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Tuesday 03 May 2011
 
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Extreme Light Infrastructure Facility; courtesy of BFLS 
 
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Editorial

Caroline Stephens unveils architectures' best kept secret 


In the WAN office, it had become known as architecture’s best kept secret but when I recently took over as head of the WAN Tender Alerts team, I knew we had to make this service more accessible: things had to change. This is the most crucial issue facing architecture today, it’s not about modernism vs classicism, it’s much more important. It’s about winning new work. It’s about keeping practices alive and ultimately, about saving and creating new jobs. We need to get this service out there, architects need to see the amazing results we’re achieving. We want more WAN subscribers to win with our programme.

Sian Disson, WAN’s News Editor added: “Only last week two high profile schemes have been in the news, the £251m Extreme Light Infrastructure Facility in the Czech Republic won by BLFS and The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA, Sydney - both projects brought to the surface by our Tender Alerts service.”

We provide the opportunities and its then up to architect to win the work. The amazing project given the green light last week says it all. Ian Bogle, Project Director at BFLS got first sight of the project on his daily WAN Tender Alert, he told us exclusively this week: “I clearly remember seeing it come in and saying, that’s the one we’re going to win…” Even in this financial climate, there are jobs are out there. We’re still delivering around 25 opportunities every day.

Ian Bogle furthers: “We had looked at other services but settled on WAN as it delivers what we need, it’s the only service we currently use.”

For over two and a half years, at the onset of the crippling financial crisis, WAN has re-imagined itself, from simply reporting on architects’ achievements to actively promoting the industry. The WAN AWARDS have been a huge success, raising the profile of good architecture and arming the winners with a highly valuable advantage for securing new work.

But that’s only part of the story. Behind the scenes, in the summer of 2008 when a downturn loomed, WAN turned its attention to finding new work for architects, utilising our vast database and global network to develop a new service. By the autumn of 2008 the WAN Tender Alert system was born. Since then, our team of intrepid researchers, in five continents have beavered away, braving tedium and exasperation, trawling through the murky waters of government websites, subscribing to endless lists of services to harvest the most comprehensive catch of business information opportunities and data.

The rough data is then passed up to the mothership of WAN where it is sifted for gems. That’s what WAN is brilliant at: indexing, categorising and transforming all this disparate information into a concise structure and then publishing it globally in an easy-to-use format. Every day we publish over 25 ‘pearls’ of information directly to the architect that can grow into successful projects.

If you’re reading now and think your firm could do with more work, make sure the partners know about this. Tell them now…it’s important.

Tell a partner or principal.

Caroline Stephens
Tenders Manager

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