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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » January 16, 2008
INVESTORS' OBSTACLE COURSE - 16-17 January, 2008
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A New Lease on Business
January 16, 2008   
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Jan Żyborski, Managing Director Poland for international construction management company Bovis Lend Lease, talks to Jolanta Wolska.

Construction management is an approach that has been widely adopted around the world, but is not yet popular in Poland. Why is that?

Bovis Lend Lease has been operating in Poland for 16 years. When we started, most of our clients were international corporations that understood the construction management approach. Conversely, Polish companies generally go for the general contractor approach they're used to. Polish investors have traditionally held that a lump-sum price is a safer option. In a lot of cases, this is a good procurement route as many projects are small and relatively straightforward. The construction management approach should be carefully selected for large and complicated projects that require a quick start on site. Construction management is also used on projects where a lot of design change is likely, for example retail projects. But I should say that construction management is much more popular in Poland now than it was 16 years ago.

What is the difference between this method of project management and the standard construction process based on the general contractor approach? What are the major benefits?

The major difference between construction management and the general contractor approach is that we break down the on-site work into individual tasks and then contract these out to specialist subcontractors. This is particularly advantageous when dealing with complex mechanical, electrical and control systems.

Construction management, by contracting directly to specialists, helps shield investors and clients from rising material and labor costs. We find that general contractors who require a lump-sum payment 12 months in advance factor these risks into their quotes, and, as a result, are much more expensive.

Have you used, or are you using, this method on any Polish projects?

We've employed it on a lot of projects here. We mainly operate in three major sectors in Poland. First, there's the retail sector. Some of our major projects here include Manufaktura in ŁódĽ, and Galeria Mokotów Phase I and Blue City in Warsaw. We are currently involved in three big projects for Parkridge in Rybnik, Bydgoszcz and Zielona Góra, as well as major shopping centers like Malta in Poznań and Felicity in Lublin.

Industrial projects are our second area of operations. Here I might mention the Pepsi Cola plants in Pniewy and Żnin, the CRH Cement plant in Ożarów, Pilkington Sandoglass in Sandomierz, Phillip Morris in Cracow, LG Electronics in Mława and Kobierzyce, Cadbury Schweppes in Brzeg, and many more.

Commercial office space is the third area in which we operate. Our largest projects here are all in Warsaw and include the Warsaw Trade Tower, Poland's tallest office building, Mistral, Stratus, Tajfun, and the Wi¶niowy Business Park.

We've also built all the BP services in Poland under a worldwide agreement with the company.

Can construction management be deployed on large-scale projects connected with the Euro 2012 soccer championships?

Bovis Lend Lease would be happy to tender for Euro 2012 projects on either a construction management or project management basis, whichever way the authorities want to go.

Construction management is obviously our preferred route as this would allow us to get involved with the entire planning stage. We'd set this out as a series of enabling and realization strategies. A lot of the procurement could be finalized before completing the design phase. Building stadiums is only part of a massive project like Euro 2012, which involves transport infrastructure, parking and ancillary facilities.

How do you and your clients evaluate the changes taking place on the Polish investment scene?

Poland is a much more mature market now than it was when Bovis Lend Lease first came to Poland in 1991. Standards are improving in all facets of the industry, including workmanship and safety. This has made it possible for firms like BLL to offer construction and project management. Now we can even influence the overall quality of construction by offering professional services.

We believe that there is a future for Bovis Lend Lease and construction management here in Poland.
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