James Blake Associates and Miracle Design and Play have formed a strategic alliance. James Blake met up with Miracle Design and Play’s Richard Howard (MD), to agree a powerful union of their two firms.
James explains that play areas are not what the house builder wants to concentrate their efforts upon – after all they have houses to build to make their living, yet these same play areas cause them more building headaches than do a hundred houses!” James Blake says.“The variability in the RoSPA inspector’s findings I’ve witnessed between inspectors is like playing Russian roulette with a single bullet in a 6 gun. Fortunately – you only need one inspection and that can be by a firm that employs normal sane inspectors and not the anally retentive, off-the-wall, latent axe-murderer types,” James continues – in full rant mode.
Having no control over the build process, unless instructed so to do, JBA are often left entirely in the hands of landscape contractors and James explains that this is dangerous, because the build quality, politics and approach varies massively. James adds.. “For instance designers like us, who only have the interest of their clients in mind, are in danger of being ‘tucked up’ by some of the larger design and build contractors, who would rather do the designs – so they can ensure a higher proportion of mainstream equipment for a higher price and better mark-ups. They don’t like designers who use a lot of natural play items – because it is taking money out of their pockets. This is contrary to the developer’s interests (money), the adoption organisation’s interests (liability) and children’s interests (play value) alike.”JBA’s clients need cost certainty and build certainty. By aligning with Miracle Design and Play, JBA can ensure best value is delivered to their clients, by remaining as their client’s designers, utilising low cost natural play elements, with some equipment as dictated by the LAs, then Miracle Design and Play will take JBA’s designs, vet them for RoSPA compliance and check their costing information. Miracle Design and Play will also value engineer the scheme to budget and secure LPA compliance and approval. They will then price for building the play area – ensuring JBA’s clients receive cost certainty and best value for money.
Miracle Design and Play recognise they may need to tender the build, but their prices are competitive, and their pledge is to build for the price quoted with no extras. James is quick to add… “I can guarantee that with this arrangement in place there will be no design issues, but the process of planning will also be speeded up too, and everyone gets to enjoy an easier, hassle free process.”
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