Should contractors realistically be expected to concern themselves about a project’s design concept when a timely and budget-tight delivery is the target? Probably not. Can pre-construction architects become too precious about their concept? Possibly. Do the answers to these questions create potential conflict further down the line under a Design & Build contract?
A delivery architect could be the key to resolving this potentially conflict-ridden situation facilitating an effective partnership between the pre-construction architect, client and contractor and aiding the successful realisation of a project.
A role of a delivery architect is to help successfully realise a project – retaining the outline of the original concept design, whilst encouraging momentum in the contractor to achieve timely delivery and ensuring the project remains on budget.
The ultimate goal– a well-designed project finished on time and on budget – happy client, happy contractor and happy architect.
So, what should a contractor be looking for in a delivery architect?
An effective delivery architect will be attuned to balancing the client’s design requirements on one side whilst refining buildability for the contractor on the other. And that buildability may well go beyond the obvious requirement for profit. A good delivery architect will recognise that, in addition to the bottom line, a contractor will be reacting to and influenced by other priorities within a teams’ organisation eg. the contracts manager looking to minimise disruption to the programme and the estimator responsible for the compatibility and availability of construction elements.
To work harmoniously with the contractor, alleviating some of their pressures whilst maintaining the pre-construction architect’s original design concept and the confidence of the client a delivery architect needs some key skills and attributes:
- Communication – Communication is vital. The delivery architect must be able to portray/describe the design solutions clearly and accurately (whether through sketches, emails or on the phone)
- Availability -The delivery must be accessible and have the capacity to attend frequent design team meetings and site visits to resolve issues and maintain programme.
- Technical Knowledge. A good delivery architect will have excellent drafting skills and up to date knowledge and proficiency in building regulations.
- Creativity, imagination and vision. A delivery architect can enhance the buildability of a scheme, potentially reducing cost, improving compatibility and ensuring the programme keeps to time.
- Problem Solving. A delivery architect needs an analytical mind with excellent problem-solving abilities during the initial design stage and the ability to think on their feet during the construction period to avoid unnecessary delays.
- As well as the ability to work well within the contractor’s team a design architect should also be a good leader key to running successful design team meetings and when organising the other consultants’ responsibilities.
- A delivery architect must be willing to work long hours, under time and budget pressure, prioritising drawing issues set out by the contractor’s Information Release Schedule.
- A capable and experienced delivery architect can undertake the assistant Principal Designer role reducing the workload for the contractor in respect of health & safety.
Find someone who is able to deliver on all of the above and you have found the perfect delivery architect to help in the successful completion of your Design and Build project.
As an established, respected and award winning multi-disciplinary construction consultancy DCP is ideally placed to provide informed expertise on your D & B project: Architectural Technology, Principal Designer, Project Management, Quantity and Building Surveying.
For further information contact Matthew Fitzpatrick on 0207 3752535