We were engaged by Transfield Services to conduct approximately 100 condition assessment surveys of remote telecommunication sites across the North and South Islands. Our involvement included assessing the current condition, establishing the remaining life of the building elements and providing cost advice around the anticipated repair and maintenance works required over the next five years. This commission came off the back of previously successful building surveying work completed for Transfield Services and our existing knowledge of this type of property allowed us to add value to the project.
Our three-man team of qualified Building Surveyors had over 70 years’ experience between them, building client confidence in having a quality team to complete the job. We were provided with site locations and packaged these up into sustainable working areas, ensuring that the team members, based in Greymouth, New Plymouth and Wellington, covered local sites. Pre-planning ensured that we minimised flying time and road miles, for example, we covered 30 sites in Nelson and Blenheim in two 2-day trips. Effective co-ordination and communication was paramount to the success of the project which initially ran over three months and covered remote sites from the Coromandal in the north, to Haast in the south and New Plymouth in the west to Napier in the east. Due to the sensitive nature of the equipment in the sites (often millions of dollars in value) as well as the remote location of the sites, which could be tens of kilometres from the nearest population centre, security and surveyor safety were paramount. The team undertook intensive PTN (Protect The Network) training, to ensure that the network was not compromised and security clearance included the issue of photo swipe cards with pin numbers. There was also a requirement to telephone the security team before entering and immediately after leaving each site. The team built and maintained trust with the client and the security team throughout this process. Whilst not put into practice at this time, the project gave us the opportunity to propose new ways of capturing data over multiple sites, such as the use of tablets to gather and sort data on-site and develop software bespoke to the client to enable processing of the data quickly and efficiently using the NAMS rating system. Owing to the time constraints, the client’s preference was to use traditional methods of data collection for this project.
We measured the success of this project through client satisfaction. Our initial success in delivering on time and in accordance with their brief, resulted in the client extending the commission to cover an additional 85 sites. The client was impressed by our ability to overcome the challenges of surveying multiple sites in remote locations over a short time-frame, without compromising the quality of information gathered. Some of the vehicle tracks had not been used for over a year and we had to cross 11 fiords to access one particular site, thankfully they were not in flood!