Activity 7: Site Management
At this stage, the construction reaches completion and it is now the managers of this complex phase who are responsible for implementing Inclusive Design.
During this stage, site management becomes important, as many types of contractors, installers and finishers will be on site, and in an effort to streamline efficiency and reduce costs, changes and deviations can occur. This should not compromise the Inclusive Design vision and guidelines, as a mistake here could jeopardise the whole Inclusive Design ethos of the project and negate the outcome. Intentions have to be translated into action.
The managers must be able to make decisions and involve user groups when unforeseen situations occur. This will keep Inclusive Design at the forefront, and remind the teams on site of the economic, creative and inventive, as well as social benefits of the approach.
- Atmosphere: Encourage open communication between the on-site teams and all the specialists involved. If the architect is no longer involved, then responsibility for championing these views needs to be reallocated to someone else. To help communication, avoid using complex jargon.
- Conflicting interests: This stage might feel like a war-zone, with conflicting interests. However, it is key to keep communicating and respecting all the different perspectives. Keep reminding the team of the intention and vision, so that all parties understand the Inclusive Design purpose and benefits. Even the newest members of the team can then be quickly aligned to the ambitions by the existing members.
- Communication with suppliers: Although the core project team will have understood and implemented Inclusive Design values, temporary team members will be present, in the form of sub-contractors and suppliers. Strong lines of communication and oversight can help ensure that they also align and integrate.
- Training personnel: As important as training the users of the building, is the training of the managers, operators, owners and service personnel. Advising them of the user needs you have addressed, and the solutions you have created to support this, will help them create a longer-lasting, more inclusive building that works as intended. Simple things, such as the placement of bins, signage, cleaning and building maintenance, make a big difference to everyone’s everyday life. Make sure the level of training is appropriate for different contexts, e.g. domestic versus public buildings.
At the end of this activity, your project will be delivered with all team members in the different stages following a people-centred approach. Strong communication will have been established and you will have received feedback on the process – both on final solution and as a result of user involvement. You will understand what worked and what did not, and ensure that your project effectively moves into the next activity.