15 - 11 - 2019

Featuring Chris Bath, Partner, Architecture – conference held by the Housing Forum on 15 November 2019.

Quality Counts was the title of the Housing Forum’s 2019 autumn conference and discussions focused on issues of design, procurement, build and customer experience in raising housing quality. BPTW Partner Chris Bath contributed to the conference with a presentation on the award-winning Rochester Riverside.

Rochester Riverside Phase 1B provides 131 new houses and apartments within a extensive network of public spaces and a landscaped riverside walk.

Chris’s talk focused on how a development of exemplar quality was achieved at Rochester Riverside, explaining the importance of locally inspired materials and detailing alongside close and effective collaboration between the client and design team pre-planning, and with the contractor during construction. Moreover, Chris identified that by employing a high percentage of local construction workers the client may have helped increase the overall commitment to quality even further.

While the four issues of design, procurement, build and customer experience were identified as having a crucial impact on quality, there was an overarching consensus by delegates that procurement is the one aspect of quality that the industry has yet to get right. While the industry has shown a great commitment to design, construction and experience, and has established effective tools to guide and monitor these aspects, procurement remains fragmented and lacks adequate consideration. Following the outcome of this conference, the Housing Forum decided to make procurement reform a central message for 2020.

The full conference report can be downloaded from the Housing Forum’s website here.

Rochester Riverside’s station square provides the gateway to the new development from the town’s historic centre.