Updated construction design best practice tool now available17 Mar 22
Improvements to accessibility and ease of use are the goal of updates to the latest version of the Quality in Construction Design Best Practice Tool, which has just been published.
The tool, developed by experts in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia to provide a way to better measure, control and monitor the quality of design in the early project stages, was originally published in early 2021 by the CQI in the UK.
It is free to download and is intended for use during the concept design and developed design stages of a project (RIBA stages 1-4). The tool has three parts, establishing design ‘gateways’, and operates on a self-assessment basis, measuring maturity as the extent to which the project aligns with best-practice principles, on a percentage scale.
Since its initial launch and following discussions with GIRI and other organisations, the developers of the tool have made changes to the language used to ensure it is applicable and accessible to as wide a group as possible.
David Myers from Shirley Parsons Project Services, who was involved in the development, explains that this has meant removing potentially ambiguous terms. “One example is the use of the word ‘milestone’, which is understood in different ways by different people, and can be confused with ‘gateway’, which is a term we also use. So, within the tool, we have replaced ‘milestone’ with ‘interface points’.”
While tweaks to language may seem relatively minor, clarity is important in a tool that is all about getting the details right. “The reality is that construction projects in the UK and around the world tend to overrun by about 20% on cost. Construction is a risky business. This tool is trying to help people look at the risks in a more disciplined way throughout the design phase of the project,” says David.
The tool applies best practice principles developed around the world to these early project stages to improve quality, save time, avoid cost overrun, and enhance business reputations.
“There is a huge amount of expertise contained within the tool and the questions it asks,” says David. “The tool prompts you to think about what’s required in the planning stages, at the right time and in the right order, which is fundamental to quality. Otherwise, you are stacking risks into a project, that can – and usually do – cause problems later on.”