Integrated Design-Team Framework

As well as designing buildings in-house, City Architects regularly engages external consultant architects to design and deliver projects for Dublin City Council. Cities that value and apply design in how they think, plan and act are more humane, attractive and competitive. The Council therefore places great importance on quality of design in its buildings and takes pride in a track record of engaging highly skilled architects to design buildings for the city.

To this end, City Architects have established a new Framework for architect-led multi-disciplinary design teams in two Lots: one for projects with a construction value up to €15m, and one for projects over €15m (both excluding VAT). The Framework will be used for tendering architectural project commissions over the next 3 to 5 years. The primary reason for establishing the new multi-disciplinary Framework was to rationalise the consultant procurement process for each project. Previous Frameworks were for separate, individual design-team members – architect, engineer, quantity surveyor etc.

Significant time and resources go into establishing a Framework to ensure that the process is fair – so that tenderers compete on equal terms, and transparent – so that there is clarity on how decisions are made. Work on this Framework started in July 2018, with a European Union (OJEU) notice being advertised in November.

Fifty-seven valid submissions were received from Ireland and overseas. Submissions were assessed by a multi-disciplinary panel with areas of expertise including architecture, engineering, cost control and contract management. Following a first stage assessment of the applicants’ qualifications, experience and capacity, the thirty highest scoring applicants were shortlisted and invited to the second tender stage. It’s important to note that it is a competitive and complex selection process, which has to follow strict and objective rules. Many of the firms who were unsuccessful have excellent experience and skills (we’ve been privileged to work with some of them in the past and hopefully will again) but the successful applicants achieved higher scores. As part of the second tender stage, tenders were assessed under an 80:20 ratio of quality and price, allowing for sufficient assessment of technical and design capabilities.

The Framework will be used to deliver a range of projects for Dublin City Council including housing projects (both traditional and design & build contracts), regeneration, retrofit and refurbishment, public realm, civic and community buildings, and sports facilities etc. The anticipated value of the services over the lifetime of the framework is in the region of €140 million.

Architectural Panel

A separate competition to establish a Panel for the provision of architectural services for projects up to €1m in size was launched in May 2016. The Panel will be used for commissioning services for small works, feasibility studies and other services such as Employer’s Representative for works contracts, Design Certifier, Assigned Certifier, PSDP, Architectural Conservation, Disability Access and Fire Safety Consultancy Services. The Panel was established in July 2019, however unlike a Framework, the Panel remains open to new applications on an ongoing basis. Companies interested in applying to join the Panel can email cityarchitects@dublincity.ie for further information.