Tips for successful design and build

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  • Have a clear set of rules for evaluating proposals set up before you begin. Make it really clear from the start what outcome you are after (e.g. a fully costed design with developer backing).
  • You could consider getting an independent quantity surveying team to price each of the schemes at the finalist stage. This might allow you to provide a clear construction budget.
  • If the land owner is the major competition stakeholder (e.g. Council), there is considerable leverage in negotiating the price of the land in return for the best quality outcome.
  • Draw up a development agreement with the winner that focuses on the outcome that you are seeking. Be sure to make explicit the parameters and process of negotiating and changing any key outcomes, and make sure that there is a clear timetable for delivery with milestones that can be checked relating to progress.
  • Consult the best development lawyer you know to assist you in drawing up the development agreement - then check that the first development lawyer has done a good job!
  • When negotiating the development agreement, start with a realistic and reasonable position and then keep your ground. Develop clear boundaries and important criteria that you won’t backtrack on.
  • If your winning design comes from an international team, they may need assistance to get visas to be working and active in the country (e.g. a letter to government agencies to vouch for them). Also consider helping with introductions to the local industry and local institutes like NZIA, ADNZ etc.


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