Author Archive

40 Years of Trading

Monday, August 10th, 2020

Warren Smith & Partners – Hydraulic, Fire, Civil & Water Consulting Engineers
Commence 40 years of Trading

Warren Smith


Today the 10th of August marks a significant milestone for Warren Smith & Partners as we will commence our 40th year of trading. As the founding director, I started in 1981 with the goal of wanting our company to be the best of the best. Our objectives and core values from day one were and still are:

The company started with a total of three people which included my wife Elizabeth, secretary and accounts, one draftsman and myself with only a 10 storey residential project at Double Bay on our books. I undertook a colossal amount of marketing to get the message out that we are good at what we do and would deliver a high-quality service demonstrating to architects, developers, builders and government agencies that we would not let them down.

It was a slow and relentless grind in procuring work and then designing that work, and we gradually started to win more projects of a medium size and I kept telling our staff that we needed to win one major project, which we called the Big One, which would give us better cash flow and security.

In 1984, we were awarded the Hydraulic and Fire Engineering Consultancy Services for the 34-storey 580 George Street Commercial building which was our first major project and that old saying that ‘success breeds success’ came into play as not long after we also were awarded the Zenith Centre Chatswood Commercial Twin Tower and the 141 Walker Street, North Sydney commercial projects.

The work on multiple other major and significant projects across all sectors has flowed on to present day as a result of demonstrating our capability, expertise and performance.

Since 1983, Warren Smith & Partners has enjoyed a long history of involvement with the initial development, and current redevelopment of Darling Harbour, and we have been involved with the first Convention Centre, Harbourside Festival Marketplace, Sofitel Hotel, Barangaroo Commercial Towers & Residential Towers, Barangaroo Reserve, Darling Walk Commonwealth Bank Twin Towers, Hickson Road and the Sydney Metro station.

Overall, since commencement, we have been involved with over 7,000 projects of all type and scale which is a tribute to all of our highly valued engineers, designers and support personnel.

We are very proud of our retention of key staff with 40% of our team of 52 having been with the company for over 10 years. We have always invested heavily in our people and we are committed to the development of our team, to build knowledge and skills, investing in the engineers of the future.

Our Directors & Partners are hands on, and you will find them at the front of every project backed by a professionally qualified and effective team. Several of our senior staff are involved in peak industry bodies and provide input writing Australian Standards which gives our business foresight into upcoming statutory changes which help to future proof our clients’ developments against coming changes, paving the way for a higher quality of built environment for all.

Looking back over the forty years, people have regularly said to me that I must be very proud of what we have achieved. My reply is not proud but extremely pleased as the secret to success, being a sporting team or business, is to surround yourself with good people who all want to win and this is what we have done.

I would like to thank everyone that we have worked with since inception. I would also like to acknowledge all the staff that have contributed greatly to the success of the business over this time. I will raise a glass, or two, over lunch today to all people and friends we have worked with over so many years.

Best wishes to all, always be positive and don’t let the current situation get you down and remember that “good players” will always find a way to win.

Warren Smith
Managing Director,
Warren Smith and Partners

You can download this news item here as a 2 page pdf.

Warren Smith & Partners Involvement with the Redevelopment of Darling Harbour

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

A history of our involvement…

In 1983 in the 2nd year of operation, Warren Smith & Partners (WS+P) were engaged by Yates Developments to undertake the design of the Hydraulic and Fire Services for a proposed weekend marketplace and mid-week car parking facility on the previous Dairy Farmers Milk Distribution Centre site at the western end of Liverpool Street which has been closed on the Darling Harbour site. The project was fully documented, tendered and prior to commencement of construction, the NSW Government advised Yates Developments that the land was to be resumed which in turn prevented commencement of construction.

In 1985, Warren Smith & Partners were engaged by the Managing Contractor, Leighton Contractors on behalf of the then Darling Harbour Authority to undertake the Masterplanning work of the infrastructure services required to service the overall Darling Harbour Redevelopment.

As a result of the infrastructure services masterplan, the infrastructure services were installed to service the various development sites in Darling Harbour. One of the early infrastructure works was undertaken by Sydney Water to amplify the existing Haylackey stormwater drainage culvert which collected significant catchments from the southern catchment area of Darling Harbour and was installed to cater for a capacity for a 20 Year Storm Event to minimise flooding  issues at the southern end of Darling Harbour.

Interestingly enough,  during the excavation and construction of the Haylackey stormwater culvert an old timber wharf was found approximately 100 metres south of the existing southern seawall of Darling Harbour which was constructed in the earlier days of our Colony.

In late 1985, Warren Smith & Partners were engaged as Hydraulic & Fire Engineering Consultants for the new Convention Centre which has been replaced by the new ICC Building plus the adjacent Festival Marketplace project and both projects were finished on time for the 1988 bi-centennial celebrations.

In more recent years, Warren Smith & Partners were awarded the Hydraulic & Fire Engineering Consultancy Services for the Darling Walk Development tenanted by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and that project also involved a significant early works package to deviate Sydney Water stormwater and sewer drainage infrastructure.

The Darling Walk Development was one of the first buildings to be credited with a 6 star Greenstar rating before fully operational and the work involved by Warren Smith & Partners in regards to Sewer Mining and blackwater treatment plant to provide the water supply for the cooling towers in both buildings which saves an approximate 100,000 Litres of towns water consumption each day which was a significant contribution to the obtaining of the 6 star Greenstar rating.

Another major project at Darling Harbour that Warren Smith & Partners were involved with as Hydraulic & Fire Engineering Consultants is the 34 storey Sofitel Hotel building adjacent the southern end of the new International Convention Centre.

Close to and not that far away from the Darling Harbour Redevelopment area are the Barangaroo South Commercial Office Towers (3 off) together with the Residential Towers.  Warren Smith & Partners have been involved and are currently involved as Hydraulic & Fire Engineering Consultants.

Warren Smith & Partners were also involved as the Hydraulic, Fire & Civil Engineering Consultants for the Barangaroo Reserve Project where approximately 85% of all rainwater and irrigation water that permeates through the ground is captured, treated and reused for irrigation purposes over the Barangaroo Reserve and parkland area.

Another outstanding piece of engineering work for the Barangaroo Reserve project involved the investigation and subsequent removal in total of an existing Sydney Water sewer pump station  utilising micro-tunnelling engineering technique to enable the existing Sydney water sewer from Walsh Bay Finger Wharfs to be deviated by gravity 900 metres south under Hickson Road to connect to an existing Sydney Water sewer pump station situated opposite the Bond Building in Hickson Road.

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.