A design and build form of contract allows designers and builders to cooperate to provide both services under a single contract to a Client. This moves the responsibility and liability for both design and construction to one provider. The Client may benefit by having only one party to deal with as well as having the designers and builders working together in the early stages of a project to anticipate problems, offer innovative solutions and devise more economical methods of construction.
One potential disadvantage of D&B is that the design may be compromised by ‘cost-cutting’ once the successful bidder has been appointed. It is possible to reduce the risk of this loss of quality in subsequent design by careful drafting of the Employer’s Requirements, robust monitoring during the contractor design period and vigilant monitoring on site. All three measures require the services of experienced construction professionals.
It is also possible for a client to develop the design of a project in the traditional, prescriptive manner and then have his chosen professional team novated over to the successful contractor on award. Providing the design consultants are made aware of this intention from the outset, this is an effective way of transferring residual risk from the Client to the Contractor.