Chief construction adviser Paul Morrell compared the “irrational exuberance” in recent architecture to the hedonism of the financial markets in a speech yesterday.
Delivering the 2010 Povey Lecture in London, Morrell called for public projects to set “maximum design standards” as well as minimum. He warned that good design had to produce value, and added that “design that celebrates little apart from itself is bad design”.
Morrell also called for greater attention to be paid to whole-life costing and cost benchmarking, and repeated his calls for greater supply chain integration and for Building Information Modelling to be used on all public sector projects.
Morrell’s comments came days after the government revised down its estimate of construction growth by more than a £1bn, in a move that is likely to knock 0.2% off the nation’s recorded growth.
The revision follows the receipt of further data and a revision of the methodology of recent estimates, which produced record growth figures for the industry over the past six months.
The Office for National Statistics said that growth in the second quarter had actually been 6.8%, rather than the 9.6% previously recorded.
In addition, the decline in output in the first quarter was more severe than previously recorded, at 1.2% rather than 0.8%.