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Getting Ready for Building

The Balance between Quality and Budget Control

Architecture is not a matter of beautiful drawings. Architecture is about the spaces within which you live.

Successful architecture is the coming together in equal parts of appropriate design, the achievement of build quality and the control of the project budget.

The method by way of which the Main Contractor will be employed (the procurement route) is also a consideration.

One procurement route is Competitive Tender.

In the event that the client intends to employ a Main Contractor, Hampson Williams will produce at stage 4 (Technical Design), a comprehensive package of information (drawings; schedules and; specifications) which has been coordinated with the designs and specifications produced by the civil/structural engineering consultant, the building services engineering consultant and other specialist consultants that the particular project requires. The documentation is referred to as the construction information and is the basis for seeking a contract price for the works (The Tender).

There are different types of Tender:

  • Open Tender: This form of Tender is suitable for a variety of project types and sizes but particularly, for large and complex projects and is open to all interested Main Contractors. It is almost always based on Bills of Quantities.
  • Selective Tender: A limited number of selected Main Contractors are invited to submit a financial offer. This method may be used for different types of developments of various sizes and values. It is almost always based upon Bills of Quantities.
  • Negotiated Tender: For a number of reasons, a single Main Contractor is invited to negotiate with the Client and the professional team to agree a Contract Price based upon rates for schedules of the required works. This form of Tender is often used for small/medium private residential projects.

The Tender process usually starts following the obtaining of Planning Permission.

Hampson Williams works with the Client to select the most suitable Main Contractor for a particular project on a case-by-case basis subject to the form of Tender process to be used.

What we do differently: Working with client and contractor as a team

Selecting the lowest Tender may result in a loss of quality, hidden costs, delays and poor execution of the works.

The Tender route should be the way to build trust between all of the parties – Client, project team and Main Contractor – although this may not result in achieving the lowest price possible. However, as the completed building is in many cases the principal place of residence of the Client, quality of design, function and materials is often of greater interest.

If the budget is a key factor to be effectively controlled, Hampson Williams will, with the Client’s agreement, involve an appropriate contractor from the start of the design process. By doing so, it is possible to avoid the inefficiencies of the Tender process with the benefits that follow:

  • Achieving a more accurate “guestimate” of the building cost. An experienced Main Contractor is capable of providing a “best guess estimated cost” at early stage.
  • By way of this method, the Client can be advised prior to the formal processes of Tender, whether or not the project can proceed without substantial alterations and if it can be built within the budget
  • At each stage, design and cost assessments can proceed simultaneously thus making the process more efficient and enabling the project to develop without dramatic changes being required for budget reasons at later stage.

At all times, quality and costs are controlled.

Historically, Hampson Williams and together with selected Main Contractors, have achieved very effective team working relationships that have resulted in Hampson Williams being given design awards and prizes for the quality of projects.

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