Last edited 19 Dec 2020

Designing Buildings Wiki Launches

[edit] New online wiki site offers help for construction industry under pressure.

At a time of unprecedented change Designing Buildings Wiki, a collaborative internet-based wiki site, has been launched to provide simple, accessible and free guidance for every stage of the building design and development process.

In a world first, representatives from the British construction industry are working together to establish a compendium of knowledge and skills to help create a more efficient industry. This effort has already won support from some of the sector’s leading companies, such as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Buro Happold and Development Securities.

The recession, combined with Government austerity is putting the industry under pressure to find 20% efficiencies and eliminate mistakes. The pace of change is also hotting up. There have been an extraordinary 25 major changes to policy and legislation since the Coalition Government came to power two years ago

At the same time, the number of training days for consultants has fallen from 3.2 in 2004 to just 0.7 in 2011, and with the introduction of neighbourhood planning and the self-build initiative, an increasing number of inexperienced people are likely to come into contact with the industry.

Designing Buildings Wiki provides a completely free, universally accessible knowledge-bank of information about building design and development. Founded by a quartet of property and construction professionals, headed by leading project manager David Trench, CBE, the site invites seasoned professionals to share their knowledge.

David Trench, Chairman of Designing Buildings Wiki, comments: “We have spent a long time talking about the problems with the industry, but we can all help improve it just by sharing what we know. There is no need to start every project with a blank piece of paper when the industry has expertise in every aspect of building design and development. Designing Buildings Wiki is not dictating best practice; it is providing the industry with the tools it needs to get through this time of unprecedented change.”

Andrew Morris, Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, comments: “The site will provide an invaluable way for architects, engineers, and professionals from across the construction industry to work together. This site is the first to address the interdisciplinary nature of the industry and will hopefully contribute to the design and construction of buildings.

Julian Barwick, Executive Director at Development Securities, adds: “Development Securities PLC is keen to support technical innovations that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the property and construction industries. The Designing Buildings Wiki site consolidates highly relevant information, clarifying terminology and acronyms and providing a roadmap for quick reference on property and construction matters.”

Andrew Comer, of Buro Happold, explains: “Designing Buildings Wiki is a great idea and presents an opportunity to better inform the general public about the work that is undertaken in the built environment as well as a unique tool to help to develop a body of expert knowledge on a very diverse and complex subject matter. From an engineering perspective we see the site as being able to present a platform to enable the industry to articulate the incredible innovations and advances we engineers are delivering right now and how we will be shaping the built environment of the future.”

Designing Buildings Wiki launches with more than 350 posts, ranging from step-by-step guides for every stage of managing a project, to detailed papers on planning applications, procurement and design. Industry professionals are encouraged to add or update articles on the site, as you would on Wikipedia.

Designing Buildings Wiki was founded by project manager David Trench, CBE, architect Dr Gregor Harvie, RIBA, construction law solicitor Richard Winward and chartered banker and finance director Martin Cantor. For more information on Designing Buildings Wiki please visit the website

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Note to Editors

Designing Buildings Wiki ( is a free, online service providing a forum for everyone involved in building design and development to find and share knowledge and to create a consensus about how the industry can achieve best practice.

This online, collaborative encyclopedia presents facts and expert opinion. It includes:

  • Hundreds of pages of guidance for every stage of design and construction.
  • Model plans for commonly-used procurement routes.
  • A mechanism for users to add new articles as well as editing and improving existing content.
  • Discussion forums allowing users to build a consensus.
  • A ‘page about me’ which registered contributors can link to from their articles.
  • The facility for experts to protect their articles.
  • Moderation to maintain consistent quality and ensure the site stays up to date.

The more people who contribute to the site, the better:

  • If you don't like what you see, change it.
  • If you don't see what you want, add it.
  • If you have knowledge you want to share with the rest of the industry, then Designing Buildings Wiki is the place to do it.
  • If you want to discuss the issues and build a consensus about how things can be improved, Designing Buildings Wiki is the forum.

Designing Buildings Wiki is intended for use by clients, practitioners and students in England and Wales (although Welsh building regulations may differ from English building regulations). However, much of its contents are also applicable in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and many other countries around the world have similar procedures.

Designing Buildings Wiki is not a place for self promotion. Articles do not include marketing information, although brand information can be included on user pages and we do invite sponsorship of articles to help pay for the running costs of the site (see the 'advertise' link at the bottom of every page).

You can contact us by clicking on the 'contact' link at the bottom of every page or by emailing uk [email protected]uk

Supporters include:

Buro Happold: an independent international practice of consulting engineers. Since 1976 we have grown in size and reach to serve public and private clients across a full range of sectors through an international network of 27 offices.

We draw on the multidisciplinary skills, knowledge and experience of our local experts to design and deliver award winning building, infrastructure and environmental projects that excel for clients, engage with communities and enrich the lives of users.

Sustainability, innovation and holistic consulting are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to touching the earth lightly. We think harder and are dedicated to addressing the big challenges that face the planet – climate change, population growth and scarcity of natural resources.

Current and recent projects include the Grand Museum of Egypt (Cairo), the Louvre (Abu Dhabi), the Aviva Stadium (Dublin), the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, the King Abdullah Financial District (Riyadh), the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford) and the O2 Arena (London).

Development Securities PLC: a property development and investment company. Our principal objective is to create value and growth through real estate development and regeneration in sectors and locations in the UK, where demand is in evidence, generating maximum value for shareholders.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP): an award-winning, international architectural practice based in London. Over three decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim with innovative projects across Europe, North America and Asia. The practice is experienced in designing a wide range of building types including: office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure, retail, civic and healthcare. The quality of its designs has been recognised with some of architecture’s highest awards, including two RIBA Stirling Prizes, one in 2006 for Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport and the other in 2009 for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, London.

For press more information The Wriglesworth Consultancy:

Telephone: 020 7427 1400

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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