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'Your Project' Series - Blog 03

Using Consultants in your project

The design team you assemble, or should we say ‘advice you assemble’ is as critical as picking a good builder to realise the project. Most likely it will be the lead designer/ architect that will offer an early steer of the people you will need around to support and advise when certain people should become involved. It is important to delegate and appoint the right people to tackle the right task.

It may be overwhelming to trust 4 or 5 consultants at such an early stage of the process to handle such a big task. Speaking bluntly, each person carries a fee that you may feel is high, each person likely comes only on the back of one person’s recommendation (the architect or lead designer), and each person will have views that may rightly conflict with some or perhaps all of the previous advice. But it is the trust in these people and their expertise which is key to informing the design and overcoming obstacles that each professional may present. A cohesive and trusted team working well together will deliver the best results.

The earlier the team is appointed, the earlier their advice can be received. It may be the case initially that a general steer is given, and their involvement may be more critical as the design is realised. On the other hand, say in the case of an arborist who could be key to the preservation and enhancement of the design in relation to existing & new trees, this person should be involved from the very start.

It is a common mistake to think that all technical and build details are not realized until after the planning. Yes, there are still many details to consider and attend to post planning. However, in these initial design stages, the Quantity Surveyor will have advised and given a rough steer on cost, the early-stage use of a structural engineer, alongside the skill of the designer will have informed what is possible in the structure and an energy consultant would have commented and considered the building fabric, energy consumption and use of the renewables in the build to ensure the building performs as it needs to. Each project may require a different mix of consultants to adhere to the project requirements and it is your trust in our involvement that will allow us to achieve an informed and water-tight design.

The simple truth being the long process of design and the involvement of these consultant’s input means nothing should come as a surprise after a successful planning submission when the design team is working well together.

With ever changing and improving standards that must be met, with more and more considerations to the planning approach and the design we need to consider, to have the design team alongside you, and be prepared to give your trust, will lead to better, quicker and more cost-effective builds on site.

Team Life Size

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