Without clients, there would be no architecture and no design teams. Without brave and able clients our civilisation would be a poor place. To be effective, clients need a wide variety of skills and acumen, which conjoined with those of the design and construction teams produce good buildings. Why is it that Clients have been served less well by authors and experts than they need and deserve? Thankfully the press and the design and construction institutions including Constructing Excellence are now better serving clients. The shortlist for the RIBA’s Client of the Year Awards for 2015 demonstrates clearly the range of attitudes, approaches and talents necessary to press their plans forward (usually against ill-founded opposition) and achieve great projects. In all shortlisted projects, the client has set the most appropriate project culture and guided the team through the various challenges of creativity, conformity and technical complexity that has obviously reaped successful outcomes.
And yet what about those clients who are about to embark on leading a significant project for the first time – in public or private sectors? Where will they usefully gain working knowledge and insight into the myriad of matters that must be dealt with effectively?
RIBA Publishing’s new book ‘Being an Effective Construction Client – Working on Commercial and Public Projects’ produced in collaboration with Constructing Excellence, provides that support for clients and all those who work with clients. The book also provides a vital foundation work of reference to students of architecture and engineering, cost consultancy and project management. The detailed advice and insight of thirty industry experts is now available in one book, rare in it’s subject and in it’s client-focussed contents. It’s the ‘go-to’ book for all clients leading projects, for those who work with clients and for a wide range of students.
Peter Ullathorne is the editor of Being an Effective Construction Client – Working on Commercial and Public Projects, available from RIBA Bookshops