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RIBA introduces Client Design Advisors

On 6 October 2005 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will launch a register of Client Design Advisors (CDAs) - architects and other construction professionals accredited by the Institute who will guide clients through the process of commissioning buildings.

The register meets the increasing demand for such advisors from client groups and government agencies such as the NHS, CABE and English Heritage, and aims to ensure that the highest quality of architecture and design is achieved - to the long-term benefit of society and the environment. It is intended that an RIBA Client Design Advisor will be an experienced and specifically accredited RIBA Chartered Architect or other professional who sits alongside the client team to advise on matters of briefing, design, delivery and usage, to encompass the whole process of creating, procuring and using a built facility.

Mairi Johnson, CABE Head of Enabling Buildings, said: "CABE believes that a well-informed client makes a vital contribution to achieving a successful building and we are very pleased to lend our support to the RIBA in launching this new initiative. The CABE Enabling programme has been assisting client teams at the early stages of projects for several years and we are acutely aware that we are unable to meet the demand for advice that springs from both the public and private sectors and across all building types."

To become an RIBA Client Design Advisor, an applicant will need to demonstrate the following core skills and experience:

  • The ability to champion and assess design quality
  • Client and stakeholder leadership and facilitation
  • Business case making and project initiation
  • Brief writing, output specification and contract documentation
  • Project budget, value and risk management
  • The ability to select and commission project teams
  • Knowledge of strategic and feasibility studies and appraisals
  • Procurement and construction management including partnering
  • Knowledge of planning procedures
  • Knowledge of funding and development processes
  • Programme preparation and evaluation
  • Post completion services.

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