Architecture / June 13, 2018 / Oriane
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 works alongside or within the design team providing a construction management service. The management contractor does not undertake either the design or the direct construction work. The physical construction is carried out by specialist subcontractors, package contractors. There are two main forms of this approach: Management Contracting where the contractor employs the subcontractors and Construction Management where the subcontractors are employed directly by the client and the project is managed by the construction manager - there is no actual main contractor. Management procurement routes are associated with fast moving, complex construction projects. The early appointment of manager within the design team allows the design and construction operations to be fast-tracked while also ensuring that the required quality standards are delivered. These projects, however, tend to be expensive. Figure 1 sets out a summary of the advantages and disadvantage of various procurement approaches which may be of use in meeting project objectives.