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KCA speaks out over design and build process on defective Hackney block


Reducing the design and specification to the lowest common denominator has been going on under D&B procurement for as long as I can remember. At the time D&B was introduced, it was seen as a panacea within public procurement for regulating the supposed very high costs of architects' 'fanciful' and 'expensive' design proposals by bringing these impractical designs 'down to earth' with more pragmatic and less expensive materials options proposed by the D&B contractor. The tender process was documented by an 'Employers Agent' more often than not from an estimating background who issued tenders containing the 'Employers Requirements' following which the 'Contractors Proposals' were then received back as a tender. This process allowed for 'equal or approved' substitutions of materials, form and structure, across the board (without the participation of the original designer who was inevitably sidelined within a novation process) with many changes that were often camouflaged within the extensive documentation and geared to presenting appealing competitive prices to the client that then facilitated the reduced quality of finished product whilst enhancing contractor profitability. Has this changed - very little it seems from the published report!

Posted date

12 September, 2019

Posted time

12:13 pm