The role of the architect using integrated contracts for social housing renovation projects
Keywords:architect role, construction procurement, integrated contracts, renovation, social housing
The use of integrated contracts in the Dutch construction sector has increased in recent years. Integrated contracts presume facilitating a much more effective process than traditional delivery methods, saving money and time, as well as improving quality. Formally this type of contracts was only used for large and complex infrastructure projects and new buildings. In the last five years, however, they have been used also in the social housing sector for renovation projects, and have led to positive project outcomes. In this kind of projects, the supply-side actors work together in a team formed by an architect, consultants and construction companies; commonly referred to as a consortium. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge about the formal and informal links between the members of a consortium and their specific roles. This research helps to understand the tendering procedures and organisational typologies of consortia working with integrated contracts and especially the inherent changes in the role of the architect, e.g. type and amount of work, and relations with the client and consortium members. The study is based on a series of interviews with architects working with integrated contracts in social housing renovation projects. The findings indicate that in the majority of these projects, the architect is contracted by the main contractor rather than by the social housing organisation. The new contractual relationship has no significant effect on the relationship of the architect with the social housing organisation and improves the relationship of the architect with the main contractor, consultants and advisors, and other specialist contractors involved. The architect switches from the role of designer to that of technical and aesthetic advisor, compared to traditional Design-Bid-Build projects.
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