Quantity Surveying - The Role Of The Parties Under A Design And Build Contract

April 01, 2007

The Role Of The Parties Under A Design And Build Contract

Date Of Article – Spring 2007

The Contractor
The Contractor takes on board all design responsibilities under a Design and Build contract. An Architect is frequently employed to do a conceptual or preliminary design before the appointment of the Contractor. In this case the contractor will work up the conceptual design to working drawing stage ensuring that the drawings comply with all legislation including Planning, Building Regulation, Environmental Health, etc.

Design and Build Contractors will either appoint an Architectural practice to work for them on a project specific basis or alternatively they may have their own “in house” design team.

The Architect
As previously stated, under a Design and Build contract, design responsibility rests with the contractor. However, many Clients like to have the architectural concept of a building determined before they appoint a contractor but are quite happy for the Contractor to carry out the detail design for working drawings. In these cases the Architect usually obtains Planning consent and his appointment by the Client comes to an end when the Contractor is appointed. Some clients call for their concept Architect to be novated to the Contractor at working drawing state. Under his arrangement the Architect is employed by the Client at concept stage and by the contractor at working drawing stage. This arrangement is more common when the building works are tendered as it enables bids to be obtained more or less on a like for like basis. In the case of a negotiated contract the Client may choose to have the architectural work at all stages carried out by the Contractor.

The Employer’s Agent
Under a Design and Build contract it is important for the Client to have a directly employed Consultant to act as an interface between Contractor and client and to look after the interests of the Client. This consultant is known as the Employer’s Agent and his role is to prepare a document known as The Employer’s Requirements, to obtain tenders or to negotiate a Contract Sum, and to administer the contract at post contract (construction) stage. He will carry out the functions of Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor dealing with all financial matters and all instructions on behalf of the Client. The Employer’s Requirements in drawn and written form should accurately state what the Client (Employer) requires of the building in terms of spatial requirements, materials, performance of services and systems, quality, programme, etc.

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