Architecture / June 11, 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 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.