PTM Group were awarded the tender to design and construct new houses for Defence Housing Australia (DHA) at RAAF Base Darwin in March 2017. Following site subdivision including construction of roads and retaining walls, PTM Group was given the greenlight to commence works in June 2017. With hard work and dedication, PTM Group designed and constructed 80 new Defence homes in a 6 month timeframe.
PTM Group’s design package provided extensive features including varied facades, roof types, internal designs and colour schemes for 3 and 4 bedroom homes. Landscaping, verges and concrete footpaths around the homes were also part of the package. Unique to these homes was a focus on acoustic attenuation. An acoustic provision was implemented to enhance insulation and wall padding. This allowed for noise reduction resulting from being on a RAAF Base with aircraft noise.
PTM Group implemented numerous layers of management to ensure the construction project ran smoothly. Site supervisors, a project manager, and on site construction manager all had different, but equally important roles to ensure the flow of multiple project components. The construction manager coordinated with each of the subcontractors and provided strong direction to ensure efficiency and minimise errors. PTM Group have a workflow in place that ensures the project runs like a machine – ensuring that everyone knows the flow and process which contributes to project efficiency.
Much of the praise goes to suppliers and subcontractors, not just PTM Group – for achieving a high quality project on budget and on time. A substantial 130 people worked on the RAAF Base Darwin project, including both PTM Group and subcontractors. At its peak there were approximately 100 workers on site at the same time. Twelve local subcontractor companies were involved in the project and all materials were sourced from local suppliers.
In addition to the personnel component, a program management system was integral to the success of the project. The tool allowed PTM Group to provide weekly progress reports and updates to DHA. The success of a project hinges on the project management tool which assists to prioritise tasks and track what’s happening on site. It was also essential to manage budgetary components and cash flows. The tool set out the stages in the project and tracked progress and outcomes.
Management of the project was not possible without regular meetings with DHA personnel, Defence Security and Environmental Officers. Adherence to Defence protocols was a high priority.
The main challenge, which is unique to the Top End of Australia, is trying to get ahead of the wet season. This is why it was essential to have full proof project plan from the outset. Resources were sequenced, orders coordinated, and materials onsite and ready for each phase of the project. Flow and sequencing is really important, from engaging the subcontractor right at the start to making sure they know what their role is.The extreme weather conditions and the onset of rain can hamper projects and cause delays. Fortunately PTM Group beat the rain, delivering all 80 homes in a 25 week timeframe.
Environmental concerns were a high priority and PTM Group were very sensitive to the issues with dust from the site potentially affecting neighbouring suburbs.
Some new subcontractors were utilised for the project and it was essential to induct them in the quality and standards expected from PTM Group. This was possible through the reliance on robust project management systems and clear communication throughout the project.
PTM Group takes pride in having completed this major project on time and on budget. Defence families have already started moving in, turning the houses PTM Group built into their homes. The community will continue to grow as more families move into the RAAF Base this year.
For visuals on the project, check out the drone flyover below…