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16 Aug, 17 / post / News
How design can reduce pain for contractor and client

Construction can at times be a painful business.

Throughout the lifecycle of a project, from inception all the way through to handover, there tend to be aches, pains and niggles that chip away at a construction professional’s ability, motivation (and sanity!?) to deliver a project on time, on budget and of a standard that the project team and end user are proud of.

Whilst these niggles are painful they can also be expensive, and this is usually the part that hurts the most, especially when it is an issue that could have been prevented or easily resolved with better planning, coordination, or the ability to predict the future (although maybe that ability is just experience?).

Usually the ones most affected by this pain are the contractors. A lot of the time, things are completely out of their hands and issues that should have been picked up at the design stage tend to rear their head during construction, leaving the contractor to inherit the pain, come up with an efficient solution, and a lot of the time absorb the cost of doing so.

Is it any wonder then that most experienced contractors tend to be cautious, battle hardened souls, who have seen it all before and are almost willing to see it all again, accepting the “pain” of construction as part of the job. But should it really be this way?

Project contingency sums are of course a necessary and important part of a project’s budget, but these should be used for the actual unknowns that arise on site, rather than the overlooked, neglected, uncoordinated and misunderstood elements.

Most errors or issues that arise on a project are usually avoidable, and can usually be traced back to an incorrect decision (or lack of any decision) being made earlier on the project. So what is the proposed solution?

At Cityzen we see collaboration as being a key factor, along with a proactive approach to design, and that means the architecture and the building services designed before the contractor starts on site. We continually encourage our clients to think not just what it looks like, but how the building needs to work for them.

We benefit from having both architectural and M&E design capabilities and, as such, as the design develops it is fed into from both disciplines, reducing and somewhat eliminating any clashes and errors that could arise between the two.  Additionally, we prefer to design with a building’s energy performance in mind from the earliest stages, from the thermal performance of elements to the fittings and plant being used, avoiding any surprises at a later stage with a need for increased wall or roof thicknesses, a loss of floor area, or a plant room that is just too small!

Using Cityzen, contractors’ and clients’ lives are made easier not having to juggle a variety of different consultants, but rather being able to place a number of the design elements in our hands, happy in the knowledge that what you will receive is a coordinated package of information.

We want to work with people who value efficiency and coordinated design. If you are a client who wants to reduce the unknown costs, or a contractor that wants the ease of a single point of contact, please contact us 01273 704901.

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