Good design is inclusive: it results in places where everyone can participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities.

Resources: FAQs

1. WHAT IS THE DQI?

The Design Quality Indicator (DQI) is a web tool which provides a framework for the assessment of a building’s design. It is used to assist various stakeholders, including, people from the community, design professionals, clients and building professionals to achieve design excellence in new or refurbished buildings and grounds.

back to top

2. WHO DEVELOPED THE DQI?

The DQI was initially developed in the United Kingdom by the Construction Industry Council (CIC). DQI USA has partnered with CIC to further develop and commercialize the DQI.

back to top

3. WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS CAN USE THE DQI?

The DQI can be used on many types of buildings including Public Venues, Office and Retail buildings, Research & Development Labs, Medical Buildings and others.

back to top

4. WHY SHOULD WE USE THE DQI?

Every time we commission a new or extensive refurbishment of a building and its grounds we are developing a prototype. One or all of the key elements of the project are being used for the first time. How do we monitor this unique process to ensure that we get a consistently good product? Traditionally the end user has become a guinea pig in the process. We don’t know until the building is occupied if it really meets their needs.

The DQI takes the guesswork out of the process of designing a building. It focuses the team on the needs of the end users, involves all the stakeholders throughout the process and helps develop a more sustainable building. The overall result is an improved product and importantly we can learn from the process because the DQI allows us to measure how the improvements are made. In short, the DQI leads to less cost, less time and more design.

back to top

5. HOW DOES THE DQI WORK?

The DQI asks project stakeholders to consider a series of statements which together define the design quality of a building and grounds. The DQI addresses:

  • Functionality which is concerned with the way in which a building is designed to be useful and is split into Access, Uses and Space
  • Build Quality which relates to the performance of a building fabric and is split into Performance, Engineering and Construction
  • Impact which refers to a building’s ability to create a sense of place, and to have a positive effect on the local community and environment and is split into Urban & Social Interactions, Internal Environment, Form & Materials and Character & Innovation

The spider diagram is the signature output of the DQI. The “chunks” missing from the pie represent deficiencies in the building. Below are sample spider diagrams from three hypothetical buildings.

back to top

Spider Charts

6. HOW IS THE DQI APPLIED?

The DQI is applied by project stakeholders working together, usually in a workshop or focus group.

back to top

7. WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?

The DQI collects views of stakeholders called respondents. Exactly who to involve will vary slightly between projects and may also vary between stages of a project; thought you should aim to involve as many of the same people each time the DQI is applied to a project. Respondents are typically drawn from the demand and supply sides including:

  • users
  • clients
  • members of the design team
  • contractors
  • facilities managers

Use of the DQI is managed by a DQI leader, however, the workshops will usually be run by a DQI facilitator who will help ensure you get the most from the event.

back to top

8. HOW SHOULD A WORKSHOP BE RUN?

DQI Facilitators and Trailblazers are trained to advise on the best approaches for running workshops but in general you should aim to run the workshop in an appropriately sized venue away from distractions, such as other work matters, and allow everyone time to focus on thinking about the building.

back to top

9. WHEN IN THE PROCESS OF CREATING A BUILDING SHOULD THE DQI BE USED?

The DQI is used from the briefing stage, through design and construction and once the building is complete. Section 2 of this paper contains examples of the principle stages in which the tool is used.

back to top

10. HOW MANY TIMES WOULD I USE THE DQI?

You should expect to use the DQI 4 or 5 times throughout a project: at briefing, early design stage and maybe late design, ready for occupation and 1 or 2 years in-use.

back to top

11. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO USE THE DQI?

Access to the DQI costs approximately $500 per use. We also strongly recommend using a DQI Facilitator or Trailblazer who is independent of the project and will help you get the most out of using the tool.

back to top

12. WHO IS A DQI FACILITATOR / TRAILBLAZER?

DQI Facilitators and Trailblalers are professionals experienced in the procurement process who have had their skills and abilities independently approved and have undergone training by the CIC to use the DQI family of tools.

back to top

13. ARE ALL DQI FACILITATORS / TRAILBLAZERS CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS?

The majority are, but some facilitators come from an education background, though they all have experience of procuring buildings.

back to top

Click to purchase DQI Leader Keys and services