Design and Build
Our practical point of view
Normally when you have an enquiry you will expect us to provide a quotation free of charge. We will of course interpret your request such that that we can provide a quotation that most cost effectively meets your needs.
However in a competitive situation where you require more than one quote, we anticipate the same "brief" to be given to the other contractors so that our proposal can be evaluated against the their proposals in fair and honest manner.
Sometimes we have been asked to provide proposals that involve a substantial input of survey/drawing/design. It is not a good idea to go to multiple contractors on a design & build basis as the quotes will not necessarily be similar and evaluation will not then be on a like for like basis. In these circumstances we would not be prepared to quote on D&B basis, but would require our design work to be paid for.
In such situations, once a design has been paid for, this can then be issued to the other contractors to quote in a fair manner on a like for like basis.
On the (numerous) occasions where we have undertaken such D & B projects with substantial design input, they have been undertaken as a negotiated contract, then we don't charge for the design work.
This preferred basis allows us to focus on interpreting the requirements in the most cost effective manner and "value engineering" a scheme that fulfils its purpose.
The design & development process
We will discuss your requirements and start the drafting process, with as many revisions and alternatives that are necessary. Good design evolves from our dialogue with you - your knowledge of your business will mesh with our expertise to arrive at the right answer for your project.
Once we have your proposals drawn with AutoCAD your amendments (and there will be many - rest assured!) can be quickly incorporated without the need "to go back to the drawing board"!
When we are sure we have the right scheme we will produce a drawing and a schedule of works detailing our proposals.
We can produce drawings many times faster than used to be possible. Our drawings are also produced to accepted architectural drawing standards being are easy to read & understand.
Let us explain our philosophy in more detail
Our experience often brings a different view on how fitting out and refurbishment works can be undertaken.
Some of the traditional construction methods seem antiquated in comparison to the new ways of building and refurbishing the workplace. The new systems constantly being developed offer substantial time and therefore cost savings, providing greater levels of flexibility and demountability.
Our extensive use of new (and different) products, will often enable us to provide a simpler solution that can give added value to any project. We specialise in knowing what product to use and very importantly where best to use it.
As Information Technology becomes such an important part of every workplace, we have developed an integrated approach by looking at the project as a whole. This incorporates the planning of the associated services so that we get a seamless finish & successful conclusion with nothing forgotten or omitted along the way.
We have adopted this approach successfully in many fields
- Office building refurbishment.
- Industrial buildings being converted to offices.
- Computer & server rooms.
- Document storage facilities.
- CMM & temperature controlled rooms.
- Schools refurbishment & extensions.
- Doctors surgeries & health centres.
- Fitting out hairdressing salons.
Our value engineering approach
in many cases we can suggest an alternative proposal which offers added value.
We have found that a specification prepared by someone other than an interiors specialist can specify products or materials that are either unsuitable, needlessly expensive, or over-specified. In many such cases we have suggested alternatives which offered added value. Fortunately, we have been involved at the earliest stage in some projects, where our input at the pre-construction phase has resulted in a re-design of the building fabric.
The developer will usually have the building designed to optimise floor area to maximise sale value and minimise capital expenditure by omitting all the “good stuff”
►► Sometimes a token gesture is added to enhance a building’s “saleability” or “letability”, such as comfort cooling. Generally our experience has been that this is done in such a minimal fashion (only cools an empty building) as to be worse than useless.
►► An architect will concentrate on architectural detail for aesthetic appeal, whilst missing some of the more critical details like services cupboards being too small, etc.
►► As an interiors specialist, we take a more pragmatic approach to design, applying value engineering principles to each project, each proposal being different.
However, we are often brought in after the building is complete, and then have to “reverse engineer” some of the design elements. Even in smaller projects involving construction of a facility within a larger building, it can be helpful if we are involved at the earliest stage - where our experience can be of use and help shape the final proposal.
The example drawing below is of a kitchen & toilet facility exclusively designed by us to maximise office area, and minimise the services footprint and save space:-
For a more detailed overview of this subject take a look at the section on value engineering
Brand names-are they worth the extra?
If “Acme Carpets Ltd” are a specified product, do you know if this is what you need? - We do! a lot of products are over specified.
Brand names cost a lot of money to get established as market leaders. There is a simple reason why manufacturers do this - they can charge more when customers display brand loyalty and awareness.
Just like Baked Beans, or Coffee, building materials and components are just as prone to brand loyalty and are often specified just because the architect/specifier is familiar with them.
We can advise on the cost effectiveness of most specified products and provide alternative products and solutions where appropriate, that fulfil the criteria and that can offer equivalent levels of performance, helping you to meet the budget or even achieve substantial cost savings.