A literature review suggested that conservation refurbishment work was perceived by design professionals to be inherently more risky than new‐build projects. The objective assessment of risk items helps ameliorate its impact. The results of a large questionnaire‐based survey evaluating specialist design consultants’ risk identification and management approaches are presented. The risk management approaches of specialist design consultants are divergent, reflecting their professional philosophies, educational programmes and experience. Further differences emerge according to practice size and contract value. Particular attention is paid to the responses considering contingency pricing, project budget forecasts and extensions of time. Results suggest that client education via briefing and consultants’ wider use of confidence limits can help improve the management of risk.
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