After the Thames Garden Bridge debacle and in response to the Hodge Review, on 17 July TfL Board were invited to approve a series of recommendations for governance changes to increase oversight and effectiveness of their procurement activities. This follows on from a number of other previously implemented changes also made public HERE. Whilst this represents progress following the Project Compass report into the ‘Thames Garden Bridge Procurement Issues’ (feb 2016) we will continue to work forward on the need for further reform of procurement governance, practices, procedures and opportunities, particularly for design professionals, both across London and elsewhere.
How can architects, especially the new generation, find out what design contests are announced in Europe? What considerations should they make to decide if they’re going to participate in an architect selection abroad? And what is the chance a winning plan will be built? Architect selections for commissions below EU thresholds are not published on the official website Tenders European Daily (TED). Smaller commissions stay below the radar and, above all, not all European countries are members of the European Union.
In order to gain better insight into the current situation, Architectuur Lokaal will host a two day international conference in Amsterdam: Competition Culture in Europe, on September 28 and 29. The conference will mark the start of a four-year program on competition culture in Europe.
Architectuur Lokaal has mapped out the competition culture in seventeen European countries by means of the Steunpunt Architectuuropdrachten & Ontwerpwedstrijden (Helpdesk Architectural Commissions and Design contests), Project Compass CIC and the correspondents of A10 new European architecture Cooperative. At the conference, the results of the survey will be shared among the participating countries. The results will be analyzed in-depth in the presence of the researchers, various architectural organizations and other stakeholders from European countries. Afterwards, the preliminary results will be published online. Participation by invitation only.
Architectuur Lokaal is the only independent organization in the Netherlands that is consistently engaged in improving the competition culture. In recent years we have noticed a growing interest in design competitions in the Netherlands. Design competitions contribute towards new solutions to new questions and offer opportunities to young architects who struggle to get access to (European) tenders. Competitions have proven to be a relevant instrument that fits well into the new relationships and positions surrounding spatial assignments.
The conference Competition Culture in Europe will mark the start of a four-year program of Architectuur Lokaal which will continue to work across the border in the coming years. The purpose of the program is to:
- Further expand cooperation on competition culture in Europe by exchanging knowledge and information;
- Increase access to competitions outside the Netherlands by disclosing the national platforms on which these competitions are announced;
- Investigate possibilities for structural cooperation in accordance with Project Compass.
For more information: contact Margot de Jager.
One of the founding directors of Project Compass CIC has been appointed to the Mayor of London’s Design Advocate Panel, it was announced on Monday.
In his foreword to the publication the Mayor made a commitment to promoting better procurement of design services, as well as holding design competitions for some GLA projects.
The foreword reads:
“We will use open procurement processes such as design competitions to seek the highest standards for public projects and will push the firms we commission to do much more to tackle the under-representation of women and people from minority groups in the built environment professions.”
The full publication is available to download here.
Project Compass CIC have published a newly commissioned report covering UK architectural competitions that forms part of a comparative evaluation, stocktaking & exploration of European competition culture. It includes some case studies & has been undertaken to collate info. to further research the opportunities & potential expansion of alternative innovatory European practices. PCompass director Walter Menteth has written on some of the findings from the case studies separately in further detail here.
PCompass director Walter Menteth will be delivering an RIBA CORE CPD PROGRAMME in 14 English cities over 2017 entitled ‘An Essential Guide to Public Procurement: Better Prospects & More Opportunities’. These seminars are Open to the Public. Details of dates & venues close to you are available here.
The seminar will cover: the background & context; the new regulatory environment; Understanding a competition, the notice and brief Pre market engagement; RIBA Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes; Competitive bidding; The questions as to how change in procurement culture with better competitive processes and practices can be embedded, will also be addressed.
The seminar will provide: an update on public competition reforms, the principles & contributories, as well as efficiency & effectiveness, SME access & levelling the playing field. The RIBA Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes will be detailed, including advice on encouraging consortia bids from smaller practices, tips on consultant capability assessment, & selection of suitable building contracts. Competitive bidding & the bid itself will be explored, including do’s & don’ts on practices strengths & weaknesses, content & tone of responses to a tender invite, & identifying pass/fail areas, as well as understanding learning opportunities from the tender evaluation stage & feedback.
Designs will be presented to the public & stakeholders from this unique Anglo-Dutch architectural, landscape & engineering competition on Friday 25 Nov. from 5.00 – 7.30 at The Portsmouth School of Architecture, Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth.
These designs provide a range of best practice Dutch and UK options and proposals for the Portsmouth and Southsea frontage that respond to climate change induced rises in sea level. The work is also intended to inform and advance sea defence design strategies faced by other low lying coastal cities. Details of the competition brief can be found here.
You are welcome to attend.
This competition is being organised by Project Compass with our Dutch partners Architectuur Lokaal & the Portsmouth University School of Architecture. If you wish to organise an Elephant Cage contact Project Compass.
Project Compass has published a Brexit Briefing for Architects outlining the likely impact of the European referendum on public procurement in the UK. We will endeavour to update you when clarification becomes available as to how international trade in professional services will be impacted by any new trade agreements.
Read the briefing here.
Update: As of December 17, 2017 no trade agreements have yet been entered into but there has now been confirmation of a transition period which would appear to ensure continuity of the existing procurement framework and its ongoing alignment with the EU for a further two year period.
Project Compass Director Walter Menteth & Patron Angela Brady PPRIBA will be at ‘Buying Smart-Better Procurement’ in this years Construction Industry Summit 20-21/9.Walter will addressing how the G Cloud framework & European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) models provide the construction industry significant opportunities.
Further details here.
Read here the AJ report on one recent success that follows an initial representation to Project Compass by one of our supporters.
The Cambridge University agreed to cut the minimum turnover requirements in its biomedical campus contest and extend the deadline. This follows pressure from Project Compass and the RIBA and representations made to Mystery Shopper and the University.
Following this intervention Project Compass/RIBA intervention, the turnover threshold (previously min.£5m) was reduced to £3.5m. & the deadline for responding was also extended to 19 Aug. 2016, to allow practices previously excluded from the process time to prepare a submission.
Project Compass will help advise and support those seeking to challenge poor procurement practice.