Author Archive

International Women’s Day Celebration 2020 – Profile on Jane Ciabattoni

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Jane joined Warren Smith & Partners on the 7th September 1992 taking up an administrative role which involved working on reception and carrying out secretarial duties. In 1998, WS+P became an accredited Sydney Water Co-ordinator and soon after, the WS+P Civil department was established in 2002 allowing her to become the dedicated administrative support for the Civil team.

Jane soon became familiar with all things Sydney Water and started to learn the Sydney Water processes. Initially, assisting with Section 73 applications and working with engineers to submit design packages.

Over time, Jane gained exposure to building plan approvals and the different options and requirements around this approval, identifying constraints and potential out of scope approval requirements.

Jane has now over 20 years experience as a dedicated Water Service Co-ordinator and has developed a fountain of knowledge. With this knowledge, she provides Clients with sound advice in relation to their developments, identifying early on the Sydney Water requirements.

On a day to day basis, Jane engages in a lot of Client and Sydney Water liaison, making sure that all Sydney Water processes are followed for Section 73 applications, leading into design, onto construction, and finally to work as fully executed packages. Jane’s daily liaison educates our Clients on Sydney Water requirements so that their developments run smoothly and a Section 73 can be obtained in good time prior to occupation. As a result of Jane’s dedicated work, she has built a strong Client base and also brings in new business for the Civil & Water department, of which she also project manages.

Jane trains junior staff members on the Sydney Water processes and educates Project Managers across the business on the Sydney Water requirements.

Jane is also a keen fundraiser for causes such as RSPCA, domestic violence, Cancer Council and mental health, and has organised many fundraising event at WS+P over the years. Recently Jane has been  giving Sydney Water presentations to organisations that WS+P regularly work with, to further ensure the smooth running of our Clients’ developments.

Q and A

Originally from: Harare, Zimbabwe

Favourite memory from work: It would have to be the milestones that I have crossed, my 10 year and 20 year anniversary, and I’m looking forward to my 30 year anniversary in September 2022. I like to take the time to look back and reflect on how far myself, the team and the business has come.

Best advice someone has given you: If you are going to do a job, do it properly otherwise don’t do it at all. I live by this.

What do you like most about your job: The people, from the team to our clients, even the Sydney Water people are great. I enjoy interacting with the wide range of clients from the mums and dads who don’t know much about WSC to the experienced professionals such as multinational developers and contractors. No day is the same.

Proudest project: Working on Barangaroo with Michael Cahalane, my Director. The scale of the project and the complexity involved was very rewarding.

Proudest achievement: At work, becoming a manager. In my personal life, the work I do in Zonta which involves raising awareness for women’s issues, particularly domestic violence. I was president in 2018-2019 which was a personal achievement for me. Also running the Gold Coast half marathon in 2014 deserves a mention.

Biggest challenge: At work, it would have to be dealing with the, sometimes large, difference in pace between private enterprise and public enterprise. I find I need to manage expectations quite often.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working: Reading, crochet, knitting, running and exercising. I have to mention high teas and enjoying the odd champagne.

What’s your favourite sports team: Roosters

What’s a fun fact about you people may not know: I used to be a base player in a band.

You can download Jane’s profile here.

International Women’s Day Celebration 2020 – Profile on Libby Higham

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Prior to working for Warren Smith & Partners, Libby worked at the Institute for Chartered Accountants. She heard about WS+P through existing employees Dirk Nagelschmidt and Jane Ciabattoni and when an opportunity arose at WS+P, Libby was keen to apply. She joined the WS+P family on the 18th July 2001 taking up an administrative role which involved working on reception.

In 2006, Libby moved from reception and into the open office allowing her to become a dedicated administrative support for the Fire and Hydraulic teams, carrying out secretarial duties for various Project Managers and Engineers.

Working amongst the Fire and Hydraulic team meant that Libby was exposed to a lot of varying work, from general administrative duties, to the preparation of design reports and technical specifications, to preparing fee submissions.

Since moving to the new WS+P office in 2018, Libby has been working as the dedicated administrative support for the Fire team and her daily workload largely involves preparing fee proposal and tender submissions.

Over the years, Libby has seen a change in the industry in relation to the level of input required for fee submissions. 10 years ago, fees were not as complex and detailed as they are now and a great deal of effort goes into demonstrating our capability as a business and presentation is a priority. Libby has assisted in many successful submissions over the past 18 years and looks forward to the next big submission win.

Q and A

Originally from: Grafton, NSW (Jacaranda City)

Favourite memory from work: It would have to be working with and knowing Saskia who worked as a Road Designer in the Civil & Water team who sadly passed away in 2013.

Best advice someone has given you: It would have to be the post-it note David Bolt, my Manager, gave me which says STOP and means:

– Stop
– Take a Breath
– Observe
– Proceed

Proudest work project: Moving out from behind the front desk and getting stuck into the work involved in the open office.

Proudest achievement: My son Sammy, and raising him to be a gentlemen, all on my own.

Biggest challenge: Being a single mum.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working: Catch up with friends, relax and spend time with my son Sammy.

What’s your favourite sports team: Manly Sea Eagles

What’s a fun fact about you people may not know: I used to be an avid water skier, I was so good I could do it with one ski.

You can download Libby’s profile here.

Winning Project!

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Warren Smith & Partners have been awarded the winner of the FPAA 2019 Fire Protection Project of the year over $1 Million for the Lendlease Barangaroo South Precinct

 

Please download this document for a description of the Lendlease Barangaroo South Precinct project and innovations.

What does it take to secure a resilient water supply?

Monday, November 11th, 2019

by Robert Keessen  |  7th November 2019

Our communities expect the government to deliver reliable and resilient water supplies.

The east coast of Australia is in the grip of a drought, the second in the first two decades of this century. Many areas of western NSW are already running out of water, and urban areas on the eastern seaboard are not far behind. Sydney’s water storage levels have taken less than 3 years to drop to 50% capacity.

Storage volumes in Sydney’s Reservoirs
Source: adapted from Water NSW

Sydney’s Water storage reached a low of 32% capacity during the Millennium drought. Most of the drawdown occurred in the worst 6 years of that drought and it took about 4 years for storages to refill after that.

Following the Millenium drought, the Federal Government Productivity Commission was asked to “…identify ways of improving resource allocation to achieve long term water security”. In 2011 the commission concluded that:

  • Governments have responded to drought with prolonged and severe water restrictions and investments in desalination capacity.
  • The costs of water restrictions and inefficient supply augmentation have been billions of dollars per year nationally.

The Productivity Commission recommended a reform package to provide consumers with greater reliability of supply.

Drought returned to the eastern seaboard in late 2017. This time:

  • The weather has been drier than the Millennium drought, with storages drawing down more rapidly.
  • A desalination plant built in response to the Millennium drought was turned on in January 2019, and reached full capacity in June 2019, to supply 250ML/day, to provide an additional 15% to Sydney’s normal demand.
  • Planning has started for the second stage of the desalination plant which would double the total desalination capacity.
  • Stage 1 water restrictions were re-introduced in July 2019.

We are faced with a similar, but worse situation to what we were in a decade ago.

How bad could it get?

The city of Cape Town had a critical water shortage in 2018 and came within 90 days of running out of water. Residents could only use 50 litres a day, about a quarter of what the average per person in Sydney uses today. This is severe, considering a short shower may take 15 litres, and a toilet flush is between 4 litres and 10 litres on average.

Will Sydney also need severe restrictions to survive the drought?

This is not easy to predict, but if the drought continues at its current severity storage volume is likely to fall below 25% capacity some time in 2022. And if this drought lasts as long as the last one, it won’t break until late 2023. This means that there is a real possibility that severe water restrictions will be needed as early as 2022.

If this happens our communities will be asking how we got into this situation and what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.

A paradigm shift is needed.

Water systems design from the 1900’s were based around centralised systems, that harvest runoff and transport it to the city to be used once. However, there are a range of other water sources available which are non-rainfall dependent including:

  • Desalination, which is potentially an unlimited supply but is expensive and energy intensive.
  • Recycled wastewater costs less to produce than desalination, but potable re-use does not yet have public acceptance and is more likely to be acceptable in the long term. There is considerable opportunity to supply recycled water through a secondary pipe distribution system to new developments.
  • Stormwater recycling is also possible and would be suitable for developments where there is space to accommodate relatively large storages.
  • Groundwater from aquifers also provide an opportunity where they have the adequate capacity (and have not been contaminated) and could be part of the mix of solutions.

Better results will be achieved with dynamic and adaptive systems, with:

1. Customer engagement that allows them to:

  • Express their willingness to pay for more secure water supply and introduce pricing policy (such as tiered pricing) that enable customers to pay.
  • To tell them how they can lower their water bills by having their own local (place-based or household based) systems.

2. Regulatory form to:

  • Recognise the value on non-rainfall dependant water supply sources, particularly where supplies are scarce. The cost of new water may vary from less than $1.00/kL up to $5.00/kL, which is very significant when water is being sold at around $2.00 to $2.50.
  • Encourage integrated solutions by removing ‘ring-fenced’ pricing for water, wastewater and recycled water products.
  • Encourages private sector participation, including access to cross subsidies available to public sector utilities.

3. Smarter strategy, planning, and design of our systems, by:

  • Diversifying water sources to include non-rainfall dependent sources.
  • Identifying a range of diverse solutions tailored to specific areas that use new technologies.
  • Integration of local systems with existing centralised infrastructure.
  • Adaptive management that has options to increase supply ready and known decision points for when to enact them to avoid restrictions.
  • Integrated water cycle planning to obtain the benefits of recycling water in local communities rather than the exclusive use of a centralised single use system.

These topics will be explored in further detail in subsequent articles…. coming soon.

Robert Keessen is a Project Manager at Warren Smith & Partners, a consultancy that has delivered solutions for the water business since 1981. Robert heads up a practice called Water Smart Solutions, that looks to provide strategic and planning advice that is fully grounded in the practicality of delivery. For more details see: https://www.warrensmith.com.au/civil/water-smart-solutions/

 

Wonderful recognition from our industry!

Friday, October 18th, 2019


Warren Smith & Partners has been involved in the Barangaroo precinct development for the past 10 years. Our Fire, Hydraulic and Civil Services teams have worked with Lendlease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to deliver robust design, risk free documentation and construction services through this period. During this time the Fire services team have worked at implementing several industry leading design solutions that have resulted in changes to statutory requirements and offered significant operational efficiencies to the development facilities managers.

The Fire Services Team is now excited to be shortlisted for the Fire Protection Association Australia 2019 industry awards for projects over $1m and will be attending the gala dinner in Melbourne on the 8th November. If you would like to catch up with our team please get in touch with Peter Brawley, David Bolt or Ian Stone to discuss how we can assist your next project.

Barangaroo South

Dangrove Art Storage Facility, Alexandria NSW

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Warren Smith & Partners are delighted to have had been given the opportunity to provide hydraulic, fire and Sydney Water Services Coordination consultancy for the new Dangrove Art Storage Facility.

This 10,000m² state of the art storage facility houses Judith Neilson’s private contemporary Chinese art collection. With an impressive Great Hall of 90m long; Dangrove is able to accommodate events and display large artwork installations comfortably.

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on this masterpiece.

Warren Smith & Partners golf day

Friday, November 17th, 2017

The second annual Warren Smith & Partners golf day took place at Pennant Hills Golf Club on Tuesday 24th of October. Glorious weather greeted the teams that participated, with the course in immaculate condition. 39 players partook in the annual event with 30 guests and 9 staff attending. The golf day was an extremely valuable experience and allowed us to spend some down time with clients and consultants that we normally only see in the work environment.

Congratulations to the prize winners and thank you to our guests for joining us, we hope to see you again next year!

New Director

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Warren Smith & Partners are delighted to announce Thomas Wise as a Director of the practice after 8 years of excellence in the Hydraulics team.

In addition Laura Shaughnessy has been promoted to Project Manager and Nicholas Watts to Team Leader – Sydney Water.

Tertiary and Research Capability Statement

Monday, July 31st, 2017

You can download our Tertiary and Research Capability Statement here.

Healthcare Capability Statement

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

You can download our Healthcare Cabability Statement here.