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Return to the bad old days.
Several issues:
1) The mitigation strategy as an end goal in may argument was following on from previous discussions, you are correct that in a pre-determination evaluation you are working to inform a planning decision. Nonetheless, I still see the production of an appropriate mitigation strategy as key, because planning decisions can often be affected by the quality and the nature of the mitigation strategy.

2) I would not advise that a client do more than can reasonably be inferred by their condition (in the form of an archaeological brief) as it is this that provides the client with a firmer basis on which to compare costs from different contractors, and it also provides contractors with a level playing field to provide costs to. With certain types of projects, I will sometimes provide a range of options to clients with explanations that a more in depth approach would result in a more reliable investigation, which in turn facilitates work later on. However, all but the most enlightened clients (very very few of them) will not go with an option that they perceive would exceed the minimum of what they are required to do by the condition/brief. This why I think that BAJR Hosts idea for exemplart standards would be a good addition to briefs, as it would provide justification for different approaches and promote the examination of different techniques.

3) If you lood carefully above you will note that I said 'Often the archaeological cost risk to the client isn't in the actual cost of a unit undertaking an evaluation or excavation, but in the unexpected delays they can cause - I have seen pipepine jobs where the cost of having the archaeological team out for one entire day equates to the cost to the client of having their team held up for a few hours!' and not that this is always the case. Moreover while the delay costs can be capped, it is often at a much higher level than the cost of an archaeological team and also just because a delay is capped, if a clients team is on site some is still incurring costs. Moreover, capping does not often happen if the delays are dispersed throughout the scheme rather than concentrated in one area. The point I was making was that it is far better for the client to encourage better planning and eariler involvement using a system of exemplary standards than not.

don't panic!
Posted by BAJR Host:
Quote:quote:I do feel that minimum standards should be 'replaced' with exemplary standards, as we all know that to 'win' contracts we have to cut cloth etc to the minimum required, as the developer does not want to pay for 5 extra soil samples for example if they don't need to...
Posted by Hurting Back:
Quote:quote: I like the idea of 'exemplary' standards rather than minimum; what may not be 'necessary' to achieve the minimum required by a brief may actually be very useful in determining development impacts more accurately and in fine tuning research objectives to avoid surprises in post excavation costs, for instance.
The trouble with setting 'exemplary' standards is that, by definition, you are saying "it would be nice to reach this standard, but it's ok not to". In other words, it is not enforceable. Therefore, if you have exemplary standards instead of minimum ones, there is no 'floor' - you can go as low as you like.
A minimum standard is one that can be enforced, because it must be reached. If current standards are too lax, the solution is not to replace minimums with exemplaries; it is to raise the bar by improving the minimum standard.

In relation to Hurting Back's comments about what is 'necessary' and what is not - I don't look at the word 'necessary' in terms of 'what is required to achieve the minimum required by the brief'. Rather, I look at it in terms of what is required to meet the Aims and Objectives that should be set in the Brief or Specification. Those aims and objectives should always determine what is 'necessary' in the scope of the investigation, at every stage. If the aims and objectives are properly set, then any additional work not necessary to achieve them would be hard to justify.


to let, fully furnished

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