Council cuts ‘putting further pressure’ on good design

Southwark Council's Tooley Street headquarters

Local authorities increasingly weighting tender awards on price not quality

Cash-strapped local authorities are increasingly giving more weight to price than design quality in their evaluation criteria for public works tenders, one market-watcher has warned.

Studio Octopi co-founder Chris Romer-Lee said that as the 15-year-old practice built a bigger portfolio of work it was paying more attention to council tender opportunities.

But he said there was a “growing and worrying trend” for authorities to downplay quality of design in their evaluation criteria – and to make disporportionate demands for professional indemnity insurance in comparsion with the value of projects. The latter was something south London’s Horniman Museum came under fire for last month.

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