Designer overlooked in risk management process, says Hyder Consulting director

More collaboration needed between designers and other parties, says Rod Stewart.

NEWS, Design

Greater involvement of designers, particularly at the early stages, is crucial to successful risk management, the director of Hyder Consulting Middle East has warned.

Speaking exclusively with Commercial Outdoor Design after a presentation at the recent Construction Risk Management Summit in Dubai, Rod Stewart called for more involvement of the designer in the early stages of the risk management process saying the designer is all too often overlooked.

"Very often the client starts with a general idea and that idea is provided from someone outside of Dubai," Stewart explained. "All too often the concept left is a very general picture rather than a more refined set of specific things that can be done here in Dubai. What tends to happen is you end up with a very difficult to achieve idea that is then left for local consultants and designers to try and make work."

Bringing in the design team after developers have already sold a development off-plan can also create problems, he added.
"The designer will do his best but the client won't get what he wants within the budget or the programme unless he involves the designer from day one," said Stewart.

Involving designers at an early stage is crucial, but so is using local consultants, he added.

"Unless local consultants are involved, you won't get proper planning in place so the level of infrastructure, the level of planning and the co-ordination with adjacent developments won't necessarily be consistent," he said.

Problems arising from excluding the designer include subsequent design changes, resulting in cost increases and project delays, he said.

More collaboration between different parties is crucial, Stewart said in his presentation ‘Strategies to manage cost and budget - a designer's perspective'.

While the notion of ‘partnering' or ‘alliancing' is common in Europe or the US, designers are not usually close enough or involved early enough to the client, contractor, project manager in the Middle East to help define the scope clearly, according to Stewart.

"What is happening is that developers are immediately just thinking of contractors as people they need to partner with but in the rest of the world when partnering happens, it happens between a number of parties which include the designer," Stewart said.

"In other parts of the world when you talk about partnering to manage risk the designer is right in the middle of it and at the moment in this part of the world, the designer is right on the edge of it. Designers need to be seen as key stakeholders in risk management as much as contractors and clients," he said.

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