DESIGN VERSUS ECONOMY: ON PREQUALIFICATION IN DEVELOPER COMPETITIONS
Paper in proceedings, 2016
This paper presents results from a research project studying prequalification for restricted developer competitions aimed at housing in Sweden. The methodology includes an inventory of competitions, case studies, document reviews, and interviews with members in the organizers’ selection commit- tees. The case studies comprise three restricted developer competitions in Danderyd, Nacka, and Trelleborg organized by the respective municipalities.
The design teams are selected by prequalification in restricted competition. The organizer starts prequalification by inviting candidates to the competi- tion. The organizer’s invitation contains a short description of the competi- tion task, the aim of the competition and the conditions, submission require- ments, and criteria for the evaluation of applications. The essential demands are general and based on Swedish law on public procurement. The evaluation criteria are experience-based and reflect professional merits for the compe- tition.
The three developer competitions generated a total of sixteen applications from candidates, teams of constructors, and developers in cooperation with architect firms. The lead applicant was the constructor or developer – not the architect firm. Eleven design teams were invited to the developer competi- tions after prequalification.
Winners in developer competitions receive building permits and can imple- ment their proposal, either by purchasing the land or acquiring the leasehold. Building costs (economy) and design quality (aesthetics) are key factors for organizers. The invited teams generally take part in the developer compe- titions at their own expense. This was the case for two of the competitions studied here, while in one the invited teams each received 50,000 SEK for their design proposals, which is very low compensation for design proposals as compared with architecture competitions.
The organizers were pleased with the information in the candidates’ applica- tions and the selection committees were easily able to choose teams for the competitions, which can be explained by the low number of applications. According to the selection committees, the prequalification process worked well, although the organizers had expected wider interest from the building sector and more applications from constructors and developers.