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Architect needed for Cambridge primary school

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[Request to participate to be returned by 17 December] Cambridgeshire County Council is on the lookout for an architect for a new primary school

Part of the council’s North West Cambridge Development (pictured), the 400-student school will be on a 3 hectare site and is planned to open in September 2015.

Full architectural and landscaping design services from RIBA stage A to L are called for with works to begin March 2013.

Full occupation is planned to commence in September 2018

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It is interesting that you flag this tender opportunity as at first sight it does look like something just 'up our street', having been doing similar work for over a decade. However, this procurement process seems to contain many of the smaller firm excluding aspects that the RIBA has been campaigning against. We obtained a PQQ (a time consuming process of registration and downloading in itself) only to find that a firm like ours is excluded at the first hurdle. I list two key issues here that operate against the inclusion of smaller (but capable) firms:-
    1. Fee value cited as £250k per year and this must not be more than 40% of the firm's turnover. This means that the minimum turnover needs to be £625k by my calculations and therefore excuding firms with a perfectly reasonable turnover of say, £500k. Also, using a generous £1,800 per sq m on a 420 place school (2FE) the construction cost would be a little over £4M. Even if we said £5M, is the client really offering to pay £250,000 per year in fees. That is 5% of the construction value x 3(?) years say. We would consider ourselves fortunate indeed to get 5% for the entire job nowadays.
    2. PQQ level set at £10M. Even at £5 million construction value, what is the real risk of an architect's negligent act resulting in a cost of £10M?
    These are just two of the criteria that will exclude/dissuade smaller firms from competing for this work and I believe this to be to the detriment of smaller architectural practices and potentially the client.
    The RIBA has recently published a report on public sector procurement and we need to get this message out to public bodies procuring profesional services.

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