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08 January 2024

Ways Builders sneak their variations into your project

Navigating Variations in School Construction: The Role of the School Builder and AISNSW BGA Grants

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The Role of the School Builder and AISNSW BGA Grants

When embarking on a school construction project, understanding how builders might introduce variations is crucial, especially when working with an school builder or managing a project funded by a BGA Grant. 

This blog delves into the common ways variations can occur and how to effectively manage them.

What is a Variation?

In the context of school building and design, a 'variation' refers to any change from what has been agreed upon in the construction contract. 

This is a critical consideration when working with school builders and managing BGA Grant-funded projects.

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Five Methods Builders Use to Sneak in Variations:

  1. Lack of Detail in Design Documentation: A school builder might use vague design documents to justify variations, impacting the overall project budget and affecting the commercial viability of the BGA Grant Funded Project. Precise and detailed designs are therefore essential.
  2. Poor Project Estimation: Builders may underestimate project costs, leading to additional scope and increased expenses. Choosing a school builder with a strong estimating team can mitigate this risk.
  3. Lack of Due Diligence: Failing to confirm the availability of specified materials or products can lead to unplanned variations. This is particularly important for school projects, which may have specific material requirements.
  4. Exceeding Scope of Works: Some builders might add extra work, claiming it was always part of the contract. This can be a significant issue in school construction, where budget adherence is crucial.
  5. Adding Variations During Construction: Unmonitored builders may introduce changes during the build phase, especially in large projects like those often seen in AISNSW school constructions.

How to Avoid Variations in Your Next Project:

Design and Construction or Early Engagement Method:

This approach is beneficial for managing AISNSW school builder projects. The D&C company has a comprehensive understanding of the project, reducing the likelihood of unapproved variations.

Fixed-Price Contracts: 

Signing a fixed-price lump sum contract with your school builder can help control costs, especially when managing a BGA Grant budget.

Understanding the Project Scope:

Ensure that all parties, including the builder, fully understand the project scope and agreed costs. This is particularly important in school construction projects where compliance with AISNSW BGA Grant terms is required.

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Reducing and managing variations is a key aspect of working with an AISNSW school builder and successfully executing a project funded by a BGA Grant.

By ensuring detailed contracts, clear project scopes, and choosing experienced builders, you can significantly reduce the risk of costly and time-consuming variations.

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We are a team of Architects, Interior Designers & Draftsmen collaborating with a team of Estimators, Builders & Tradespersons who Specialise in the Design and Construction of Inspiring Environments that enrich the quality of life of life of those that inhabit within the Education, Aged Care and Hospitality Sectors.

Our mission is to build lasting relationships with our clients by consistently exceeding expectations & maximising outcomes within our client's budget.


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