Controls projects 'need a champion'

Identifying the person who takes legal responsibility if a lighting controls project doesn't go to plan is crucial if clients are to avoid disappointment, a panel of speakers agreed at the Smart Lighting Controls conference in London yesterday.

The panel, who discussed whether or not controls deliver on their promise, said that disappointments are often due to a knowledge gap in the supply chain and that many problems persist because ‘nobody claims responsibility’ when controls don’t deliver.

‘There have to be people who can stand up and say, that’s what I do, get the professional indemnity cover and then hold contractors, specifiers and designers accountable so that if you didn’t do what you were supposed to, you will be hunted down,’ said Dominic Meyrick, partner of lighting design company Hoare Lea.

‘Nobody in the chain ever takes the blame,’ agreed Chris Barnes of Excel London, who was responsible for the centre’s recent smart LED lighting upgrade.

‘The client thinks, "I want to pay someone and if it all goes wrong, I can sue them,"' said Meyrick. ‘If the specifier says Dali in the document and the contractor doesn’t know what it is, then of course the project won’t deliver. We need to mature on that front.’

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