Fosters faces bill of £3.6m after losing hotel case

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  1. Just met John. Great business brain. Fosters totally outgunned

  2. Very interesting development. Perhaps something for my Contract Law students to discuss.

  3. Very interesting and agreeable that “This case serves as a warning to designers that they cannot design in a vacuum. Cost and budget is a key constraint and should always be identified and considered when designing any project, even when the provision of cost advice is expressly excluded from the designer’s obligations.”

  4. Its a tough world but this does send a message to client side advisers on how budgets are established and worked to

  5. A great team effort at Ashfords LLP helped secure this judgment.

  6. This is an interesting case and a Court decision. It also hinged on common sense application doctrine in law. Projects of whatever size and Complexity should always be constraint by budget and eventual cost and not designed in vacuum. Design cost analysis concept(elemental cost analysis) has been an established phenomenon in the industry for decades, hence value Engineering should start from the design stages and throughout development and construction process and not after and client should be informed accordingly.

  7. Where were the quantity surveyors? Surely with those fees the clients could have afforded some cost consultants.

  8. Obviously not entirely appropriate here, but Architects are not trained as cost consultants! Presumably there were no shortage of those in this case though?

  9. I’m uncomfortable about this. I understand the client didn’t have a budget requirement in his brief for “a 500-bedroom, 5-star hotel”. The judge ruled that RIBA work stages required the architects to design to the project constraints. As budget is clearly a constraint, the architects should have demanded a budget to work to. That’s a tough call, but if true, it seems to me that it allows clients to set a specification attached to an unrealistic budget; and thus require the impossible from the architect.
    Out of curiosity I wondered what a hotel like this might cost: in 30 seconds I plugged £4000/m², 64m² per suite, 500 suites, 25% extra for ancillary spaces into a pocket calculator = £160m plus external works. Make it a Foster scheme, and any client should be thinking of £200m.

  10. If Nick Willder only needed 30 secs to determine a budget, then anyone can as the part of the initial Strategic Brief, cost consultants or not and particularly for a Client Adviser. Fairly basic stuff and important lesson in preparing for the project and many other aspects of the Brief such as programme.

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