As part of studying for his MSc in Quantity Surveying our surveyor Michael Taylor was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week in Toronto, Canada. The main purpose of his trip was to work as part of a group involving students studying Quantity Surveying, Building Surveying, Construction Project Management, and Real Estate. Michael has prepared an account of his experience in Toronto below:
The assessment brief was to come up with a development proposal for the property shown below – 1075 Bay Street, Toronto:
The property above that we looked at was a 13 storey office block tenanted by the Greek Embassy, with a bar on the ground floor and a basement car park. The main thing we noticed when visiting the site was the amount of considerably taller properties nearby in the area, as you can see on the left of the photo there is a 50-plus storey block of flats opposite!
This made us realise that the plot of land the building was situated on was of very high value, and it would make sense to extend the building as much as possible to take advantage of the highly sought after location. We agreed quite quickly as a group on our proposal:
- Extend the property to the rear in the space available of approximately 460m2, with 43 storeys of residential accommodation
- Extend the property vertically by adding another 30 storeys of residential accommodation.
- Refurbish the existing retail and office space and provide the necessary strengthening works to the existing property to support the vertical extension.
- In total this would give an additional floor area of approximately 67,030m2 of residential accommodation.
The main role of the Quantity Surveyors was to produce the cost plans for the construction works and advise on the most suitable procurement route. Producing the cost plans for such a large proposal was a huge task and involved many late nights working on it!
The final estimated costs for the entire construction works came out at around CAN$400 million! However from the residual appraisal we were still expecting an overall profit of around $CAN 100 million, so not too bad really!
We also had to consider all the planning issues associated with the project. At the end of it we had to make a Dragons Den style 20-minute group presentation to the panel of assessors which were our tutors and lecturers on the trip with us.
Fortunately we also had some spare time on the trip to explore Toronto and the surrounding area, the main highlights of which were the CN Tower and Niagara Falls.
Overall the trip was fantastic, a great learning experience and I very much enjoyed the city of Toronto.