Greater Curtin Development Project

Project Description

Greater Curtin Stage One is the beginning of realising an extensive 20 year vision for Curtin University. Greater Curtin is part of a campus strategy to create a vibrant mixed use hub that shifts away from the typical university campus paradigm. Stage one will introduce collaborative, mixed use spaces that create a centralised hub for Greater Curtin.

Abaxa were engaged to confirm utilities under Stage 1 of the project to a AS5488 QLB and QLA, having managed utility projects in the Curtin area for many years and understanding the unplanned complexity of the university location the team were well placed to support the client project brief to successful delivery.

There were been many challenges across the phases of the project – from the initial scoping and estimation to the handover of the final deliverable utility investigation findings. The works were based at Curtin University and consisted of Abaxa investigating, locating and designating by potholing/trenching agreed key discovery areas to inform engineering design and project planning.

Challenges and Solutions

  • Challenge 1 – Curtin University has a highly dense utilities (quantity) underground highway servicing the university which challenged the estimation team proving difficult to scope the works accurately taking budget into consideration for the client with the level of “unplanned and unknown” component.
  • Solution 1 – The Abaxa Technical Solution team worked closely with client procurement and engineering team to discuss the challenge and the potential risk and then collaborate on a methodology that would provide the client with the utility data required to complete the design and then subsequent construction as well as meet budget on an agreed project program.
  • Challenge 2 – Due to the tight timeframe, works had to commence on short notice. As a result the client procurement had just commenced and all the project subcontractors were mobilising challenging initiating to the project program. The subcontractor’s appointed where supposed to complete the pre-works (which included removing all physical barriers –footpaths, bitumen etc.) prior to Abaxa commencing with the QLA non-destructive excavation designation of utility investigations. This meant that the delays had the potential to push out the timeframe and cause uncontrolled and unplanned delays.
  • Solution 2 – Through active communication and good communication, Abaxa provided a solution by utilising internal resources & equipment to take on this package of work to remove the physical barriers, speeding up the access for the non-destructive utility verification. The Abaxa project manager managed the project program and mobilised additional resources to keep the project moving forward without disrupting the client program.
  • Challenge 3 – The original scope agreed was changed during the project program, including additional discovery locations on short notice. The scope changes put the project at risk of exceeding the program and contract deliverable timeline Abaxa originally estimated to complete the works.
  • Challenge 3 – The Abaxa Project Manager worked closely with the client to understand the changes and worked with the Abaxa site supervisor to come up with a strategy that allowed the project to accommodate the changes and  finish on time. The solution was underpinned by Abaxa’s technical resource capacity and extensive accredited skillsets to increase resources to fast track the changes and delays increasing productivity and efficiency. Resources where managed to support the program and changes based on the areas that was targeted. This allowed the project to be delivered on time and budget


Abaxa was familiar with the project site, utility challenges and the site location and condition. The Client Site representatives were not as familiar with the project scope and risks that were discussed during estimation and procurement that led to expectation gaps and some misunderstandings, the Abaxa Project Manager and site teams working actively and closely with the client to understand where the gaps were and actively worked strategies to provide the client with the utility survey data they required while staying on budget (no variations).

During construction, the Abaxa Project Manager provided additional support by shared technical expertise and proving education on equipment limitations and sharing different methodologies based on previous and similar projects.

  • Received high-quality deliverables – Reports consisting of all utility data and risk based assessments to AS5488
  • Project completed on time and budget
  • Education and Knowledge
  • Clear expectations on equipment limitations – helped the client understand the data and what can be delivered – including the steps that can be taken to provide the detailed information required.
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