Planning a high rise demolition?
Gold Coast developers in recent months have been lining up to bring forward planned new apartment and commercial developments in a post (almost) pandemic flurry of real estate activity.
Closed borders and extended lockdowns appear to have driven developers from New South Wales and Victoria to opportunities further north, and while the Gold Coast has always been synonymous with high rises and high fliers, the current activity is occurring at a pace that isn’t seen very often.
And while it’s very easy to get lost in the heady excitement of luxury apartments, spectacular panoramic views, glossy marketing websites, and enthusiasm of slick-suited real estate agents, there are some realities that must be addressed for any high rise development. For a start, before anything goes up, what’s there must first come down.
Whether a stylish luxury build is planned where a three storey walk up is sited, or an original Gold Coast high rise stands, both will require a Gold Coast demolition contractor well before the first concrete pour.
But in the rush to advance projects, there’s potential for developers to miss vital details that can create headaches and even costly project delay.
With that in mind, we’ve curated these demolition contractor insights for those riding the wave of development on the Gold Coast.
What’s the best way to demolish a high rise?
In the world of luxury apartments, typically a developer will engage a builder to oversee all aspects of the building process, including demolition. This offers benefits to the developer in that all activities are managed under a single contractor, leaving the builder to handle all the subcontractors. It’s a model that is also highly advantageous to the builder, allowing them to charge substantial management fees for undertaking the role.
What many developers don’t realise is there’s another way of doing things.
There are gains to be made by the developer engaging a demolition contractor directly as a principal contractor for demolition early works. Although some will argue this is a riskier approach, developers can benefit if they work with a professional and reliable high rise demolition contractor. We’ve outlined some of these below.
Price check the builder
Speaking directly with a demolition contractor for your project provides an invaluable point of reference, particularly when dealing with builders. With an accurate figure for demolition costs, the developer is well positioned to identify potential schedule and cost savings. That means more cash in the developer’s pocket, along with a little more negotiating power in the builder/developer relationship. In simple language, it’s a way to keep builders honest.
This shift in contracting arrangements creates a different dynamic on the project, allowing the developer to maintain a position of posture relative to the builder, who can often usurp the project owner if the relationship isn’t well managed.
Managing risk is core business for developers, so any opportunity to drive risk down is worth consideration. The fact is, poor risk management during demolition has serious consequences. Think removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials that goes awry, unsafe demolition practices, failure to comply with regulation; WHS, licencing, permitting, waste removal to name just a few.
A demolition contractor’s job is to make your site safe to build on, and in doing so, smooth the development process and simplify life for the builder. A site that’s prepped and ready for building is surely preferable to a builder than one where they must manage works which aren’t their area of expertise.
While some project proponents will prefer the builder to manage all interfaces (and therefore the risks) between the various project stages, even the handover between demolition contractor and builder is an opportunity to realise gains if done cleverly. Hire of fencing and site amenities can be passed on, along with permits, thereby creating continuity and ensuring limited or no downtime.
With developers absorbing considerable risk purely as a function of their business model, there isn’t always an appetite for what’s perceived as more risk. They may even be limited to what they can do by whoever is funding the project.
Dealing with the demolition contractor directly and then shifting to the building contractor might be seen as riskier, however this argument can be countered by working with the right kind of demolition contractor.
Build a network
Most successful Gold Coast developers aren’t focused on a single project. Rather, they have a pipeline with several projects at different stages.
With many developers new to the Southeast corner of Queensland, there’s an identified need to work with local contractors who can help deliver follow on projects. It makes good business sense then to identify project delivery partners you can work with long term. If these relationships reside with the builder, this strengthens a reliance on the builder that can very easily work against the developer. Successful Gold Coast developers would be wise to forge their own business relationships, and in doing so, gain valuable insights from specialist contractors who can help identify opportunities to make schedule and financial savings without compromising on quality and outcomes, and making their development site safe to build on.
DEMEX is a specialist Gold Coast high rise demolition contractor. We understand the importance of demolition performed to the highest standard to achieve overall project success for a new apartment development. Enduring long term relationships with our network of local Gold Coast contractors, including for hazmat removal, environmental, and waste removal associated with Gold Coast high rise demolition means we work effectively as principal contractor for demolition early works. With a reputation forged on demolition of some of the Gold Coast’s most iconic structures, our team helps developers with demolition solutions designed to work in this unique environment. For information on efficient, safe, and cost effective ways to make your development site safe to build on, download our capability statement or contact us directly on email@example.com.