What follows is a conversation which took place on twitter between the evening of May 17th and the morning of May 18th 2009.
I’ve reproduced it here because it illustrates some of the massive potential that twitter has as a networking tool. It happens to be about the procurement method of Design & Build.
Firstly note on the protagonists in their own words (twitter profiles):
The_Architect : Manchester, UK. Chartered Architect, Music lover. Frank Lloyd Wright expert and a Romantic soul.
LizMale: Buckinghamshire. PR consultant specialising in UK construction and sustainability in the built environment
EEPaul: SE England, London SE3, Woking London-based blogger on IT, SaaS, construction, PR, marketing and Web 2.0 stuff (also a Crewe Alex FC fan, Wikipedian, cyclist)
Fairsnape: Forest of Bowland Lancs UK. Supporting, shaping and commenting on trends, web stuff, improvements and futures in the built environment
Melstarrs: London or Leeds, UK Green Building Design Engineer and Accreditation Professional (CIBSE, BREEAM & LEED)
ConstructingExc: London. Constructing Excellence is the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction, housing and regeneration.
SuButcher: Essex, UK Practice Manager for No-nonsense Architects Barefoot & Gilles. Tweets on the UK Construction and Property Industry, blog at https://www.justpractising.com
PaulDohertyAIA: Shanghai. New York Architect, Living and Working in Shanghai, China
HotelDesigns: Croydon, Surrey. we are the online magEzine for the hotel interior design industry featuring directory, news, reviews and more!
The_Architect: So what profession would you do instead of your current one if you could do both? I’d be a boxer, I would love to do that. [8:43 PM May 17th from TwitterFon]
LizMale: @the_architect Yes! A boxer. And a builder (a good one, who gets on with architects – is there such a thing?!)
The_Architect: @lizmale Good answer, eh no! Well I wish we could scrap D&B as I hate it. D&B is not about quality it’s about profit!
LizMale: @the_architect D&B never seems to get great results either, as far as I hear. But what scope for genuine integrated working instead?
The _Architect: @lizmale some form of partnering but with the Architect and a strong client a lot can be achieved!
EEPaul: @the_architect @lizmale. Agree. Some good examples of Prime Contracting with Defence Estates (eg: Andover North – years ahead of its time)
Fairsnape: @EEPaul @the_architect @lizmale. agree Paul, much of the Building Down Barriers good stuff has been lost and not repeated, eg clustering
EEPaul: @fairsnape @lizmale @the_architect – Andover North also prototyped the single project bank account approach – no delays in payment!
Melstarrs: @lizmale @the_architect agree re: D&B. Integrated working works well when team have a common goal (sometimes as simple as keeping the client
fairsnape: @EEPaul @melstarrs @lizmale @the_architect Andover also had true Integrated Project Team, havent seen one as effective since,
fairsnape: @EEPaul in fact ‘official’ Prime Contracting killed prime contracting and BDB when the commercial peeps started driving it 🙁
constructingexc: fairsnape @EEPaul @melstarrs @lizmale @the_architect I’ll second the Andover North shouts. Great project and the facility itself is superb.
EEPaul: @fairsnape @EEPaul @melstarrs @lizmale @the_architect – Andover North case study (old ITCBP) one: http://bit.ly/tWReI
SuButcher: Re D&B etc @Fairsnape @EEPaul @the_architect @lizmale most of our work is D&B – why is it so popular? (with clients too) [6:26 AM May 18th from Tweetie]
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: @Fairsnape @EEPaul @the_architect @lizmale most of our work is D&B , why is it so popular? —> Because it works
SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia morning Paul 🙂 (and why does it work?) @eepaul @lizmale @Fairsnape @the_architect
PaulDohertyAIA: Re D&B etc @Fairsnape @EEPaul @the_architect @lizmale If you don’t know how to build it, you should not be designing it.
fairsnape: RT @pauldohertyaia: @SuButcher: Re D&B @Fairsnape @EEPaul @the_architect @lizmale morning, agree – an early mix of design + build expertise
PaulDohertyAIA:RT @SuButcher: morning Paul 🙂 and why does it work?)@eepaul @lizmale @Fairsnape @the_architect—> If practiced properly, saves time/money
The_Architect: I will put it plain& simple. D&B is a total waste of time. What does the client really get, erm no control at all really!
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: RT @the_architect: I will put it plain& simple. D&B is a total waste of time—> Sounds like someone is unenlightened 😉
SuButcher @pauldohertyaia I’ve worked with architects that hated D&B but there it was because the client wanted a fixed price w variable requirements
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia D&B …client wanted a fixed price w variable requirements–>Enlightened owners are the key to successful DB
PaulDohertyAIA: @SuButcher Led the AIA’s DB PIA for many years, heard all of the pros/cons, it comes down 2 what is best for the firm & the profession
PaulDohertyAIA: @SuButcher DB can b the best path 4 most firms to control the schedule, budget & details, make more money & hopefully provide better design.
PaulDohertyAIA: @SuButcher But the best DB model is the Designer-led DB team… otherwise, there are issues
SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia I think it depends on the contractors culture too. Some don’t quote high enough and then “value engineer” for their profit
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: …contractors culture..don’t quote high enough…”value engineer”…profit—> Agree, thats an industry issue, not just DB
SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia others will stick to the Employers Requirements rather than seduce them with low tender, so(wise) client benefits in the end
SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia problem we have in the UK at the mo is contractors are buying jobs by underquoting. Some will go bust and take others w them
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: UK contractors are buying jobs..underquoting–> Change Order Contractors, terrible, but smart designers can ID them at Tender
SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia yes and smart clients will know them too (or take their architects advice)
PaulDohertyAIA: @SuButcher Designers have better cost estimating data than any contractor, being smart at tender by knowing the real numbers is key
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: @pauldohertyaia yes and smart clients will know them too (or take their architects advice)—> AMEN!
HotelDesigns: @SuButcher and the architect and designer, paid by the builder, have a responsibility to their employer – the builder!
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher: RT @HotelDesigns: the architect and designer… have a responsibility to their employer – the builder!–> But that’s not DB
HotelDesigns: @SuButcher My experience of D&B has not been good. Because my interior bit is at the end finishes and spec get cut for builders profits
SuButcher: @HotelDesigns working for good builder can be a good job for a good architect and can create v good buildings. Adversarial = too simple
PaulDohertyAIA: RT @SuButcher @HotelDesigns: The designer as builder or designer-led DB are models that work… other models are called extortion 😉
These kinds of conversation are going on on twitter all the time. Some of them peter out with little to show for it, some lead to learning, some lead to business.
Your comments are invited (both on the subject of the conversation and on the posting of it)
D&B is popular, especially among Housing Associations, because it removes their risk in terms of costs.
One of the most interesting contracts I’ve come across is target pricing as described by Christopher Day in his book, Places of the Soul (pg. 127). I’ve never considered if it could be used in some form on large projects but it’s undeniably a great contract for small projects.
It’s calculated on a time + materials basis:
Estimated time x rate per hour = target price
If work takes more or less time than estimated, the rate can be decreased or increased up to a mutually agreed margin, although the price may not exceed the target if work is quicker than expected, and not be less if slower. Undue profit or loss is therefore restricted to a level mutually agreed beforehand.
Estimate: 25 hours x €20/hour = target price €500
A. 36 hrs x (€20 – €5=) €15/hr = €540
B. 30 hrs x (€20 – €5=) €15/hr = €450 so €500
C. 22 hrs x (€20 + €5=) €25/hr = €550 so €500
D. 18 hrs x (€20 + €5=) €25/hr = €450
martin brown says
Su and others I have commented on this and added my views on integrated, clustered project management over on my isite blog http://tr.im/m4s3