More defects will be found in public housing because of new tender procedures, Institute of Architects president Dr Tao Ho has warned. Dr Ho said yesterday the Housing Authority had given priority to cost rather than quality when its building committee had drawn up a new tendering plan in September. Architects with less experience could now win a job with lower tender fees while more experienced architects might have to use cheaper and poorer materials to keep costs down, he said. The authority's 'two-envelope system' requires architects to submit information about their qualifications and experience in one envelope, and the proposed tender fees in another. The two envelopes are then given equal weight. Other developers place more store on qualifications than in tender fees. The MTR, for example, gave qualifications 80 per cent of the weighting and tender fees 20 per cent, Dr Ho said. 'This is ridiculous. It invites private architects to do the job but forces them to finish it at a very low cost,' he said. 'Those projects will be full of latent defects because of the use of cheaper and poorer materials.' Last month, 12 major architects boycotted a tender put out by the authority for 34 projects. 'This is a very sad and unhealthy situation,' Dr Ho said. 'This will only lower the quality of life in Hong Kong and oppose the Chief Executive's plan to improve living conditions for Hong Kong people.' One architect, who recently bid for a project, said the fees meant he would earn about $560 an hour, far less than the standard fee of around $2,000. Housing Department maintenance surveyor Terence Lam Yat-ming said the tendering procedure would be reviewed after a year's operation. No sub-standard architects would be used and all architects were screened before being invited to tender, he said. The institute announced that Simon Kwan & Associates and P & T Architects and Engineers had won awards for outstanding architectural works. The former built the Jockey Club Environmental Building in Kowloon Tong and the latter designed Chuang's City Tower in Wan Chai.