Architecture / June 23, 2018 / .
Buildings affect everyone and can intrude on the freedom, privacy or rights of individuals. Statutory legislation regulates many activities of those who wish to build. Planning legislation controls the appearance and intensity of planning of buildings and may limit the extent of development on particular sites. Building control legislation establishes minimum standards and requires that buildings are safe and efficient to use. Safety legislation sets out to eliminate accidents to persons in the course of constructing the building. Environmental legislation protects society and wider environment from potential negative effects of the development process.
The notion of quality is multidimensional and includes aspects which may be appraised subjectively. The Latham Report identified a number of quality aspects which clients may seek in a satisfactory construction project: pleasing to look at; free from defects on completion; fit for the purpose; supported by worthwhile guarantees; satisfactory durability and customer delight. Several of these aspects are inherent in the design of the project, while others relate to how successfully the contractor constructs that design on site. The designers will aim to produce an effective and attractive spatial and structural solution to the clients brief. This should provide sufficient, well planned accommodation, using appropriate materials, components, equipment, fittings and furnishings to enable the building to perform effectively and efficiently. Ideally it should generate a sense of delight amongst it users and the public at large.
The relationship of quality to cost is often expressed in the saying that you get what you pay for. Cost is a critical factor in most building projects and some clients will seek a low price. Low price and maximum price competition, however, often have negative impacts on quality standards and achieving best value for money overall. In the current economic climate below cost tendering has heightened the risk of contractor insolvency and it may be difficult and expensive to obtain protection from this risk. Unrealistic and inadequate budgets often lead to projects becoming finance driven where cheaper options are preferred to better or more sustainable alternatives. Certain clients may have fixed budgets which may not be exceeded in any circumstances. In such circumstances the client will expect the quantity surveyor to maintain rigorous cost control during the project in order to deliver the project within budget. Designing to achieve such cost limits might curtail the introduction of beneficial features and or variations which may result in excessive running and maintenance costs later on.
This is where the contractor provides the design and construction under one contract. Turnkey projects and many public private partnership developments are examples of this approach. Design and build offers the client competitively priced projects completed within rapid time frames by enabling the contractor to value manage the employers requirements and overlap design and construction operations. It is not successful where the employers requirements are poorly defined and the approach tends to produce functional architecture in terms of appearance.