Introducing ‘Collaborate and Build’

By Christophe

Traditionally, once a house building project has gained planning permission, the next stage is detailed design followed by a competitive tender process to find a builder. Up to this point, costs are only loosely unknown. The client doesn’t have an exact price for their project until the architect has spent time creating a highly detailed design package. However, there is another way that can give far more clarity on costs from day one. We’re calling it ‘collaborate and build’.

In short, the idea is to know who your contractor is before the house is fully designed. By doing the legwork at the start to get a contractor on board with only design sketches, you can have an idea of budget from the beginning. This can be refined as the project progresses.

The benefits of this process are clear. Not only will costs be a lot clearer from the beginning but they should be lower. Professional fees won’t come to so much because although there will still be a detailed design stage, an architect won’t need to spend time creating a tender package or liaising with a contractor to the same extent on site.

Crucial to the success of the project, however, is finding a builder you trust. One drawback to this process as that you don’t have the opportunity to compare tenders after detailed design, but if you trust the contractor you should feel confident they are giving the right price for each element. Should there be any doubt about the chosen contractor’s costing, there is still the opportunity to revert back to competitive tender, usually with an agreed amount paid to the original contractor to acknowledge their time spent investigating the project.

We’re working on a number of projects structured around the collaborate and build concept. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how it will work or whether it is the right process for your project.



Tags: Architectural process, Construction, Design

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