Release date: 21 February 2012
Design Council Trustee, Rab Bennetts, giving evidence to the All Party Group for Excellence in the Built Environment, has called for a new code of practice for design procurement, which would replace the current ‘tick-box’ methodology with one that ensures the most appropriate designers are selected for public buildings of all kinds.
The current procurement process of construction projects is known to be too complex, time consuming and wasteful. The consequences for the UK economy are significant with loss of work for able firms, low investment in design and construction innovation and most importantly the delivery of poor quality buildings that fail to match initial ambitions.
Speaking after addressing the group in the House of Commons on Monday 20th February Rab Bennetts said:
‘Gone are the days when an act of enlightened patronage could determine the quality of our town halls, schools, libraries, galleries or colleges. Individual leaders with the
vision to create fine civic buildings or public spaces are now the exception rather than the rule. The advent of mandatory procurement processes over the last twenty years has been accompanied by dramatic changes in the way that architects and other members of the design team are chosen having a detrimental impact on the final outcome and the UK’s economy. The proposed code of practice is intended to provide appropriate guidance and encourage a change of culture that would be of enormous benefit to both the industry and the economy.’
The Design Council is working closely with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on delivering its Innovation and Growth Strategy, a key part of which is to ensure that the UK Government is a world leader in the procurement of good design.
As Government’s principle design advisor, Design Council Cabe has recommended a new code of practice, which would simplify the current complex system, seek to deliver better value for money for clients and benefit the public by creating better quality schemes.
The key features of the new code of practice would be:
1 Expert advice for the client body at the outset
2 Assessment of capability separate from project-specific submissions
3 Appropriate selection criteria for projects
4 Relevant requirements in relation to size, scale and experience
5 Combined evaluation of fees, resources and personnel
6 Fair scoring systems
7 Best practice guidance for design competitions
8 Mandatory feedback for bidders
Developed in collaboration with the built environment design sector the proposed code would be:
- EU compliant
- Efficient and adaptable
- Reduce the burden on the construction industry
- Achieve the most appropriate result for the project
Notes to editors
1. Design Council Cabe is part of the Design Council and is the UK’s national strategic body a Government advisor for design in the built environment.
2. Some of Design Council Cabe’s experience in this area is captured in the following publications:
- ImprovingStandards of Design in the Procurement of Public Buildings (joint CABE/OGC guidance)
- Achieving Excellence in Construction - Procurement Guide: Design Quality (OGC)
- CreatingExcellent Buildings (CABE)
- Better Public Buildings (CABE)
3. For more information please contact Nigel Campbell, Design Council Head of Communications on 0207 420 5282 / email@example.com