BSBG’s Head of Design Armin Buchbinder was invited to one of the group’s long standing education partners, Canadian University Dubai (CUD), to host a guest lecture for fifth year Architecture students studying their Bachelors in Architecture Project Management.
The topic for the day was the process that involves the widely known and regularly instituted Request for Proposal, or RFP. For many companies in construction and architecture – those bidding and those tendering for work – the process of the RFP is a crucial cog in the project machine; and in many ways it could almost be thought of as the key that turns the ignition.
Armin put forward to the students some of the scenarios that architectural practices might be exposed to when trying to gain business. Examples included open competitions, restricted competitions and design competitions, and he explained the varying level of time and commitment involved for each option as a bidder. “The students are shortly to begin on a teamworking exercise under the expert guidance of Assistant Professor Steve Denyer,” Armin explained to the BSBG Blog. “They will be producing hypothetical RFPs for their gradation projects and will then take part in a role-playing exercise, in which they will form their own companies and product RFP response documents to bid for the project.”
To underline to the students at CUD the fundamental approach best adopted in successfully completing their graduation project, Armin highlighted some key points that should be remembered when preparing responses to an RFP. “It’s important to respond individually and with enthusiasm to each and every bid presented. The level of accuracy to which we should respond to the specifics within the RFP has to be extremely high and reflect the competitiveness of the current market. Overall, it’s a great chance to sell your skills and to explain why you’re the best option for the job, including all pertinent experience where you can and referencing successful projects and USP’s that may have relevance.”
Armin continued: “It can be a challenge for younger firms to find opportunities in this area, particularly when going up against more established architects in responding to RFPs. It’s a good idea to try to establish a relationship with a renowned player from the outset to increase project experience when trying to gain a footing in the market.”
Armin regularly takes part in talks and lectures at CUD, an educational facility that he considers one of the top in Dubai. “A lot can be revealed by the questions you receive after a presentation,” Armin says. “The students certainly have a good level of understanding, and Asst. Professor Denyer has all of his students very engaged in the methodology and disciplines he teaches them. I enjoy visiting CUD and witnessing the development of the students there.”
BSBG has previously taken part in the Careers Day at CUD, offering advice to students on internships and potential opportunities within the group in the UAE and internationally. Watch the video below!