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Event Takeaway: Building Homes Masterclass, Managing Your Scheme to Achieve Good Design 19.09.19

Event Takeaway

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State of play

  • Brexit is causing costs to rise.  Private home building seems to have stopped. Public projects are being delayed and reconfigured.


  • Finding ways to cut costs is a common problem, changing tenure mix; retendering and altering designs all bring problems. Looking for cost savings from low impact items like construction methods can be helpful

  • Provide gateways on checking costs against the scheme budget

  • Talk about the budget as part of the design process and design to the budget

  • Viability – have access to a good quality QS for realistic costs


  • Tendering can work well when two stage process,  relatively short and open briefs for initial work to allow for creativity and prevent spoon feeding architects

  • Get the timing right – know when to tender – allow enough time for design teams to bid

  • Retender rather than value engineer


  • Communication is key

  • Early engagement - bring in the community and residents from the very start

  • Whole team understanding of the purpose of the scheme

  • Training for other parts of client organisation or council members – understand long term benefits/short term savings/provide realism

  • Give clarity on requirements and priorities (what is the essence of a scheme)

  • Everyone should agree to a realistic programme from the start

  • Recognise that a brief is not always just for the design team – sometimes it needed to spoon feed information to members

  • The design and delivery processes need to be set out almost in layman’s terms – good communication

  • Provide shared goals – important that these run through from the Chief Executive to the community

  • Community engagement – demonstrate what is being given back to an area


  • Bring in multi discipline input, support SME and BAME contractors and consider social value

  • Programme – careful forward thinking with time and don’t constrain yourself to a tight programme. If you shorten a realistic programme to meet funding deadlines you risk quality.

  • Effective client management of architect/team

  • Access to in house robust and detailed quality review procedures

  • Iteration needs to be celebrated and understood as part of the quality process.

  • Make sure you get the right buy in/delegate authority

  • Programme must include building in contingency and review – interrogate schemes properly – allow wriggle room

  • Intelligent project brief, quality and balance

  • Access to a well managed framework and also provide advice

  • Provide honest delivery times- identify where things are slowing down and provide real transparency particularly when working with large groups of stakeholders

  • Feedback at post-occupancy stage

  • Harness quality, honesty and transparency and learn from lessons good and bad


  • Engaging with suppliers of MMC early on & bring contractors through with you

  • Cross purpose vehicle working examples include London Public Builders Consortium

  • Early involvement of contractor – integrating with the design team


Speakers:                                                                                                          Attendees: 41

James Molloson, LB Hackney

Susan May, Clarion

Osama Shoush, LB Lewisham

Roy MacPepple, LB Tower Hamlets

Jed Young, LB Islington

Chloe Phelps, Brick x Brick


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