns for work near electrical overhead wires (OHW) were addressed.
    • Obtained necessary permits from power company.
    • Supervised high risk works involved near OHWs.
    • Liaised with the client and builders to determine safer work methodologies for high risk activities.
    • Aiding OHSE audit with client and builder and coordinating with both parties to ensure that missing documentation was generated and implemented for future use.
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Fig. 2 - Finished concrete slab

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Fig. 3 - Pouring concrete slab

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Fig. 4 - Builders installing AFS walls

Outcomes & Benefits:

Main outcomes managed by SPN were:

The foundations were excavated and the slab steel reinforcement was added to allow for the pouring of the concrete slab.
The concrete slab was poured and the surface finished to allow for installation of the AFS wall panels.
The AFS wall panels were installed and steel reinforcement added to all for the core filling of the AFS walls.
The AFS walls were core filled with concrete in time for the original project manager to return and take over.
All stages were certified by an accredited building surveyor.

The main benefit acquired by utilising SPN for this project was that the project did not have to be put on hold during the main project manager’s absence, potentially costing the client in lost time and delay in overall project schedule.


During the six-week period the new lab office had progressed from the foundation excavations to a walled area ready for the next stage of construction – the addition of the roof. During this time the client and all stakeholders were kept involved in the project and were satisfied that all planned action items were met and that the project could continue to progress towards target end date. SPN was able to provide a convenient service that provided professional project management experience at a competitive rate that would not compromise the overall EPCM budget.

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