Traditional Procurement or Design & Build? Making the right choice.

2nd November 2017

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Traditional Procurement or Design & Build? Making the right choice.

Traditional Procurement or Design & Build? Which one is right for you and your project? 

It can be daunting choosing the ‘right’ route for your project. Knowing how each method maps out with contracts, professional roles, responsibilities and liabilities will enable you to make an informed choice and keep your project running smoothly.

Taking a look at the two main options

  • The Traditional Procurement method. 

If you go with Traditional Procurement, you’ll be directly employing your Quantity Surveyor and Design Team for the duration of the build. This team will create your design, submit it to planning for approval and generate a package of tender information. They will manage the tender process and support you in selecting a suitable Contractor based on price and experience.

Following this a formal agreement will be created between you and the Contractor. This wil lay out each party’s responsibilities and expectations and will be managed by a Contract Administrator, usually your Quantity Surveyor or Architect.

  • The Design & Build method

If you opt for a Design & Build route, your Contractor will be the main driver of your project. This, in contrast, is the one-stop-shop approach. The Contractor will either take your fledgling ideas or adopt a fully drafted scheme, steering the design from this point through to completion. He will directly employ the wider design team and surveying services.

In this case, an ‘Employer’s Requirements’ is drawn up, a crucial document which outlines your requirements and the services to be provided by the Contractor.

The main difference: control

With the Traditional Procurement you retain overall control of your project and continue to receive impartial support and advice from your team and Quantity Surveyor. Your Contractor is required to build what has been specified and holds responsibility for workmanship, but all design liability lies with your Architect/design team. The different parties therefore work together to ensure your project’s success, checking that each stage of your build is completed satisfactorily and delivering the finished project you envisaged.

With the Design & Build method, the Contractor retains overall control of your project and is legally responsible for both the design and the workmanship of your build. They make design decisions based on their judgement and financial benefit, all of which can affect the project’s success.

The Three Common Myths Dispelled

1. Design & Build is the cheapest route.

Not true.

A Design & Build approach creates opportunities for your Contractor to select their choice of products and design solutions, which may indeed be cheaper. But these may not offer true value and may not make allowance for future maintenance or lifespan costs. An Architect/design team and Quantity Surveyor will take a long-term view and select products and construction methods based on suitability.

2. With Design and Build you’re not paying for expensive Architect’s fees 

Not true.

Somewhere in the chain there will be a team designing the building, submitting the planning application and detailing the specification. So either way you will be paying their fees, either directly or indirectly via your Contractor.

3. You can retain control of the detailed design within Design & Build and still get the building for less. 

Not true.  

If you want control over design, specification and the appearance of the building, this isn’t the route for you. The Contractor takes control of the design, and any resistance to this usually results in higher costs.

The decision

Choosing the right route to a completed project can be a tough but critical decision. If you’d like to talk through the options in more detail, get in touch. We offer a free initial consultation to help you choose the best route for you.

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