Design contest guidance: for selecting architects and design teams

Walter Menteth, Owen O'Carroll, Russell Curtis, Bridget Sawyers

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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The built environment has lasting economic, social and environmental value that requires careful consideration and planning at its inception. Public and private clients procuring projects are also increasingly aware of their obligations to demonstrate value for money and the benefits that derive over the long term from greater emphasis on quality, social value and whole life costs.
As clients recognise that a critical early stage is ensuring the right choice is made in the selection of design consultants to enhance and deliver their intentions they are progressively turning to design contests to procure their projects.
This guidance identifies the reasons why design contests as a quality based, project orientated selection procedure are particularly suitable for the employment of architects and consultancy teams, along with the many benefits from this approach and some of the wide range of options that maybe applied. It seeks to give those interested organisations and individuals essential background information, guidance and practical advice on how to plan, organise, co-ordinate and run successful efficient design contests, along with the tools necessary to implement them.
The guide introduces and explains various innovations in UK design contest procedural practices including parallel commissioning, wild card bidders, sortition selection, digital procurement, pepper pot strategies, and the use of contests for lots and framework appointments. It provides specific advice on how design contests can provide the most effective procurement route for design service appointments aligned to the European Directive 2014/24/EU, and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the National Planning Policy Framework (the NPPF), the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and the Public Contracts (Social Value) Act.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherProject Compass CIC
Number of pages65
ISBN (Print)9780993148118
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • competitions
  • Architecture
  • guidance
  • procurement
  • contract awards
  • contract bids
  • design contests
  • WNU
  • efficiency and reform
  • SMEs
  • construction
  • public sector
  • policy
  • design competition guidance
  • architectural competitions
  • Competition


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