Design Review

Design Review

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Building design resolves client requirements into a set of instructions for the construction of a building that satisfies those requirements. It tends to follow a relatively consistent process of project definition followed by the iterative development of an increasingly detailed solution. It is important that regular reviews are carried out during the design process to ensure that the developing design properly reflects the client's requirements and that the design and budget do not diverge.

Design reviews are typically co-ordinated by the lead designer. They may involve the consultant team, the client, independent client advisers and where there is one, the contractor. They may also involve external organisations who specialise in undertaking design reviews.

Design reviews may consider:

  • • Design quality.
  • • Value management.
  • • Design risk management.
  • • Design co-ordination.
  • • Procurement route.
  • • Risks (other than health and safety risks) associated with the design, such as the use of innovative components, long lead time items and and non-standard elements of the design.
  • • Compliance with the project brief. The project brief should be amended if necessary.
  • • Compliance with procedures laid out in project execution plan. The project execution planshould be amended if necessary.
  • • Compliance with relevant legislation, circulars, guides, codes and regulations (in particular the building regulations). This may require consultation with statutory authorities such as the local planning authority, building control officers or the emergency services, who may have views on fundamental aspects of the design.
  • • Contingency plans.
  • • The feasibility, buildability, packaging, cost and programming of the design.
  • • Co-ordination and integration of different elements or packages of the design
  • • The need for specialist designers or specialist contractors.
  • • The need for mock-ups, samples, tests and inspections (in the later stages of the design process it may be appropriate to visit the premises of specialist contractors or suppliers to assess samples, mock-ups and tests).
  • • Sustainability issues, such as: compliance with any existing client policies or targets, site selection, availability of transport, the local availability of resources and services, the local infrastructure, local ecology, landscape, energy use and energy source, flexibility and durability, waste and water management, material selection, recycling, pollution, resilience to climate change, dismantling and demolition or re-use.
  • • Development of site waste management plan, including opportunities to reduce consumption of resources and generation of waste.
  • • Assessment of protocols for submitting design information (for example building information modelling (BIM) protocols).

Following a design review, the lead designer will generally compile comments received as a and instruct the consultant team to amend or develop the design as necessary. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to commission design reviews from independent client advisers or from specialist design review organisations. These reviews are sometimes referred to as design audits.

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