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BWL Construction Consultants explain “the Golden Triangle”

BWL Construction Consultants explain “the Golden Triangle”

Within most industries ‘the Golden Triangle’ demonstrates the relationship between time, quality, and cost. It is considered by most, that it is almost impossible to have a project that has been completed according to the original and agreed contract programme, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

Traditionally, if you were to increase project spending, it would either enhance the quality of construction or pay for more resources, and therefore save time. With costs increasing for labour and building materials currently, according to the golden triangle, we should be getting a better standard of build. But what is the increase in cost getting you now?

Project Managers are finding that they are dealing with longer lead times for materials and facing higher costs to procure them. They are not necessarily gaining the benefit of a high-quality outcome after the cost and time of the project increase. All the while, they are trying to manage these increases with sustainability at the forefront and adapting their procedures to utilise renewable energy in line with UK Government targets and best practices.

So, how are costs, time, and quality managed successfully on a project?

BWL’s Construction Consultants offer a professional service to guide and advise clients through managing all three aspects of the golden triangle and help to achieve project objectives.

Firstly, we must identify what is driving the project. Is it urgent? Is it emergency housing, for example? In this case, the main driver is time, meaning that cost and quality may suffer. Another example could be luxury accommodation. In this case, more time may be taken to plan the project, with more care and focus on quality to make sure this building has longevity. Budgets are also a significant factor. If cost is the main driver, quality may become a secondary consideration. The main driver for the project must be established, with key objectives for time, cost, and quality. Then, priorities and expectations can be set, and all parties know what they are working towards.

Secondly, cost estimation needs to be considered. This is where Quantity Surveying is important for all projects. Understanding costs in the first instance, and then monitoring costs throughout a project, can aid in making key decisions. Cost predictions can also be used to make decisions on where investment is best allocated for the project. Cost estimation is made simpler with a clear definition of scope from the outset.

Lastly, project controls are a key factor. This includes project management tools such as plans, designs, schedules, programmes, and cost forecasts, and they can all be used to mitigate risk throughout the life of a project.

Any changes that occur on the project can have a significant impact on the overall time, cost, and quality standards. Finding solutions to challenges and problems that occur during the project may mean compromising on one or two of the points of the triangle. Early planning is also essential to project success. Therefore, when beginning a new project, we listen to and understand our client’s requirements. We share our knowledge and provide advice on construction costs, market trends, and the most effective risk management strategies.

To speak with one of our professional quantity surveyors please get in touch with us via