Moving into the New World

By RICHARD GIBBS [email protected]

Head of Private Clients for Moneycorp, one of the UK’s leading foreign exchange and international money transfer providers.

I touched on the subject of sustainable design and construction only recently, and at the risk of repeating myself, I can only reiterate the increasing importance this is playing in today’s modern industry.

Reports show that many property owners would seriously consider a new home in order to achieve the diverse benefits largely associated with sustainable design and technologies – this is obviously a rather more attractive option than spending money to try and improve and upgrade their current homes.

Frequent questions that project managers are facing include the variety and types of product appropriate for the lifestyles of 21st century occupiers, and how the New Age builder/buyer should go about getting the best value for their money.

One way is to review the process of designing your home and how the professionals and suppliers that you employ react in this changing world. That said, however, the recession is having major financial implications for developers and house builders alike, and as a result, many are voicing concerns that design standards and quality of service may deteriorate in this current climate.

The price of land, too, generally (and in the UK specifically) generates its own difficulties, forcing developers and purchasers to rethink budgets, which then drives down size and specification – often resulting in poor build quality and dubious material selection.

Attention to detail

And let us also not forget that the lack of current funding and the closer scrutiny that lenders will be giving to new projects will also drive an agenda of attention to detail that home designers will need to take closer consideration of.

The demand for a substantial rethink in the way your project is built and how the team you employ works will demand clear, decisive leadership from your project manager.

He or she will, as a completely independent agent, be able to ensure that the brief for your project is as detailed as practically possible before you employ the rest of the team. This will be essential and the report will need to be much more detailed than it has historically for domestic building.

I hasten to add that there should be no compromises between the technologies and the need for good design. The integration between these and the continual research for new materials makes the demand for a better service from the delivery team essential.

The project manager will keep the team focused on the project goals as well as keeping them focused on the budget at all stages of the programme, ensuring that while times are admittedly  hard and the sourcing of sustainable materials clearly a challenge, you still benefit from the best design technologies available to suit your sustainable needs.