Appointing and Managing professionals
The steps involved in any development process require the support of a wide range of professionals. You also need to learn heavily on their skill and judgment throughout the process while being comfortable that they are involving you appropriately in key decisions. As such the selection of these individuals and their host firms is key to the success of your development.
Involving an architect
Using an architect is advisable in any project involving new building work. A good architect will see the constraints that a project can bring, and their subsequent resolution, not as problems but as a creative opportunity to create an inspiring and useful building.
Do not be afraid to ‘shop around’ until you find the right individual or company which has the specific experience of working on library facilities and / or not-for-private-profit organisations. An appointed architect should be a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
While most architects will charge an hourly or daily rate, for budgeting purposes it can be better to get a fixed quote for the whole job. This will mean putting together a brief against which a selection of architects should be invited to respond to. A competitive tender may be insisted upon by some external funders, but it is still good practice to invite 3-5 professional advisors to respond to a brief in any case.
A brief should cover:
• The nature of the project.
• What the project aims to achieve.
• A detailed breakdown of all the schedule of accommodation needs in the building.
• Drawings of the site.
• The title deeds (where available).
Appointment based on lowest price is very tempting. But, also consider how accessible they are geographically, their willingness to go the extra mile and demonstrate an active interest in the type of project proposed.
Involving a Surveyor
A building surveyor is an alternative to using an architect. This could be more appropriate for a refurbishment or scheme where the look of the building is not so important.
Other surveyors who might be required include:
• Quantity surveyor – prepares budget costs estimates.
• Land surveyor – prepares plans of site.
• Valuation surveyor – provides independent advice on the value of properties.
Involving a CDM Co-ordinator
There is a legal obligation to appoint a Construction Design Management Co-ordinator (CDM) for any building project, before any planning application is submitted. The job of the CDM is to ensure that, during each stage of the planning process, Health and Safety implications are taken into account. Generally speaking, the architect or surveyor may take on this role. However, this may incur extra costs. The role of the CDM ends at the point at which building work starts on the site. The Association for Project Safety produces a list of CDM Co-ordinators.