W.D.A. News


Selection and use of consultants

Municipalities, other political subdivisions, governmental agencies, private entities and industries are, from time to time, concerned with problems in the field of engineering and architecture.  Obviously, the local staff of the municipality, industry or other organizations, cannot hope to be expert in all fields of engineering and architecture.  The consultant, on the other hand, has a working knowledge of many fields of pure and applied science.  Also, he has encountered many and varied problems which provide him with a vast store of data and information based on actual experience.  Therefore, when local problems arise, the engagement of a consulting firm which provides engineering and architectural services will prove the most effective and most economical course of action.

Consulting engineers and architects should be retained for the following reasons:

  1. The client will obtain professional services and unbiased opinion.
  2. The client will obtain the benefit of a wide experience in a variety of problems in the general field.
  3. The consultant is subject to call and is not a continuing expense to the client.
  4. The cost of a consultant's services is both reasonable and relatively small for the results accomplished.  These services can--and usually do--save far more than the fee, in first cost of equipment and subsequent operating costs of the project.



Qualification based selection vs. The LOW BID

Consulting services should be employed on the basis of competence, integrity and mutual confidence between the client and the consultant.  These conditions may not be fulfilled if professional services are selected on a price basis.  Most professional societies prohibit the practice of bidding as unethical since it implies that price rather than design ability and quality is the important factor.  Engineering and architectural ethics are not designed to protect the consultant; quite the contrary, they are designed to protect the client.

Take the time to investigate the consultant to determine if the past work of the consultant shows the competence to provide the services for your project.  Then, with the consultants involvement, define a scope of work and negotiate a fair package of compensation for the professional service needed for the project.




Sustainable Design & LEED®

W Design Associates has long considered project sustainability and environmental impact as a primary driver behind our design process.  It is our goal to deliver a product that serves our clients needs today and tomorrow, while minimizing the projects impact on the natural environment.  That includes evaluating and incorporating factors such as:

  1. Energy Efficiency of building systems; including but not limited to HVAC&R equipment.
  2. Energy Efficiency of the building envelope.
  3. Low flow plumbing fixtures and graywater retention/reuse systems to reduce the amount of potable water consumed.
  4. Remediation of chemically contaminated sites thereby reducing the demand on undeveloped land.

W Design is furthering our commitment to the environment and energy efficiency in the built environment by encouraging and employing LEED Accredited Professionals.