Procurement and the impact that this has on culture within the construction sector is an ongoing focus area for the Institute. Poor procurement processes increase risk to all parties, including the client, reduce project value and generate adversarial project culture.
In South Australia we are approaching this issue through the Construction Culture Initiative (CCI) and the SA Practice Committee’s work with the Local Government Authority.
This year the SA Chapter has delivered the following CCI activities:
- Two workshops to review the outcomes from the DfE Capital Works Program. Participants were asked to provide feedback regarding projects in relation to engagement, brief, program, budget, innovation, satisfaction, and culture. We will be collecting information on additional projects prior to finalising the results. These will be presented to the profession for information and to key stakeholders as part of the SA Chapter’s ongoing advocacy.
- Two CCI EmAGN workshops were also held (pictured above), which focused on current conditions within practice for early career architects and graduates and their aspirations for the future. They built on the workshop from 2021 which considered the past and burnout. Findings will be shared with members. The intention is to hold a forum where EmAGN members and directors can come together to consider how the findings may inform their practice management and culture. It will also provide an opportunity for directors to articulate the factors that influence architectural practice and shape decisions.
- A CCI Breakfast to bring together representatives from across the sector. Initial findings from the DfE and EmAGN workshops were presented at the breakfast, along with a progress report on the development of a new DIT Construction Code of Practice, which is being written by a working group of the Construction Industry Forum.
October also saw the Practice Committee host a forum to bring Council procurement staff and architects together. The aim of this project is to open dialogue and build mutual understanding of opportunities and challenges. Issues including project initiation, shared language, Council procedures and probity and the scope of possible architectural services were explored in a robust and constructive debate. Follow up activities will include
- Further engagement with Council Procurement staff and the LGA Procurement Office
- engaging with Council asset managers and elected members,
- a forum for architects to raise specific issues experienced when working with Councils
- preparation of a simple guide to EOIs and RPTs to supplement the detailed Institute Guide to Procurement developed by the National Practice Committee
Overall, these initiatives have provided valuable opportunities for reflection on how architects practice, and conversations with other participants in the sector to improve their understanding of what architects do.
Nicolette Di Lernia
SA Executive Director