Architectural Design Quality in Local Authority Private Finance Initiative Projects

Bob Giddings, Monika Sharma, Paul Jones, Phil Jensen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Since the 1990s, when the Private Finance Initiative was developed as the primary method for delivering major public capital projects, there has been concern about the quality of many of the products. Initially, it was the architectural community that raised doubts, but it has subsequently been joined by user groups. As the contractual period is over 30 years, there are issues such as ongoing maintenance, facilities management and operational factors, that need to be balanced with design quality. This paper will report on a research project being carried out with a metropolitan local authority in England, which is replacing its entire sheltered housing stock in one Private Finance Initiative project. The principal aim of the local authority is that it should receive these buildings as assets, rather than liabilities at the end of the 30 year period. The research work to date has been based on two stages of a three stage selection of the preferred bidder from the original six consortia. The aims of this paper are to review the Private Finance Initiative management processes in relation to architectural design quality at each of the selection stages, including the generation and application of the design assessment criteria, and the role of user groups; and evaluate the outcomes against the objectives of maximising design quality within workable financial models. The methodology is that the researcher is based in the local authority project team, and has therefore been able to use participant observation techniques in the management processes, which include competitive dialogue and user consultation. The design assessment criteria were developed from the academic literature and refined at each selection stage. A comparative analysis of the design assessment criteria with intermediate and final designs, will assist in identifying the status of design quality in the selection of the preferred bidder.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2010
EventProceedings of the CIB World Congress: Building a Better World - The Lowery, Salford Quays, UK
Duration: 10 May 2010 → …


ConferenceProceedings of the CIB World Congress: Building a Better World
Period10/05/10 → …


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