Developers looking to architects to improve feasibilities

David Peerutin, a senior partner in Cape Town-based Peerutin Architects, says the level of enquiries for new business remains almost as high as previously, but developers are more cautious and taking a harder look at project costs.

Although the building slowdown became evident in 2008 it has not as yet, said Peerutin, resulted in the cancellation of commissions for his firm. On several projects most of the work, he said, has been done and the go-ahead on further work is expected soon.

In the company’s work pipeline is a R200 million mixed use development and two further projects in the R30 to R50 million bracket.

Many developers, he said, consider this to be a time of “cautious opportunity” as land and buildings become more readily available, at more realistic prices. It is possible now to find genuine bargains.

The call today, he added, is for firms which can add value to the project team by reviewing designs, cutting costs or working on feasibilities. Some 25% of Peerutin Architect’s effort and time is now being put into this type of work, much of which might well not result in commissions.

“It should, however, always be remembered that design should not be compromised because the success or failure of a project lies in the execution of good or bad design.”
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