Thought Leadership

Collaborating for Success: Q&A with Michael French on the Importance of Communication in Project Delivery

In the Energy & Waste and Industrial sectors, successful projects depend heavily on effective communication and collaboration. At DB3, we understand this critical aspect and strive to provide our clients with exceptional facilities tailored to their individual requirements.

In this Q&A session, our Associate, Michael French, shares valuable insights into our communication and collaboration strategies, as well as our approach to handling any obstacles that may arise during project execution.

Could you tell us about the current projects your team is involved in within the Energy & Waste and Industrial sectors, and what their scale and scope are?

Could you tell us about the current projects your team is involved in within the Energy & Waste and Industrial sectors, and what their scale and scope are?

“Currently, our team is involved in a range of exciting projects within the Energy & Waste and Industrial sectors.

One of our major projects is the 670m North London Heat and Power Project where we are delivering a world-class Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), the UK’s greenest ERF to date. The facility will divert up to 700,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. For this project, we are providing architectural and landscaping services to Acciona across RIBA stages 3-6. Our work involves reviewing the initial architectural concept design and providing design solutions that meet the client’s needs.

In addition, we are also working on a manufacturing facility worth 6m for a large Yorkshire-based brand. Our role in this project is to provide refurbishment services to enhance the employees’ working environment while maintaining productivity.

Lastly, we are providing architectural services for a new ASRS facility for Coca Cola that covers 65,000 sqft. Our work on this project spans across all RIBA stages, including the delivery of planning submissions. The scope of this project is to design a new state-of-the-art facility that will automate the storage and retrieval of products, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.”

How do you approach communication and collaboration with international clients, particularly when it comes to navigating cultural and language barriers?

How do you approach communication and collaboration with international clients, particularly when it comes to navigating cultural and language barriers?

“When approaching communication and collaboration with international clients, it’s essential to keep in mind that good design is relatable across any language barrier. This means that, regardless of cultural or linguistic differences, a well-designed project can communicate its intent effectively.

In the case of working on international projects, it’s important to leverage technology and experience to facilitate communication and collaboration among all parties involved. For instance, the NLWA ERF project is delivered as a BIM level 2 design, requiring all consultants to work collaboratively in a 3D environment. This approach ensures that everyone is on the same page, and all design parameters are considered from the start, irrespective of each consultant’s stage of development.

It’s also crucial to have the foresight to understand that alternative approaches or requirements may need to be developed further. In such cases, conceptual models can be created to illustrate the architect’s intent while providing for all other consultants’ requirements.”

 

How do you collaborate with stakeholders and local communities in your projects, and how do you ensure their needs and concerns are taken into account?

 

How do you collaborate with stakeholders and local communities in your projects, and how do you ensure their needs and concerns are taken into account?

“Our commitment to social value is at the heart of all our schemes, and we offer a broad range of activities that aim to establish a more profound connection with the community.

As part of our efforts, we reach out to local schools and communities to promote the benefits of our developments and the additional services we’re providing to improve the site. Our goal is to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the community that extends beyond the completion of our projects.

We believe that transparency is crucial to the success of our schemes, and as such, we have milestones within our program that require stage signoff from all parties. This enables the client, stakeholders, and third parties to review the design as it progresses. This approach allows for greater involvement and participation from everyone involved, ensuring that we capture the full intent of the client team while adhering to statutory requirements.”

 

How do your team handle project changes or deviations from the initial scope, and what processes do you have in place to manage them effectively?

How do your team handle project changes or deviations from the initial scope, and what processes do you have in place to manage them effectively?

“At DB3, we approach project changes and deviations from the initial scope with an open mind and a transparent approach with the client. We understand that the decision-making process can be fluid, and we are prepared to adapt to suit the evolving needs of our clients.

To manage changes effectively, we have a process in place that involves identifying any potential changes as early as possible in the project timeline. This enables us to provide due consideration to any choices that may impact our and other consultants designs. By informing our clients at the earliest opportunity, we can work collaboratively to evaluate the feasibility of any proposed changes and their impact on the project’s budget and timeline.”

Date Published: 9 May 2023
RELATED CONTENT: DB3 ENERGY & WASTE

DB3 Energy & Waste

DB3 Energy & Waste

Enabling global, industry leading facilities to divert waste from landfill, improve recycling capabilities and maximise opportunities for energy creation and heat & energy recovery is at the centre of the sector’s purpose.

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