6 Design Management on behalf of the client

Once the project objectives, budget, time line, brief and master plan have been fully developed, defined and approved by the client, the project team can commence the design stage, in which the physical features of the development are resolved. This stage encompasses the delivery of schematic, developed and documented designs, and refined programs and budgets, which will inform the tendering stage.

Key activities and tasks undertaken by a project manager at this stage may include:

  • managing the design team to ensure that the design is developed in accordance with the client brief and project goals
  • overseeing the potential preparation of a return brief by the project team back to the client, to demonstrate their understanding of the project brief
  • ensuring that the design produced by the project team meets the needs of the client and user groups, and their functional requirements
  • setting environmentally sustainable development performance (ESD ), standards that relate to the project’s ESD objectives
  • ensuring that the design team takes a balanced approach to developing the building solution, which may involve the implementation of an integrated design process
  • commissioning an investigation of site conditions to fully inform the building / civil / landscape design, as site conditions can greatly affect the viability of some ESD initiatives. For example, a high water table can have an impact on the cost-effectiveness of constructing an in-ground water collection tank.
  • ensuring that ESD is integrated into the building fabric and services design as an essential element, rather than being considered an ‘add-on’ feature. For example, a building-integrated photovoltaic array that generates electricity can also serve as an integral part of the building fa├žade or roof, as opposed to a solar panel that sits on a separate structure on the wall or roof
  • ensuring that the design team is comprehensively briefed by the ESD professional on what information, documentation, calculations and evidence they must provide for the selected ESD accreditation scheme assessment
  • ensuring design for commissionability (potentially reviewed by an independent commissioning manager)
  • ensuring design for maintainability
  • ensuring that the design team produces and delivers their evidence in a timely manner to the ESD professional responsible for submitting the comprehensive documentation to the selected ESD accreditation scheme. Project managers, in conjunction with the ESD professional, oversee and streamline the requests to the project team for information and feedback from accreditation bodies during the rating process
  • the facilitation of value management workshops and assessments that aim to optimise the integration of ESD into the project
  • further refining the project budget, subsequent to the design decisions made
  • further refining the project program for the procurement / tendering, construction and post-construction stages.
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