You don’t need to look far at the moment to see how big a legacy can be left by neglecting health and safety in construction projects. This is not just when injuries and deaths occur on site but more predominantly of late, when people are living in the building once it’s habitable.
Building a sleek and sexy looking building used to be key, with a safe and steady building being something of the ugly cousin of the zippier design-led project.
Faced with the very human cost of what could happen, architects are now taking into account health and safety during the design and construction phases as well as the long-term safety and security of a building. When presenting a building for proposal they recognize that people no longer want to just be dazzled with design, but they want to be able to see how it’s going to be a building without the potential for a devastating heritage.
Not only this, but an architect would not want to have to live with the knowledge that their design caused loss of life. For most people, it’s beyond ticking boxes, you can literally save lives by taking health and safety into account from the conception stage.
Where does Construction Design management come in?
In short, when architects take on the role of principal designer, they get the best of both worlds.
As principal designer, they set the standard when it comes to Health and Safety practices throughout the construction of the project and beyond. As they design, they look at how the construction might be achieved as safely as possible, and this becomes an integral part of the design itself.
The risk here is that Health and Safety once again becomes the unattractive annoyance as it increases the design phase timeline with additional paperwork and collaboration. Smarter ways to work will be key in maintaining the momentum recently acquired where the safe construction and inhabitation of a building has become as important as the finished product design.