Creating Recession-Proof Systems

By: Leah Sookoo | Nov 15, 2022

Building has always been an immense expense, but with rising prices due to inflation and an unstable economy, we are seeing projects derailed, drawn out, or even paused indefinitely. We have adapted a design methodology to respond intelligently to these unexpected fluctuations and demands, reducing risk for our clients and keeping projects on track.

Creating Recession-Proof Systems

Traditionally, architects would use design-bid-build systems, a project delivery method that contracts multiple entities and companies based on bidding. Once bidders have been selected by the architect, construction may begin. The issue we’re seeing is that today, in a volatile landscape, it’s nearly impossible to predict cost, availability, and timelines while remaining within the given budget. Due to the structure of design-bid-build, when issues arise, we are unable to look at alternatives, often bringing the completion of the building to the mercy of the contract. Even if we found a factory that would create the piece needed that keeps us on schedule, we are unable to move forward. We either have to redesign the building or wait. 

The alternative we’ve found is Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Currently being implemented with a car dealership in Alberta and a townhouse project in Kelowna, we have been able to develop a contract (CCDC30) that predicts the value of the project collaboratively, using project managers and building representatives to manage materials and availability as the project moves forward. 

We’re also mitigating issues arising in the supply chain sector by finding more creative solutions. One in particular is Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) which are affordable, resilient and environmentally friendly blocks that increase the pace of the project and decrease cost. As we accommodate for new materials, we find that the walls and floors are thicker, and stairwells larger, resulting in sturdy and accommodating spaces. 

By remaining flexible with the systems we use, we’ve been able to see tremendous progress and meet expected deadlines even in this time of economic instability.

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