Design mitigates risk in construction

It’s not uncommon that large, public construction projects fail to meet estimated costs and struggle to collaborate with the people who will use the building. For the new Institute of Marine Research building in Bergen, Statsbygg wanted to find a process that mitigates that risk. A process that puts people and their needs at the heart of the building, and involves them in the journey. That collaborates with a diverse group of stakeholders. That considers the 100+ year lifespan of the building.

Together with Statsbygg we created a pilot project that focused on the people who will be affected by the new building and the business within it. Including researchers and universities, food industry and fisheries, as well as government ministries and the City of Bergen. We opened up discussion and collaboration through insight, foresight and concept work that created a common ground for discussion, problem solving and co-creation.

The end result: a concept of the future. We:

  • Established a co-created vision for the building, its surroundings, the effect of production and how humans interact in a 2040 perspective
  • Aligned stakeholders by co-creating a shared description for how the building should function
  • Uncovered challenges and problems early in the process and generated ideas on how to mitigate risk and improve the process

Our reflections

Statsbygg have been ambitious and innovative in their approach. Design driven innovation is proven in many industries, yet despite the sky high value of construction projects the industry doesn’t think in the same way. Early foresight and concept work takes away some of the risk that buildings are not used or appreciated by the people they’re built for. The pilot is a formula for future work in the industry, and should be embedded even earlier in projects.

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