Creativity always flows when you know your back is covered

 

We are SCL | Schumann Consult

With offices in London, Dublin, South Africa and Australia, we are becoming the go to independent global practice for your Architectural Specifications and Management needs.

#supportingdesigners

 


Two words define the culture, ethos and attitude to service delivery and commitment to our Architectural colleagues – ‘Supporting Designers‘. This is the umbrella phrase we use for our services, Specification Consulting and Design Management.

Our commitment to #supportingdesigners is based on our core strengths and passion for delivering quality design in the real world, often operating behind the scenes providing services that protect the best interests of the Architect, Client and the Project. Our services have been developed, tailored and used on many high profile projects around the world with some of the worlds most prestigious architectural firms.

Your business will demand different things from us. You may want high level, highly expert advice from market leading thinkers and problem solvers. You may need more practical support with documentation, contractual matters, project or office wide design team set-up, hands on project administration, reporting, planning etc. You may see a value in having interim 3rd Party input from time to time or hiring in an external Specification Consultant to help protect your design intent, using specification documents which are robust and powerful.

Ultimately each Architectural practice is different. This is what makes the industry great and why we have such talented firms delivering quality and stunning buildings. However everyone needs a little support from time to time, and that is what Schumann Consult is all about. Whatever mixture of service is chosen, our philosophy to everything we do never changes – we are ‘Supporting Designers‘.

WHY CHOOSE US?

WE ARE ONCE AGAIN CHALLENGING THE WHAT, WHY AND HOW OF SPECIFICATIONS.

Experienced

Underpinned with 30 years of experience writing specifications for clients and projects around the world, you can count on us to have the solution.

Innovative

Innovative

We are challenging both the philosophy and principals behind Specifications in our industry.

Experimental

Experimental

We are using new ways to share, connect and produce our specifications so that we adapt the the ever changing horizon of the industry.

Perfect

Perfect

Experienced + Innovative + Experimental = Perfect.

How about Some Fun Facts about our business?

2013
Year Started
35
Years experience in the industry
6
Number of offices
2
Everton fans

We aim to reduce designers’ risk on projects through sound strategies, systems, communications and the flow of information between client, consultants, contractors and manufacturers such that projects are delivered within expectations thus maximising asset value. Our expertise has been built up over many years, helping deliver projects around the world.

-- Shawn Kennard, Head of South Africa --

Our Services

Our services are delivered by our team with years of experience and passionate about working with and supporting designers.

Specifications

A well prepared and coordinated specification communicates what the project client is buying from the contractor. It deals with scope, quality, activity, and responsibility, and as such complements the contract conditions and other documentation. During construction the specification is used to check the adequacy of the contractor’s work on site, as well as providing a reference point for the determination of variations.

What we offer
  • Specifications to suit any format, including Common Arrangement (CAWS), CSi Masterformat, Qatar Construction Spec (QCS), NATSPEC
  • BIM + Specification Integration
  • Multi-site specification management
  • Multi-service specification coordination
  • Company Specific Master Baseline Specifications
  • Manufacturer Specifications
Find out more

Design Management

In today’s world, architects are increasingly being asked to take contractual responsibility for the delivery of the full project design and engage all disciplines as sub-consultants. Some are comfortable with this, others not so, and it is for those who are not comfortable, but do not want to turn away an opportunity that our design management experts are called upon.

What we offer
  • Support to Architectural Managers
  • Organisation and management of your Design Team
  • Contractual advice and preperation
  • Fee negotiation
  • Project Set-up and Controls
  • Executive advice and guidance
  • Design Healthchecks
Find out more

Are you ready to start a conversation?

Find out more

What our Clients say

  • The skill in creating succinct specifications that reduce risk and add value to the built environment is invaluable. Schumann Consult has a considerable pedigree in this area and its wealth of expertise and insight into the architectural community significantly enhances the existing portfolio of Rider Levett Bucknall skills.

    Lance Taylor, CEO, Rider Levett Bucknall

Specifications

A well prepared and coordinated specification communicates what the project client is buying from the contractor. It deals with scope, quality, activity, and responsibility, and as such complements the contract conditions and other documentation. During construction the specification is used to check the adequacy of the contractor's work on site, as well as providing a reference point for the determination of variations.

Our Specifications

One size does not fit all when it comes to specifications. Every project is different as is its project location. Because of this we offer a range of different specifications to suit the specifics of your project. We are able to produce specifications in CAWS, CSi and various other local specification formats. We want to be able to service all types of project as we know how important each one is to you, no matter what it’s scale. We have re-focused our Specification service and looked at how to achieve our vision and as a result, we have created a suite of specifications that cater for these different project sizes:

  • Minor Works Specifications – For use on smaller scale projects such as small houses, conversions etc.
  • Intermediate Specifications – For medium sized projects. This is a slimmed down version of our full specification.
  • Full Specifications – For the big projects.

As part of the process, we will always sit down with you and discuss which specification is appropriate. We do not believe in a one size fits all approach.

Our Service

Our service is tailored around improving the construction industry and standard of design documentation. We prepare specifications that protect the designer and the Client through the following means:

  • Starting every project specification from our up-to-date and managed baseline
  • Becoming part of the design team and developing the specification as the design develops
  • Aligning the specification to the contract and procurement method
  • Understanding each form of contract and correctly aligning risk
  • Providing quality control and quality assurance procedures.
  • Defining the contractor’s responsibilities.
  • Keeping a full audit trail of all changes and issued specifications through our advanced online system
  • The experience and knowledge of our team

Specification Formats

Through our many years of writing specifications on projects around the world we have learnt and understood the complexities and intricacies of what is required. We have gained the experience of writing in a number of different specification formats, such as the ones below:

  • CAWS – Common Arrangement
  • CSi Masterformat
  • NATSPEC
  • QCS – Qatar Construction Specification

For each of these different specification types we have developed our own baseline documents and style of writing which we believe gives the best protection to our Clients.

Outline Specifications

Specifications are defined very differently by people, but to SCL a real outline specification is one that is delivered at Schematic Design stage as part of the Stage D Report (which is usually prepared in A3 format), for two purposes, those being:

1. For the QS to carry out a cost check, and
2. For client sign off in preparation for Stage E design.

There is a third reason when working internationally and that is to provide the local Architect of Record with information to prepare detailed drawings and specifications for tender.

Rarely is an outline specification used as a tender or contract document.

Our Outline Specification is in A3 format (so that it can be slotted into the Stage D Report) and covers the critical A Section issues on one page and splits the design into simple categories (e.g. walls, floors, ceilings, etc.) that apply to every building in any location in the world so it can be used for any international or national format.

Dealing with Sustainability

Sustainability is the most important issue facing our and other industries at present, and we are reminded of situations in the recent past when we seem to take an age to, firstly recognise the need and then implement solutions which attract additional fees or costs. Rarely do we lead the way, but when it comes to sustainability we have a unique opportunity to do just that – the question is, are we up to the challenge?

Specifications, as key contract documents, have an important role to play and need as always to stipulate targets and solutions as appropriate. Specifications reflect design and cannot make a design “sustainable” simply by the use of clever words. Sustainable specifications are therefore not an add on or optional extra, should not require an expert or attract additional fees. Every specification has to be as “green” as possible, with clauses embedded as standard practice and become the norm.

How We Work

Our preference is to get involved with projects as early in the process as possible. A typical project will require an outline specification at Schematic Design, followed by a detailed draft at Detail Design and then finally a full tender/contract specification.

You will often find us in your office gathering information, from which we produce your specifications and we are always available to respond to your telephone calls, e-mails and problems.

We work as part of the architectural team; ensuring regular meetings are held with the design team to ascertain a complete understanding of the project, contract and procurement status, so that the appropriate specification can be produced.

We start by working with individuals to produce a Product Reference Sheet (PRS) for the project which scopes out the elements and materials required. We instill good habits from day one, assigning a code to each element that provides a link between annotated drawings and the specification. As the design progresses we work with each architect and provide iterations for review. Through regular meetings and contact each team member contributes and gains a full understanding of what the specification contains and most importantly why.

Our Approach To BIM

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is the future of our industry, bringing together numerous aspects of the costruction industry into a single model to be shared and collaborated on. Specifications are a vital component of this and as such we have been working hard to ensure that our specifications and service fits nicely within this environment.

Specifications are relatively easy to link within a BIM model, but there are options for intelligent use. You can read more about what we are up to on our blog here.

We are not focusing on trying to be too smart with BIM. We want our specifications and our service to fit seamlessly into a BIM environment in a way that makes the lives of designers simpler, not completely change the way we deliver specifications for our clients.

Company Wide Specification Baselines

We have the experience of setting up specification baseline documents and systems throughout the World. This process has been proven to:

  • Reduce time spent on the review process.
  • Provide a company-wide common language.
  • Provide consistency and control of documents.
  • Reduce time spent reinventing the wheel.
  • Incorporate ‘best of’ examples and knowledge into one location.
  • Provide cost benefits

This approach would be suitable for the likes of architectural practices; specific sectors; institutions; large sites; building chains, etc.

Some Basic Tips

Not sure you need support? That’s fine – some architectural practices like to prepare specifications themselves and feel that having their own architects preparing the specifications is important – we agree, although we think that even the best architects and practices could benefit from some support because specifications are very important contractual documents and require focus to get them right.

If you are preparing specifications yourself ensure that you have considered the following issues:

  • Use a format recognised by the local market (CAWS/CSI etc.).
  • Include local and international Standards and Codes of Practice as appropriate.
  • Incorporate defined terms defined by the main contract conditions.
  • Prepare the specification to reflect the selected procurement route (D&B, Construction Management, Two-stage, etc.).
  • Use tried and tested baseline specifications containing the latest Standards and Codes.
  • Appropriately reflect the design intent, performance requirements, product selection and quality targets.
  • Adopt detailed nomenclature for ease of reference in use.
  • Utilise a product reference system to create a link between the drawings and the specification.
  • Pay particular attention to document identification and issue control.
  • Avoid conflict with Preliminaries as produced by a quantity surveyor.
  • Ensure that the specification is of the best technical quality and is fully coordinated with other consultants’ documents, preventing duplication and/or conflict.
  • Identify potential bulk purchasing opportunities on multi-site projects by ensuring common material palettes are adhered to.
  • Focus on elements that require post-contract design input from the contractor or specialists.
  • Liaise with industry to ensure that design is practically achievable.

We have produced and coordinated specifications on projects around the world since 1986. We recognise the need to prepare appropriate specifications that protect the design intent and reflect contractual conditions.

-- Nick Schumann, Founder --

Design Management

A service designed to take away the noise and administrative burden that comes with being a lead consultant and managing a design team.

Who are we engaged by?

Architects employ us to manage the project design team on their behalf. Some do this because they think that the management aspects of a project distract their architects from performing the job they are best suited to, which is design, others because they are comfortable in the knowledge that they have expert consultants focusing purely on protecting their interests.

Our design management service has been designed to take away the noise and administrative burden that comes with managing a design team. We offer support with everything from financial management at bid stage through to monitoring progress and writing your reports. The support we offer depends on the type of issues that arise.

We are your right hand man, your go to team of people on any project. Have we got your attention? Read on to see how we do this and how we can help you.

How we work

How we work is really up to each architect and each project. Some architects like us to be hands on with the client, representing the design team. Others like us to be in the background, purely looking after the internal design team, out of sight of the client.

Whichever route we go down, the first thing to do is strike up a relationship with the architectural team. If we are to be trusted to support you with your project, then we feel that we need to get to know each other.

Setting the project up correctly will be the main focus of the early days. The saying ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is very true and despite it taking your attention away from the fun designing stuff, it’s important we work together to nail this down.

Ensuring we get the design programme created and importantly, getting buy-in from your design team (what’s the point in making a target that the rest of your team cannot commit to!), and then getting your various processes and procedures in place will make for a smoother running project.

You can then crack on with the fun stuff…. Design, Design, Design! All you need to know is that we are right by your side along every step of your journey.

If the full management support is not something that you require, but you think that a bit of help would be useful then we are more than happy to take parts of our service, carve it up into small chunks and give you exactly what you need. Just talk to us to see how we can support you.

Typical Scope

Much of what we can do to support you is tailored. Every architect is different, as is every project, and as such every task we carry out is tweaked as required to make sure it fits your style.

Our bespoke design management services are tailor made to your project needs to facilitate the following:

  • Allow designers the freedom to focus on design.
  • Benefit from the advice of an independent consultant who has empathy with the challenges faced by designers.
  • Focus on the project set-up, including contractual and financial issues, project communication, scope, key dates and procedure plans.
  • Plan and monitor design progress, including interfaces with other consultants and client team, through a specially developed and innovative approach.
  • Provide senior executives with advice and visual aids to allow key decisions to be made at critical points.
  • Remove administrative burden from the design team.
  • Record and document events, issues, decisions and progress for future reference and client notifications.
  • Build a culture of collaboration within the design team and externally.

Our business is based on family values, which we believe gives our business the warmth and culture that makes clients and staff want to work with us. Our culture will focus on treating staff, clients and colleagues as family; retaining the trust, confidence and belief that quality will always shine through and will be at the centre of everything we do.

-- Mark Schumann, Founder --

Our Team

We are building a world class team of specification experts around the world, so that no matter where you or your project is located, we will be beside you all the way.

We are also always looking for ways to strengthen our team. To view current vacancies please click here.

Who are we anyway?

Meet the team building the dream

NICK SCHUMANN

FOUNDER, BOARD MEMBER, UK

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NICK SCHUMANN

MARK SCHUMANN

FOUNDER, BOARD MEMBER, UK

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MARK SCHUMANN

WILL HAMLYN-HARRIS

DIRECTOR, BOARD MEMBER, HEAD OF AUSTRALIA

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WILL HAMLYN-HARRIS

SHAWN KENNARD

DIRECTOR, BOARD MEMBER, HEAD OF SOUTH AFRICA

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SHAWN KENNARD

STEPHEN WALTON

DIRECTOR, ENGLAND

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STEPHEN WALTON

MATT FOX

DIRECTOR, ENGLAND

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MATT FOX

MEENA SANKAR

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, HEAD OF MIDDLE EAST

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MEENA SANKAR

CRAIG BROWN

ASSOCIATE, ENGLAND

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CRAIG BROWN

MARK AUSTIN

ASSOCIATE, ENGLAND

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MARK AUSTIN

ASANKA DESILVA

SPECIFICATION CONSULTANT, AUSTRALIA

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ASANKA DESILVA

MONIQUE MATTHEWS

SPECIFICATION CONSULTANT, SOUTH AFRICA

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MONIQUE MATTHEWS

JOHN HARTNETT

SPECIFICATION CONSULTANT, IRELAND

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JOHN HARTNETT

GARY MURPHY

SPECIFICATION CONSULTANT, SOUTH AFRICA

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GARY MURPHY

LINDA SCHUMANN

FINANCE, ENGLAND

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LINDA SCHUMANN

SARA O'CALLAGHAN

SECRETARY, ENGLAND

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SARA O'CALLAGHAN

NARELLE FOX

ADMINISTRATOR, ENGLAND

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NARELLE FOX

HELEN SCHUMANN

ADMINISTRATOR, ENGLAND

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HELEN SCHUMANN

MARK BOUTTELL

PROOF READER, SOUTH AFRICA

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MARK BOUTTELL

WANT TO JOIN?

Apply here

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WANT TO JOIN?

 

info@schumannconsultltd.com

@schumannconsult

#supportingdesigners

Our Offices

We are a global brand with a global reach.

London

Tel: +44 (0) 1767 220577

Dubai

Tel: +971 55 107 4852

Dublin

Tel: +353 86 837 0611

South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)12 345 6644

Australia

Tel: +61 (0)418 202 492

Head Office

60 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1JJ, UK

Where are our staff based?

Take a look at where our staff are based.

England
Ireland
South Africa
Australia

Contact

We'd really love to hear from you so why not drop us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

We are both proud and privileged to work on some of the world’s leading projects, with some of the world’s leading Architects. Over the years we have specified many of the world’s most famous buildings.

-- Nick Schumann, Founder --

Projects

We have been lucky enough to work on some fantastic projects so far, which we want to shout about. Unfortunately, in many cases we are restricted by confidentiality issues but below are a few that we can show.

Where a lead consultant is appointed by a Client the risks associated with the management of design delivery are focused on a single practice. Under such an appointment, investment in our design management capability brings comfort and reassurance that your best interests are being looked after.

-- Will Hamlyn-Harris, Head of Australia --

Clients

We are proud of the client's we work for and support.

Here’s a few clients we’ve worked with so far

 

We do not design, but we understand the challenges that architects and designers face. Our commitment to supporting designers is based on our core strengths and passion for delivering quality design in the real world, often operating behind the scenes providing services that protect the best interests of the architect, client and the project. 

-- Mark Schumann, Founder --

Articles

We are regularly writing for industry leading publications and blogs. We aim to lead the industry with the approach to Specifications and Management, not follow.

Here’s a few publications we’ve written for so far

ClientClientClientClient
We also publish a lot of our knowledge and findings on our blog. Don’t miss it!

We are delighted to be aligned with Rider Levett Bucknall. This new alliance provides us with greater access to global markets and enhances our design focused expertise using Rider Levett Bucknall’s wide pool of knowledge and resources.

-- Nick Schumann, Founder --

RLB | Rider Levett Bucknall

Creating a powerful new alliance that will benefit the global property and construction sector.

Schumann Consult has joined forces with Rider Levett Bucknall to create a powerful new alliance that will benefit the global property and construction sector.

London based Schumann Consult works with signature architects worldwide to deliver concise specifications and design management services.

The company is owned and managed by former Davis Langdon partners Nick and Mark Schumann. Satellite offices are set to open in South Africa and the US this year (2013) with new offices in the Far East to follow in early 2014.

Established in January 2013, Schumann Consult has been commissioned on a number of high profile projects in the UK, Canada, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, soon to be followed by projects in the Far East.

Nick Schumann, director of Schumann Consult added: “We are delighted to be aligned with Rider Levett Bucknall. This new alliance provides us with greater access to global markets and enhances our design focused expertise using Rider Levett Bucknall’s wide pool of knowledge and resources.

“The culture of the two firms is very similar with both operating as independent consultants, delivering high quality services to clients.”

The Schumann Consult team will work with Rider Levett Bucknall offices throughout the world whilst remaining an independent practice in its own right.

Lance Taylor, CEO of Rider Levett Bucknall said: “The skill in creating succinct specifications that reduce risk and add value to the built environment is invaluable. Schumann Consult has a considerable pedigree in this area and its wealth of expertise and insight into the architectural community significantly enhances the existing portfolio of Rider Levett Bucknall skills.”

Rider Levett Bucknall has over 3,000 staff operating from more than 100 offices. The combined resources and expertise of the two practices provides an attractive proposition for clients, providing a strong track record across various sectors and a mix of local knowledge underpinned by global intelligence and best practice.

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