FEATURE: GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

By Tom Robinson26th February 2018
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As many building projects start on site at this time of year, we are sometimes asked by clients. Does it matter if the architect and the builder dont really get along on site? Or if a stonemasonsimplifiesan intricate moulding without checking with anyone?

The short answer is yes. It may sound like a fluffy part of the building process – ensuringharmonious relationships but good relationships are about communication and arecrucial to the success of the project. 

There is nosingleproject management solution to fit everyjob. Our practice has been involvedina variety of procurement models and contractual arrangements to get projects built. What we have noticed though is that when things are set up well, people behave respectfully to each other, are motivated to get on with thework,and better finished projectsresult. 

Its not always easy, of course. Some of the clichés are true. For example,wedesignerstend to think of the construction stage as the messy bit, the dangerous stage when so much could potentially go wrong. For the builders, this is where they get stuck in, and they dont want the architect poking his or her nose in every 5 minutes! 

The trick is to set up protocols right at the beginning. If the builder knows exactly who to direct a particular query to, that helps and all his workers know to flag up issues as they arise. If the architect and client source builders and specialists whom they know and trust, that helps considerably.Getting the right people for each job is critical if youre creating a traditional country house, you may need a specialist stonemason, or a joiner with classical-designtraining. Its in these details that we reallystrive toget it right every time.   

So, to achieve the successful realisation of a design your team must understand that working well with other people is essential. Sometimes its an absolute joy. You may have drawn an intricate detail, for example, involving precise three-dimensional geometry, and you discover that the stonemason is completely familiar with how to form it and knows the vocabulary of classical mouldings inside-out. Or you may find that the lead workers suggest touches of detail that bring life to an otherwise utilitarian waterproofing detail, or a joiner who explains how to finish a jib door in some panelling to make it truly secret. If this is what is happening on your site then you have found good people.   

FEATURE: GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

 

FEATURE: GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

 

FEATURE: GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

FEATURE: GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

Harmonious relationships such as these can be hard to find in the building industry.We prioritisegettingthis aspect right.The structure of contracts is sometimes blamed forrelationship problemswhen one side seeks to unfairly take advantage of a situation. The secret to creating a favourable environment for a building project where things go well on site for both sides of a building contract, is for both sides to understand what the other needs to get out of it, and to care that the other party does infact get what he needs. We know that organising thatright at the beginning makes for a happy build. 

 


 

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