Practical post 23: Design Build contracts- need a barge pole?

by Bregs Blog admin team


Practical post 23: Design Build contracts- need a barge pole?

Architects (and engineers) who work in the design stage only of design-build contracts would be well advised to steer clear of the the site during the construction phase of the contract. We previously asked the question were developers off the hook under the new regulations –

Opinion: Are builders + developers off the hook with BCAR?” 

In order to protect yourself from future liability, you should make very clear that you have no inspection duties and avoid being drawn onto site or into the project later. This is of particular importance if a developer is employing their own in-house certifier at construction stage for the Assigned Certifier role.

This is so that you can stand in the dock, if ever there is a claim, and confirm that you never walked onto the site, never overlooked  the (missing) dpc, never touched the (too low) handrail on the stairs, never had any concerns about the general standard of workmanship.

As a further safeguard, make sure that your Design Certificate (if you provide one) is dated before the Commencement Notice.

We previously noted the problems attaching to Design Certifier roles and the requirement to upload any design changes (changes to specifications and materials etc) by the design certifier during construction. There is currently no provision for this upload on the BCMS system by the Design Certifier.

The Law Society and the professional bodies had indicated that partial services appointments (where the architect does the drawings but not the site stage) would be a thing of the past. It seems more likely that the ‘partial services’ will be reduced even further by the developers engaging their own staff to sign the Certs.


Other Posts in this series:

Practical post 22: Change of Owner

Practical post 21: Variations

For Practical Post Series 1-20

NOTE: This series of posts is not meant to undermine or be in opposition to any professional advice from registered representative bodies: rather it is to offer additional technical aids to those that find themselves in the unenviable position of having to deal with SI.9 in it’s current form at present. As with all information posted on the Blog we urge all practitioners to check with their respective professional bodies before assuming any roles or duties under Building Control (Amendment) regulation (SI.9 of 2014). We hope to post a number of these practical posts and list in one area, so home owners, SME’s and professionals can drop in and click on a particular topic to get summary information that may be useful to them while working within these new and difficult regulations.