Good Record Keeping or Consensus
Riva Properties Limited v Foster + Partners Limited1 considered one of the most fractious synergies in construction: design and cost. How do designers remain creative whilst keeping fundamental matters (such as cost) recorded, in control and firmly in the minds of the client and project team?
Fosters, the internationally renowned firm of Architects, were appointed by developer Riva to advance the design of a 5-star hotel adjacent to Heathrow Airport. The case before the Technology and Construction Court fell on whether Fosters exercised reasonable skill and care in designing a building which, as it transpired, was estimated to cost more than double the budget given to them at the project outset. Fosters contended that they had not been given a budget to work to and that there was no Quantity Surveyor appointed by Riva to advise them on project costs. Riva asserted that they had provided a budget figure, initially of £70 million, which was later increased to £100million2. It subsequently transpired that the £195million designed scheme could not be value-engineered to achieve even the upper-end of Riva’s budget. By this time, nearly £4million had been expended by Riva on professional fees…