Lengthy approval times are limiting the design success of Rudd’s health stimulus package developments in the same way that education projects have suffered from ident-a-kit design, an industry professional has said.

Base Architecture director, Sean Godwin, claims lengthy approvals leave “minimal” time to design and build medical facilities under the government’s stimulus package.

“By the time firms have applied for the work and dealt with all the red tape to get projects underway, there is not a lot of time left to actually design and develop them,” he told Architecture & Design.

He said “extreme time restraints” to spend the money before the 2010 deadline may push architects to rush projects and limit design outcomes.

“There is the potential for planning and design to be compromised as firms race against the clock,” he said.

Godwin said larger firms are benefiting the most from the stimulus work, while smaller firms are being left out and forced to diversify in order to find enough work.

“Smaller firms are finding they have to pick up work in other sectors to fill in the gaps and hold onto their staff,” he said.

However, Godwin said the trend is not necessarily a bad thing for the industry, as the stimulus package is creating much-needed work.

“Stimulus funding is definitely getting some air-play in the short term and may actually kickstart innovative designs in medical design,” he said.

However, Godwin said architects need to ensure design does not get “whittled away” as they race to kickstart developments before the funding dries up in 2010.