How many permits does it take to install a light bulb?

Perth 4th July 2013

Sounds a bit like a joke and certainly feels a bit like a joke….

I had a meeting today with a project team to figure out the costs and process of applying and installing our lighting design concept to a heritage façade. As I am mostly used to fast track work in Asia, with no one really bothering much about permits and approvals, you just do it and deal with authorities’ later…in Australia life is a bit different! As I am trying to figure out the costs of installation to see if we are within budget, the local electrician who is puzzling together the cost of the electrical installation came up with one “problem” after another: We may not be able to work during the normal day as we would cause obstruction to city and public traffic, so we may need to apply for a permit and factor in night time or weekend overtime costs…really? If we need to work on the façade using a boom–lift or genie, we will need to apply for approval to the city council to block part of the road and walkway and may need to hire some traffic regulators during the time we work…really? In fact we need to apply for a work permit to do work on the façade all together! Because the building is in the heart of the city’s shopping belt and is a heritage building on top of that it feels like we have to move mountains before we can even consider working on it… I am just trying to puzzle together the budget only!

What I though was a simple exercise of getting some prices has turned out to be a little nightmare as even permits and approvals will cost money. So until I know whether we are permitted to work during the day, they feel they can’t give me a price. So in the end I just asked them to give me the price for all options, at least I have the full overview of each implication and can value engineer the design and process where costs are clearly weighing heaviest on the final outcome. And if there are areas that seem to be critical to preserve the integrity of the design I may have to go back to the financers for extra money. But without that information I can’t do much…how many permits do I need!?!

Light Watch 4-120: There is quite some equipment out there when it comes to reaching heights without scaffolding…


04. July 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design | Leave a comment

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