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Health and safety – no longer architectural design’s ugly cousin

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.

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The importance of Document Management for Construction Safety

Good document management is a critical element of construction safety and being able to demonstrate compliance with Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM2015) ). Failure to manage your documentation throughout the construction process can introduce risk into your project and ultimately result in serious injury or death, and prosecution What does CDM2015 require? CDM2015 … Continue reading The importance of Document Management for Construction Safety

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Maintaining CDM 2015 Compliance while Unable to Meet Your Design Team due to COVID19

Unfortunately, a principal designer cannot safely organize design meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the designer still has to undertake design risk management and provide health & safety information. Most importantly, the principal designer must coordinate the flow of all this information with their team and the client, to comply with the requirements of CDM … Continue reading Maintaining CDM 2015 Compliance while Unable to Meet Your Design Team due to COVID19

Architecture – there’s a brilliant app for that!

‘There’s an app for that’ was Apple’s battle cry in their 2009 advert, and we scoffed at the idea that an app could do anything more than remind us when the last episode of ER was being shown or allow Mr Pacman to cheer up a dreary train ride.  10 years later, are apps literally … Continue reading Architecture – there’s a brilliant app for that!

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Principal designer – why is an architect the best person for the job?

Since new legislation in 2015, the role of ‘principal designer’ has been one passed around like an unwanted gift.  The principal designer must establish a basic standard of Health and Safety practices throughout any given construction project, and theoretically, anyone with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience in Health and Safety could be the principal … Continue reading Principal designer – why is an architect the best person for the job?