Architecture / June 14, 2018 / .
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.
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.
Procurement refers to the process of obtaining goods and services from another for some consideration. They describe the process as being simple in theory – balancing quality, time and cost priorities, but complicated in practice by legislation, the need to achieve value for money, demonstrate accountability and coordinate consultant and contractual roles and obligations to achieve a satisfactory outcome. The procurement strategy identifies how the project is structured and establishes where responsibility for design is to be placed, how the work is to be co-ordinated, and on what price basis the contract is to be awarded. The procurement strategy also directly affects the level of risk borne by the contractor and leads to choices regarding the conditions under which the work will be executed. These risks must be appraised and managed by the contractor and has a direct impact on the price tendered by the Contractor
A project may be completed on time and within budget, but unless it achieves the specified quality or performance criteria it will be considered to be a disappointment or even an outright failure. High profile building failures such as Priory Hall only serve to strengthen the public concern expressed in the Egan Reports findings that 30% of buildings fail to meet the expectations of their owners. Such failures may be prohibitively expensive to rectify, dangerous and can ruin reputations overnight.