Careers, Residential

SARAH Construction Graduates – Minda PKC Cost Neutral Bathroom Project


The Sarah Construction Graduates worked in partnership with Minda in the delivery of two renovated bathrooms within Minda’s existing Pat Kaufmann Centre (PKC) nursing home in Brighton. This project was a key objective of the 2017 Graduate Program, designed to be a collaborative effort between each other as well as Minda, one of our significant clients. The design team also consisted of consultants in architecture (Cheesman Architects), services engineering (BESTEC), and structural engineering (Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec). The graduates were tasked with overseeing the entire project from design conception, contractor procurement, and ultimately the construction and handover, providing a real-world experience for them to take ownership of and learn from while also providing a service for some very deserving members of our community.

The Challenge? Deliver a cost neutral project for our client.

The challenge put forth by Sarah Constructions to the graduates was to manage and produce two refurbished bathrooms at cost neutral to the client. This meant the graduates had to call upon relationships built over the past year with their subcontractors and suppliers to negotiate labour and materials to complete the job. In turn, this created difficulties with scheduling and programming as some subcontractors had conflicting job commitments which took precedence. This created a domino effect as the delays of certain trades affected the critical path of the construction program which the Graduates had to manage.

Due to the limited documentation and drawings available for a relatively small project, the graduates took initiative to request and review existing drawings. This lead to the discovery of footings and reinforcement situated in both bathrooms where service trenching was required. To remediate this potential issue, the graduates proposed a different floor finish to reduce the extent of concrete cutting required. This was beneficial in terms of both program and cost.

Minda entrusted the graduates with transforming their existing hydrobath bathrooms into fully compliant (with DDA Standards) bathrooms. This resulted in a high-quality project displaying the collaborative efforts between Sarah Constructions and Minda, as well as all others involved in the project.

The Graduates worked closely with PKC’s Clinical Services Manager, Cathy, to minimise disruptions to the day to day lives of the residents and staff. This was achieved through constant communication with Cathy, allowing her to stay updated with the current construction activities on site.

While this project has provided a fantastic new facility for the PKC residents, it has also been extremely beneficial to our Graduates learning and professional development. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Michelle Gheorghiu and Wayne Coutts for their mentoring throughout the duration of the project; and also to the fantastic consultants, subcontractors and suppliers who generously donated their services to make this project possible.

A huge ‘Thank you’ goes to:

  • Michelle Gheorghiu & Wayne Coutts (Minda), for their mentorship to the graduates and assistance to the project.
  • Gary Fong (Cheesman Architects), for his architectural consultation and design advice.
  • Mark Battams (BESTEC), for his assistance and advice with hydraulic services.
  • Shane Rosie (WGA), for his assistance and advice with structural engineering.

The Sarah Constructions Graduates would also like to acknowledge and thank the following subcontractors for their significant contributions (including time, labour, materials, or cost reductions):

  • Jordan Plumbing –  all hydraulic services
  • Reece Plumbing & Bathrooms – new fixtures and fittings
  • Nilsen – Electrical services
  • Complete Pest Control – termite treatment
  • Deconstruct – Demolition and concrete cutting
  • Suez – Bin hire
  • Bianco Hire – Temporary fencing
  • Spence Doors – Door supply
  • Italia Ceramics – Wall Tile Supply
  • G & G Tiling – Tiling
  • SJS Group Nominees, – Painting
  • Premier Linings – Making good gyprock walls and installation of sundry items
  • Access Hardware –  Supply of sundry items

The graduates would also like to thank Terry Tsapaliaris & Dena Van Zyl (Sarah Constructions), for their leadership and advice with construction methodology, practices and safety.

This project has greatly supported the development of our future construction leaders and enhanced the lives of some of our communities most deserving people; together with Minda we are tremendously grateful.

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