Should A Builder Need Access To Subcontractor Entitlements?

May 27, 2024 by admin

Leading Commercial Builder Balmain & Co Weighs In… 

For every developer that is mandating the use of IPEX on their projects, there is another that would like the additional protection, but doesn’t think that their builder would agree.

Is it unreasonable to ask a builder to operate under the condition that they can ‘only’ access their own entitlements
and not those of their subcontractors and suppliers? Our position is fairly obvious, but it’s important we get a leading builder’s perspective.

A Massive Game Of Pass The Parcel

Balmain & Co is an established commercial builder operating in both the Victorian and Queensland markets,
collaborating with industry-leading developers and consultants on high-end residential and complex commercial
developments, education, civil and infrastructure projects.

While some builders continue to fight the additional transparency and subcontractor payment protections, Balmain & Co has worked under IPEX on 11 projects ranging from $20M to >$100M. Not only that, Balmain & Co proactively offers developers and lenders the option of implementing IPEX on their projects. Why such a contrasting position? We asked Balmain & Co Director, Ken O’Connor:

IPEX: Are developers justified in asking their builder to operate without access to subcontractor entitlements? Is there a reason that any builder should find this difficult or dare we say, offensive?

IPEX: Balmain & Co has worked under IPEX on a number of projects now; in some cases IPEX is developer-led and others where you have volunteered to work under the framework. How does an IPEX project differ from a non-IPEX project?


Whilst many builders manage funds responsibly, it’s not always easy to tell who they are. 

Ken’s feedback around builder due diligence certainly mirrors what we’re seeing play out at IPEX. Despite financiers ramping up builder due diligence requirements, we continue to see builders enter administration having only recently won new contracts, suggesting that builders are somehow managing to satisfy DD criteria despite serious (often terminal) cashflow issues.

Balmain & Co is one of a growing number of builders who are not just accepting of IPEX, but proactively using it to differentiate their bid from competitors and ‘prove’ their strong financial position. They also know that builders in financial trouble will fight the use of IPEX which is critical – it helps developers ‘find’ the honest builder.

If you want to talk to Balmain & Co about an upcoming project, please reach out to Jess Jones: Head of Strategy and Business Development or to find out if IPEX can be implemented on your next project, get in touch