Setting rules for schools rebuild

GREG NINNESS
Last updated 05:00 28/04/2013

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The building industry has been given an early heads-up before tenders are called for a $1 billion rebuild of Christchurch's school system.

The Ministry of Education has issued a notice of intent about how it intends to manage the rebuilding process, and the types of services it will be looking for, before launching a formal tender process for the work.

The ministry said it had given the advance notice of its requirements "to enable suppliers to prepare and mobilise their resources" ahead of the tender process itself and to "provide an opportunity for written comment on the ministry's prospective procurement approach".

The notice of intent said that of the 215 schools in greater Christchurch, more than 50 would require repairs to earthquake damage costing more than $2 million each and 15 of the schools would be entirely new or completely rebuilt.

The government intended to spend $1b over the next 10 years on restoring, renewing and establishing new schools in Christchurch.

The design brief for the work was not just to repair earthquake damage but to produce schools that would have "flexible teaching spaces that can be expanded or reduced depending on requirements, and in energy-efficient buildings with the latest technology including access to ultra-fast broadband", the notice said.

Schools and early childhood education centres had been grouped geographically into clusters.

Each cluster would require its own property plan to be drawn up, and where possible the resulting construction work would be managed to ensure a relatively even work flow over 10 years.

The ministry would be looking to engage suppliers in four main areas: master planning, due diligence providers in relation to land purchases, professional services, construction services.

Construction contracts for projects could take various forms including head contract, managing contract and public private partnership models.

"Construction projects may be bundled across schools and clusters," the notice said.

"The ministry is examining potential opportunities with the standardisation of common materials.

" The ministry is currently considering the size of the bundles but a key development principle is that there be a degree of variability to ensure that the full range of suppliers have an opportunity," the notice said.

"The ministry is open to the possibility of suppliers forming joint ventures or alliances to better tailor their services to the needs of the project."

Tenders for the first stage of the school construction work were likely to be called for towards the end of this year.

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