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May 1, 2018

Shade Sculpture Group Withdraws from Tendering Process

We all know that the commercial construction tendering process is flawed, and Shade Sculpture has made no bones about our dislike of the process, where it is cost driven with little or no focus on design, safety or quality. Tragically, you only have to take a look at the Grenfell Tower tragedy to understand our total frustration with this practice, where the contract was awarded to a façade sub-contractor whom was in acceptance to install a cladding system with significantly less fire ratings than was previously suggested, saving £1.2million. This unfortunate and misguided decision, unbeknown at the time, led to the deaths of 71 men, woman and children (source Wikipedia). Yet this “cheapest wins” approach to the tendering practise is still seen as the default “go to” tactic for main contractors, and to an extent, end clients when selecting a sub-contractor to provide services. Additionally, there are other complicated and negative issues that we see with the current tendering process, which we outlined in a previous blog back in December 2016 Why The Tensile Architectural Tender Process is Floored!

However, the above as tragic as it is, is not the only reason the Shade Sculpture Group has taken the unprecedented decision to withdraw from the Tendering Process.

Moving Forward – Group Restructure

Moving forward, Shade Sculpture is at the midway point of finalising a group restructuring process whereby we will be focusing predominantly on consultancy and project management. This restructure will see Shade Sculpture Tensile Ltd working directly with end clients and main contractors alike to better aid them through tensile projects, whilst at the same time providing a more cost efficient streamlined process and design betterment.  Shade Sculpture Tensile will also be offering an open book policy where they will managing, overseeing and connecting clients with approved outsourced contractors within the industry. This approach is set to enhance quality across each project, whilst providing improved budgetary control and costings for the end client, and or, main contractor. Effectively acting as a design and project management cost control conduit.  

Our design and development arm within the Shade Sculpture Group will be concentrating on “New” and innovative product development, with a heavy bent toward interactive and adjustable tensile and glazing architectural solutions. With several patents already lodged and international distribution agreements commencing, this approach is certainly proving to be an effective part of the Groups restructuring process.


Shade Sculpture-Facades, whom provides bespoke building envelope and interactive facades will remain untouched during this restructure, due to the delicate nature of the current façade industry.

Whilst Shade Sail Blinds, which focuses on the smaller commercial and bespoke domestic tensile shading and canopy markets, is undergoing a business model transformation to enhance its client and product offering, with additional marketing resources being implemented on an international scale.

Group Managing Director Damon Farrell takes a brutally honest and inward look at why the restructure has been necessary: – “The construction industry is a cutthroat one and we ‘as a company and as Group’ have taken our eyes off the ball, resulting in-house operational mistakes”. “We have relied heavily on our design and sales skills, whilst at the same time given too much control to individuals during expansion”- “As such, we have allowed critical and key business decisions to be made without fully understanding the ramifications and knock on effects to our business”. “The result has been we did not drive the industry forward as we set out to do, but fell into the same trap as all others, focusing primarily on cost”.  “When in fact we should have been concentrating our key strengths of quality, innovation and adaptability”. “Pulling away from the tendering process, which to many may seem confusing and unwise, has already proven the correct decision, with resources being redirected to more profitable ventures”. “The restructure which has been carried out and announced today, has put a refocus on our core skill sets with an emphasis on profitability”. “The further decision to focus on product development is also proving a good decision”.

To find out more about the Shade Sculpture Group and the services we can offer, please contact us on +44(0)1249 848648.