Communicating cost: challenging cost barriers to innovation in architecture

Williamson, D 2011, Communicating cost: challenging cost barriers to innovation in architecture, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture and Design, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Title Communicating cost: challenging cost barriers to innovation in architecture
Author(s) Williamson, D
Year 2011
Abstract This thesis considers the extent to which conventional methods of cost consultancy and project delivery impede the realisation of unconventional architectural designs. Cost planning, negotiating and management are critical aspects of successful project delivery. The evolution of digital technique in architectural design – and corresponding changes in project delivery – is creating opportunities for rethinking the processes of cost management in construction. It appears that architects may now harness such opportunities to offer increasing leadership in regard to the impact of cost planning on design. Traditional processes for project delivery however present barriers to more cost efficient projects, and as such, change is needed. An additional barrier to the realisation of such change is that it needs to be effected within the current prevailing state of contractual organisation.

The central proposition of the thesis is that design computing allows architects to gain a better understanding of how their virtual ideas are realised with innovative approaches challenging traditional delivery and construction methods. By improving the shared understanding of the design idea, digital processes can alleviate much of the uncertainty that causes the addition of cost premiums in the estimation of construction costs.

Digital processes cannot achieve this alone however. They need to be augmented by a reconsideration of the roles and responsibilities of the professions delivering design services for construction. In reformulating the rules of engagement for project delivery, the requirement for transparency and accountability in the delivery of public projects needs to be addressed. The key to improving the management of others’ perceptions of risk is fundamentally one of communication, consultation and involvement in decision-making. My research therefore explores how restructuring professional interaction and project delivery using digital processes enhances innovation in design. The thesis therefore proposes an active role for the architectural designer in harnessing cost constraints as a design parameter.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Architecture
Design
Innovation
Risk
Uncertainty
Non-Standard Architecture
Construction Industry
Estimating
Cost Planning
Auditing
Digital Architecture
Parametric Modelling
Building Information Modelling
Embedded Practice
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Created: Fri, 17 Jul 2015, 08:48:12 EST by Keely Chapman
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