As a structural engineer I absolutely agree that architects must be at the forefront of the whole rethinking construction, best practice and best value philosophy (AJ 1.3.01). From the beginning architectural schools should instil teamwork and an understanding of all aspects of the construction team. It is no longer acceptable for designers (of any discipline) not to look at wider client and construction issues. This might mean a few extra hours per week on the curriculum but it is vital that this philosophy is instilled early on.
The better structural engineering degree courses are all starting to embrace the concept, including health and safety, before John Prescott nails us all to the floor - safely of course!
Incidentally, the best engineering courses also incorporate some architecture into the engineering syllabus.
The best-value and best-practice philosophy will affect all of us. Hopefully it has already, so the lecturers had better start learning the abbreviations: KPIs, DQIs et al.
The whole concept has very exciting implications for designers as 'good design' needs to be right at the top of the agenda to deliver better, more efficient buildings, under budget and on time, of course.
Anyone living or working in south-west London who is interested in best practice is welcome to join our best practice club in Wimbledon, one of 15 nationwide clubs set up with the help of the excellent best practice programme. For information please contact myself or Tony Smith at Pole Associates structural engineers on e-mail mail@pole. co. uk Simon Pole, Pole Associates