‘Good design may initially cost a little more in time and thought, although not necessarily in money. But the end result is more pleasing to the eye and more efficient, costs less to maintain and is kinder to the environment.’
Lord Rea, House of Lords, January 2003
wpa view design quality as being about much more than architectural style or appearance. It comprises the key values of:
• The Client (core stakeholders and business users); articulated through a robust client – design team interface.
• Spatial & Technical functionality; refined through a transparent iterative collaborative design process.
• Techtonic and Morphological Fit; a firm contextual (physical business and political) analytical ground.
• Whole-life value in relation to maintenance, management, functional flexibility over time and health and safety.
• Sustainability and environmental impact.
No longer subjective; design quality is now defined and measured by many design and client teams using balanced scorecards covering a plethora of methodological approaches. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has prepared a Design Quality Indicators tool (DQI) with support from large bodies such as OGC and CABE as a means of measuring and evaluating design quality.
wpa believes good design should:
• Make a positive addition to the location and immediate context, the wider environment and the community (from heritage, sociological, geographic and urban morphological perspectives).
• Add value (to client and community alike) .
• Reduce whole-life costs (lifecycle performance is key).
• Create built environments that are safe to construct and safe to use .
• Create flexible, durable, sustainable and ecologically sound environments for the client and community.
• Minimise waste of materials, energy and pollution both in construction and in use.
• Be attractive, stimulating (aesthetically, kinaesthetically and tectonically) and healthy for users and the public.
• Contribute to construction that is quick, safe and efficient; produce facilities that are easy and cost effective to manage, clean and maintain.