Quality Assurance Statement
Alison Brooks Architects is a multidisciplinary firm specialising in urban planning, architecture, and design.
Our key objective is to seek excellence in every aspect of our work and practice. We aim to maintain honour and mutual respect with a professional approach in relations between clients, members of our company and collaborators. By so doing we seek to achieve a service appropriate to the needs of our client and to society at large.
We seek to create conditions where people of high ability and high ideals, who share in our aims and objectives, are attracted to work with us. We encourage creativity, skill sharing, team work, professional and personal development. We operate in a manner that allows people freedom and flexibility to use their skills to the full.
We continually seek to improve our performance and therefore the service given to our clients. It is our policy to give clear instructions, which are necessary to facilitate the planning, and execution of projects to the required quality and to meet the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001.
Project Quality Plan
QA arrangements for this project would involve a Project Quality Plan (PQP) established at the beginning of the project. The PQP includes detailed project information outlining the requirements of the brief, set project objectives, budget, preliminary project programmes and schedules and the organization of resources. The PQP records any client changes with respect to this information. The PQP identifies information, as it is to be prepared at specific design stages and records relevant internal checking and approval procedures. The PQP records the structure of the project filing system of paper hard copies, digital computer files, file archiving and back-up procedures. The PQP is regularly reviewed and revised as necessary to suit the changing demands of the project.
In addition to the PQP file ABA regularly reviews the procedures for setting out the processes of project work, the responsibilities for them and the type and methods in which records are kept.
In order to maintain this approach to produce innovative, high quality work, it is necessary to ensure that ABA protocols are followed to make the most efficient use of time to maximise time for design and delivery. The following quality control and management procedures are implemented through from concept to post completion of each project to ensure that quality is maintained and the delivery of each project is assessed after completion in order to improve services in the future.
ABA’s design approach is intensely site and client specific, drawing from the broader cultural context of each project to produce highly inventive work that seeks to communicate with a wide audience. The team defines this as ‘cross-fertilisation’, integrating urban design, landscape, and interiors with disciplines outside conventional realms of architecture. This approach has generated an award-winning body of work noted for its inspired manipulation of space, inventive use of materials, clear structural expression and the ability to create profound emotional and sensory experiences for its users.
Our client base is not unanimously in favour of formal Quality Assurance (QA) arrangements which has to date not encouraged us to seek accreditation. ABA does however have several systems in place to monitor project quality.
Alison Brooks Architects are a medium sized practice of over 25 architectural staff and one office administrator, dedicated to excellence in all aspects of the practice’s work. For this project Alison Brooks as project design leader will be supported by technical and administrative services of a dedicated project architect who will provide a single point client contact. Other support will be added to the team as and when necessary.
Project Method Statement
Alison Brooks Architect’s work is conducted according to the terms and conditions of RIBA Standard Forms of Appointment and in alignment with the RIBA Plan of Work modified to meet the specific requirements of a given client’s brief. At completion of each Work Stage a client presentation will be prepared which may be accompanied by a cost study (by others) appropriate to the stage. Client approval will be sought prior to proceeding to any subsequent stage. ABA encourages a team approach from the initial stages of any project including public consultation, as well as requests for environmentally sustainable design solutions.
Realistic planning of design stages, allowing adequate periods for cost analysis, consultant input and client approval is essential to achieving project program targets. All potential obstacles to project progress must be identified at the earliest stages, such statutory consents or in the case of existing buildings, special consideration to be made for building structure, mechanical services and accessibility. This, combined with a clear team commitment to communication and adherence to deadlines, will minimise programme slippage. In previous projects ABA has consistently produced design and production information within extremely tight time frames and well within client needs.
Excellent design and project execution results from an excellent client-architect relationship and consistent, thorough and open communication amongst the project team for the duration of a project. Clear lines of communication are established at the outset of the project as well as an overall project programme and project team meeting schedule. Meeting are generally minuted by ABA unless other parties are assuming this role and distributed to the client and relevant parties. All ABA telephone conversations are noted and when necessary, distributed. All correspondence with consultants and statutory and other bodies are copied to the client. ABA maintains open communication within the project team, briefing individuals for tasks and clarifying the methods to be used as appropriate to the work at hand.
As outlined in the PQP a full paper filing system is maintained throughout the project in addition to all digitally saved files to ensure a clear audit trail relating to all decisions and correspondence. All digitally saved files and project work are regularly backed up and where necessary off-site storage arrangements are made. Standard systems of drawing revisions and drawing issue records are also maintained in full.
ABA regularly conducts formal internal reviews of project work carried out by members of staff. These reviews are used to monitor project performance against the requirements of the PQP, and that overall ABA project standards are maintained. It is at this time that technical aspects of the design including health and safety are checked and verified. ABA internal reviews are minuted and filed with project data to ensure continuity.