Design and Construct – a proven formula for project success

July 23, 2021 | Projects

For Clubs and Pubs, cost control is a key priority when it comes to delivering construction projects.

The debate on the best way to deliver a capital works project has raged for decades.

Australia has some excellent examples of significant projects which have been delivered on time and on budget.

It also has some examples where project costs have blown out.

The Sydney Opera House, with its iconic Jorn Utzon design, tops the list.

The original design was costed at $7 million but was delivered 10 years late, costing more than $100 million.

The project highlights the pitfalls of a design that is not fully costed and projects which lack cost control.

With its rich history of building in Australia since 1914, Paynter Dixon has often been at the forefront of various project delivery methods.

It has a proud record of delivering projects on time and budget.

Traditionally, a client would engage an architect to design a building and then separately a construction company like Paynter Dixon to build it according to the architect’s plans.

When problems arise in cases of poor documentation, the client ultimately wears the extra cost of the errors through variations.

In the 1960s, a new project delivery method was emerging where one company would undertake both elements: design and construction, utilizing external consultants under one banner.

Paynter Dixon was keen to roll out the project delivery model in Australia, known as Design and Construct or D & C.

Using this system Paynter Dixon is responsible for both design and construction, meaning variations from documentation errors are eliminated as Paynter Dixon takes full responsibility for both elements.

The early adoption of this model has laid the foundation for decades of successful project delivery, particularly in the hospitality sector.

The project work has ranged from themed restaurants to major club capital works projects.

One of the most complex projects Paynter Dixon has undertaken the construction of an extra four floors on an existing hotel.

Paynter Dixon also broke new ground by building a 10-storey commercial tower on Bankstown Sports Club land.

More recently, the Castle Hill RSL Group (CHRL) engaged Paynter Dixon to design and construct, Club Parramatta, formerly known as the Parramatta RSL, located on a historic site.

Painstaking excavation under the supervision of an archaeologist was completed to ensure all historical and aboriginal artefacts were recorded and preserved.

The new building, over three levels, offers a variety of dining experiences with three kitchens and three bars.

It has a child’s play area, multipurpose functions and event spaces, outdoor and open-air areas, and extensive indoor and outdoor gaming facilities.

The project won a Merit Award at the 2020 Master Builders Association Excellence in Construction Awards.

When it comes to project budgets, Paynter Dixon’s ethos is to be open and transparent from the outset.

Transparency is critical in the Design and Construct process.

This includes discussing openly with the client the opportunities and constraints in a project.

Some of the key issues which come up and can impact on budget are:

  • Current planning controls
  • Sustainability
  • Compliance and quality control
  • Material durability
  • Project timing
  • Stakeholder management

If the scope of work is outside the budget, then it is important to be up-front and look at other options.

Paynter Dixon has a dedicated team of in-house estimators.

The estimating team plays a critical role in the early design phases in close consultation with the design team.

This helps calibrate a clients’ expectations and avoid any budget shock.

As the Head Contractor on projects, Paynter Dixon makes it a priority to manage local trade contractors and suppliers.

Paynter Dixon also goes one step further, showing to the client the results of tenders for trades and suppliers.

On a recent project there were over 150 trade and supplier tenders to be reviewed with the client and through this process the client felt fully engaged and in control.

This transparent management of costs throughout the design development fosters a partnership approach that delivers a superior outcome.

Paynter Dixon also has decades of experience working in regional areas, recently completing four Club projects at Lismore, Grafton, Murwillumbah and Cowra.

Paynter Dixon also has on-the-ground experience managing local sub-contractors and delivering projects on time and budget.

To find out more contact Matthew Greene at