Design and build procurement

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Design and build procurement
  • What is design and build procurement?
  • Advantages of D&B
  • Involvement of the professional team
  • Who administers a D&B contract?
  • Key considerations with design and build procurement

Design and build procurement

This Practice Note explains what design and build (commonly referred to as ‘D&B’) procurement is. It also considers why an employer would decide to use this method of procurement. It looks at the structure of a construction project procured via the design and build route, the factors that need to be considered in deciding whether to adopt this method of procurement (particularly design responsibility and risk allocation) and what the advantages may be to the parties (particularly the employer) of taking this approach rather than procuring the project via traditional procurement (or another alternative method of procurement).

What is design and build procurement?

The contractual method by which the employer decides to procure a construction project is a key factor in determining the cost-effectiveness, quality and overall success of the project and the employer’s satisfaction with the end result. This choice will be influenced by the time available for tendering and for completion of the project, the method of financing and the expertise of the developer—see Practice Note: Choosing the right procurement method—construction projects. Typically, an employer will choose to adopt the design and build approach to reduce the risks that it must bear.

Design and build ('D&B') procurement is one of the most common procurement approaches adopted by employers undertaking a construction project in the UK. For the employer, procuring a project via

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