Budgets, copies and alternatives
Singapore, 9th June 2012
Clients can be impatient at times. In a few of our projects we have completed the concept design stage and as we move into design development we are now in the process of consolidating budgets. I don’t really like to go into tender when we already know that the prices will be way over budget, so we generally like to log in a lighting budget as early as possible. Some of our clients however can hardly wait for the design process to complete and as a result we find some of our preliminary lighting selections already floating in the market for pricing!
I can understand why, as most of the time they go into their projects not having a clue what the lighting cost would be. Ill advised by quantity surveyors or electrical consultants who base themselves on old conventional methods to capture the cost of the lighting equipment. But lighting is no longer a science of watts per square meter, or lux level compliance only. Today’s generation requires (and expects!) higher levels of comfort, mood, ambiance and control. This comes with a higher sophistication of the design and as a result often much higher budgets!
So with higher levels of lighting comfort and quality desired on one end, but incompatible budgets on the other end, we get these situations where client and QS’s are frantically trying to get a hold of costs. We oblige by working out the budgets as part of our lighting designs but find nevertheless clients impatient to let us work through our due diligence. We generally work out the lighting design based on products we know have the quality, performance and effects we want, which comes out as the first preliminary issue of our lighting specifications, merely as a design intent. We then engage with the manufacturers to work out final specifications within the value for money or when necessary value engineer the design to budgets acceptable to the client
As the ultimate proof of the client’s impatience, we received today a request from a local regional supplier to quote for light fittings we had just issued as design intent for discussion and coordination. I must say that the supplier obviously wasn’t very sharp…sending us the specs for a quote that clearly had our company’s logo as the designers… 🙂
Light Watch 3-83: My main worry with this “uncontrolled” budgeting is that we have no way of making sure the prices received directly by the client are as per specs as they may (as is generally the case in this part of the world) be quoted for not necessarily complying copies and alternatives…As we all know China is notorious for its look alike copies…
and so on…