New benchmarks to measure design quality are to be launched by The Construction Industry Council in June.
Michael Dickson, the chairman of the CIC who chaired the working party behind the scheme, said the benchmarks would be known as quality design indicators, rather than the usual designation of key performance indicators. He said they would assess impact, build quality and functionality.

"We dropped the 'key' bit because design does not lend itself to scientific or mathematical indicators. The quality design indicators are soundly based on a good philosophical basis within certain sustainability spheres including available resources, technology and environmental consideration." Six pilot studies to test the indicators and develop a toolkit for their implementation are expected to be complete by June. The pilots include a PFI hospital in Swindon, new buildings at the University of Sussex and Bennetts Associates' £100m Brighton library.

It is understood that the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Ministry of Defence and the Movement for Innovation have also provided buildings to take part in the study.

A presentation on the toolkits will be made to the Office of Government Commerce in early June in a bid to encourage take-up across government departments.

Architects haven’t always taken the process of construction to heart

Michael Dickson, chairman of the Construction Industry Council

Dickson said they were intended for use at each stage of a building's life, including after occupancy.

He said: "The Brighton library, for instance, is still on the drawing board. It is a toolkit modified for real life. The model is pretty robust. It will be a generic tool." Dickson added that he hoped the indicators would contribute to better understanding between professionals in the construction industry.