Good design: it all adds up, RIBA, 2011


What is the value of architecture? Is it worth the expense? Is design dispensable?

As expenditure on construction schemes of all kinds, from schools to hospitals to regeneration projects, comes under the microscope, we hear these questions more and more.

Maybe design has become synonymous with luxury and the high street, and its role in making ordinary objects desirable and expensive has overshadowed that of making things and places safe, understandable, durable, energy-efficient and affordable.

The evidence assembled here counters the argument that design is a luxury in the production of the built environment, especially in straitened times.

What this report brings to light is the true value of good architecture. Design that resolves problems and answers needs will pay for itself over a building’s lifetime. Good architecture has its price. But bad architecture – or no architecture at all – will cost you more.

We summarise the research assessing the value of good design; include case studies that provide the evidence of good practice; and show how clients and those who live and work in a building can get the most out of it when it is created together with an architect.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design