Today’s competitive bidding process reflects the challenging economic climate — timelines are shorter and client expectations are higher. Sustainability benchmarks and initiatives such as LEED, Part L, 2030 Challenge, and Title 24 are more demanding than ever and the minimum compliance values are getting tighter. More and more, architects need to demonstrate their design and sustainability expertise even during the bid and proposal stages to stay ahead of the pack and win more bids. This article shows three ways that architects can achieve this.
#1. Design High Performing Buildings
By basing design decisions on analysis, you demonstrate a commitment to sound, sustainable design and show upfront that you can meet the project’s performance goals – edging forward in the race to become the winning practice.
High performance buildings are created by the seamless integration of all aspects of the design from concept to construction – contextual, aesthetic, material and structural to mention a few. Needless to say, architects possess the unique ability and responsibility of taking these factors into consideration from the very start by asking crucial questions such as:
What is the ideal building form and orientation within the site’s constraints?
Where should the building be located on the site
- What are the best passive strategies?
With iterative tools like Sefaira, all of these questions can now be answered without the usual costs and time associated with validation analysis. Sefaira provides real time feedback within the architect’s drawing tool, making it practical and easy to include these kinds of explorations within bids. Showing you’ve taken contextual and economic factors into serious consideration garners client confidence and increases your chances of winning the bid.
In answering these questions, and selecting the right form, location and orientation, designers could also greatly impact construction and operational costs for the benefit of clients and future occupants. In certain cases, such as civic and institutional projects, the built work will eventually be occupied by the client who commissions it. Delivering a building that performs well would certainly stand the designer in good stead for future commissions.
#2. Create a Clear Design Trail
Convince your client why your design should be selected by presenting a logical, data-driven design sequence. This shows off a rigorous design approach and cements the impression that your design is the unavoidable solution to the brief’s requirements. It also suggests to potential clients that, should you win the bid, you would seek to engage them in meaningful discussions during the decision making process.
For example, illustrating why a courtyard massing option has been selected over a super block would help clients understand the soundness of your design. For instance:
- With the courtyard option, natural ventilation is possible and the daylight potential is increased
- This leads to a lower energy use intensity
- As a result, operating costs are lower
- And capital costs are lower because a smaller mechanical plant is needed
A documented design methodology is particularly crucial for public sector bids. By providing clients with a comprehensive design proposal — that is far more considered than usual at bid stage– architects would distinguish their schemes and take a confident stride toward winning the job. Sefaira allows architects do these comparative reports and much more at the early design stages.
#3. Consolidate your Firm’s Reputation
An architect’s portfolio speaks volumes. Boasting a selection of high performing buildings, that were designed using early stage analysis, offers any firm a unique advantage in the industry. It would be beneficial to present early stage analysis alongside post occupancy reports to demonstrate your ability to see a project through from concept to built form and to deliver buildings that meet and possibly outperform sustainability goals.
A strong portfolio of high performing buildings provides hard evidence of competence levels, and reassures potential clients of a practice’s sustainability expertise. Overall, this lends credibility to a design and sets it clearly apart from the competition.
Beyond aesthetics and function, corporate, government and private clients are being driven to select competent designers by contextual, environmental, social and economic factors. As we get ever closer to Zero Carbon & Energy targets and maintain a steady climb out of the global economic slump, it is necessary, now more than ever, that architects arm themselves with a tool that makes accurate analysis fast, the bidding process low-cost and the probability of winning higher.