The Chelmsford Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre is once again looking for the right design team to take on the massive redevelopment project, rumoured to be estimated to cost £21 million, after a ‘potential conflict of interest’.
This huge project will be of great interest to many design teams, but the pure scale of the project means that anyone who goes for the contract, needs to know what they are getting into.
The first thing any design team needs is a plan, and that plan must cover three main factors. Cost, timescale, and specifications. The project must fall within budget, be ready on time (2018), and the style and materials used must be fitting with what is desired.
But that is only the first step. Having a plan is an excellent start, but sticking within the confines of the limitations that one sets for oneself can be tricky.
Working Out The Cost
Working to a budget is never easy, but working to a possible £21 million budget, is far harder than you might think. It is the job of the architects within the design team to work to fit the brief of the client, as well as stay within the budget.
This may involve using materials that are less costly, for example predominantly using concrete as the base of the design concept. For example, if the structure is mainly reinforced concrete, allowing for small additions of costlier material to fit the design brief, costs will be lowered and the chances of staying under budget will rapidly increase.
Fitting a Timescale
Perhaps the hardest factor of a design project of this scale, is working out exactly how much your team is going to be able to do during the allotted time given for completion. An idea could be amazing and affordable, but if there is not enough time for the concept to be executed, then it is pointless.
Working out what can be achieved before the deadline, and fitting that around the design idea, can be incredibly difficult, and a lot of thought should be put into the process.
Building the Right Team
Between architects, surveyors, various engineers, advisers, and other consultants, a design team can be surprisingly large. That is why it is vital that every single person is working towards the same goal, and are all confident in one vision for the project.
If all the cogs in the wheel are working correctly, and they are all working towards an idea that will fall within budget and before deadline, then the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre in Chelmsford will be another example of modern British architecture at its finest.
This is a job that can be career defining for every member of a design team if taken on with the care and passion necessary for success. It is not a job to approach lightly, but if you and your team can make it work, then you could be responsible for something that will be at the heart of the culture of Chelmsford for many years to come.