Design and Small Projects

 

There is a phenomenon in London that has been going on for a few years now. We all know that property and property values are important in England simply because the values are so high and force us all (except the wealthy who inherit) to spend the majority of our lives working to pay our debts.  Some of us have harnessed this situation by renting and feel afraid that a slow down in demand will threaten us.  In anycase we continue to buy, invest and develop property for whatever purposes suitable to us.  The increased demand for property caused by Population growth has been welcomed by large developers (Barrats etc.), small builders, investors and home owners who benefits from cheaper building work.

The coincidence of this situation with the apparent recent phenomenon of  Design and Build in the Construction industry, which has threatened Architects since its inception, has given rise to a number of Companies. [Design and Build originated from the Latham Report 1994 (http://constructingexcellence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Constructing-the-team-The-Latham-Report.pdf)  and was originally all about encouraging Architects, Builders, Engineers, and Clients to work together in a closer way- this was some up as ‘partnering’.  The over riding purpose of this ‘partnering’ was to make the Construction of Buildings better. It is debateable whether this has been successful.  What is clear is that under D&B Contractors has a lot more control of the design of Buildings and often force Architects to design in a particular way to make it easier and cheaper for the Contractor thereby increasing their profit.  It is clear to me that the Design of Buildings has been made more difficult because of this.

The influx of cheaper labour from Eastern Europe since the UK has joined the EU has put many Eastern Europeans in control of Small Building Project Market and they often employ people from their own Country who they can easily communicate with, from labourers to designers.  This does not bode well for British Architects working in these Small Scale Project Markets.    Capitalistic Entrepreneurs have formed Companies which harness this situation by managing teams of Builders and masquerading as Project Managers and Building companies promising a Turn-Key service.  These are the consequences of our Capitalistic Economy.  The most important aspect of it all is forgotten; Design.

 

 

 

 

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