Of late, we've been involved in numerous dental surgery designs ranging from NHS bids, to refurbishments and new builds. So we'd thought we'd share a few tips to those dentists out there about to embark on the process of using and architect and a builder to deliver their shiny new dental practices.
The current market means there’s a wide array of architects out there to choose from. But it’s important to choose an architect that you can relate to, understands the legislation involved and most importantly shares your aspirations.
Most dentists will probably look to do this once in their lives, so it’s important to make sure your designs are thought through and portray the personality that you want to show. Design should relate to your branding, how you run the practice and how you want the patients to feel. Our dental surgery designs are typically centred around the idea of patient journeys. Plotting out their journeys from the point of entry to the point of exit ensuring that every detail is considered around the most important people in the process.
When searching for an architect always make sure they’re RIBA chartered, fully insured and have experience in dental practice design.
If there’s one thing I hope you take from this article it’s to strike a balance between the golden triangle of Time – Cost – Quality. Each project has their own agenda – be it opening up as soon as possible, ensuring the budget is kept to or simply having a beautiful and engaging space. So when reviewing the tender returns from your shortlist of contractors, it’s always worth looking beyond the pound signs on the sheet and understand who is able to deliver your project on or ahead of schedule and what the quality of their built portfolio is like. As much as we’d like to hit all three Time – Cost – Quality factors, it nearly never happens. Communicate your agenda to the design and build team early on to make sure the aspirations are aligned.
Always ask for a construction programme from your contractors and make sure it’s in your construction contract! That way, you’ve a benchmark to work to beyond the start and end date making it easier to manage.
By sending out your design documents to numerous dental contractors, you’ll be able to gauge a fair price and ensure the prices returned are competitive. It must be noted though, you’ll need a contingency fund should unexpected things crop up during the construction process.
The quality of the workmanship should be dictated by the design specification set out by your architect and the dental supplier once you’ve chosen the equipment. You should also employ your architect to conduct regular site visits and contract administration. Site visits ensure that the specifications and detail drawings are in line with construction whilst their contract administration services means that the contractor sends the architect the invoices prior to you which protects you from releasing monies before the work is done.
If you’ve a dental practice needing redesign, refurbishment or new build, do feel free to give us a ring to talk through your options.