The Role of the Consulting Engineer in Design-Build | International Fe...

General There are numerous delivery systems available for Owners to choose for their projects. One such method is DESIGN BUILD. In this approach the design services and the construction operations are performed under a single contract between the Owner and the Design Builder. A popular reason for selecting this approach is that there is a single point of responsibility and thus greater perceived certainty in the likely overall cost. In recent years, the Design Build system has gained popularity but the level of Owner acceptance varies around the world. It is noted that in some countries virtually all significant infrastructure is implemented by Design Build, whereas in others it is in its infancy. The experience gained in many countries enables us to consider the type of challenges involved with Design Build and the best practice approach to facing these challenges. Even though the Design Build system has its advantages, it does not fit all situations. Each method of project delivery has its features, advantages and disadvantages for each individual Owner, but none fits all situations. In Design Build, the Owner must understand that he gives up a level of control (depending on the process, the Owner can still exert a level of control i.e. “over the shoulder reviews”) over the final design process in favor of potential schedule advantages, financing options and introduction of innovative design and construction techniques. FIDIC recognizes the Design Build delivery system as a sound approach to the construction of infrastructure; but, does not recommend it above other systems. The owner and procurement The Owner has a primary obligation to understand the complexity of this delivery method by becoming an Informed Purchaser and to be committed to the additional upfront efforts required to clearly define the scope of the project and procure the services of a DESIGN BUILD team. The Design Build delivery system is not a substitute for Owner involvement. If the Owner has an in-house engineering staff they should develop the parameters for procurement. Otherwise, the services of an independent Consulting Engineer (CE) should be used. The FIDIC policy paper “The Informed Purchaser” has many points which are applicable in securing a Design Build team, as well as a Consulting Engineer. FIDIC recommends that the selection of a Design Build team should always be on the Basis of Value and not just apparent least cost. Price alone should never be used as the criteria for selecting the design build team unless the project scope is very clearly defined. However, if that level of definition is available, FIDIC would recommend that the conventional Design-Bid-Build method may be more appropriate and likely result in the best value to the Owner. As Governments and Industry downsize and eliminate in-house capability to manage projects, they sometimes find transferring design management to the contractor to be attractive. The transfer of risk is also attractive to some Owners; however, FIDIC recommends “Risk Management” rather than “Risk Transfer”. Under Risk Management the Owner and the design builder agree to place each risk with the party in the best position to manage that risk during the project. The Design Build process involves a number of distinct phases which include: - Planning, investigation, and conceptual design - Procurement (negotiation) - Implementation - Operation To obtain the highest Basis of Value and proper selection of the Design Build team, selection criteria should include: - Full compliance with the procurement specification or tender. - Quality and track record of the total design-build team, including the design professionals. - Quality of planning and design - how well the project will work. - Quality and durability of materials offered. - Life-cycle costing. - Constructability. It is further recommended that Owners use a prequalification process to limit the proposers to no more that 3 to 5

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the method of procurement should follow Quality Based Selection (QBS) principles. Limited Bill of Quantities (BOQ). While many fee structures exist. perfect). 2) the holder of the prime contract with the Owner and secure construction services from a third party (either a corporate partner or independent constructor). Guiding principles The CE functioning in any of the three roles previously mentioned continues to be bound by the requirement of ethical practice. but in no case are ethical standards to be compromised. The CE should exercise care in the contractual (risk. the extent of design input necessary to provide a reasonable order of tender accuracy. arrangements. an opportunity generally exists for a Consulting Engineer (CE). design. and 4) pressure to sacrifice quality for the profitability of the project. the CE should be selective as to his associates. This will include terms of payment and an accepted order of accuracy of design information provided by the CE. then where the bid is successful. and conceptual design leading to the procurement of the DESIGN BUILD team and as so. responsibility for design accomplished during the proposal stage (limited information. It is indicated in this note that the Consultant should never work without compensation. 2. teams (ideally no more than 3).” As a guide.g. Health.e. Selection of the consulting engineer Whether the CE is hired by the Owner to serve as their representative (trusted advisor) or by the constructor to act as the project designer. For example. if the agreed fee is 70% of full rates for tender preparation. but contractor uses this design to bid). value engineering. FIDIC recommends the following options. the CE is due the balance of 30% plus a 2 of 3 28/04/2014 16:24 . Preliminary designs and drawings. in preparation [2]). with some items indicated by rates or units (e. A concept design (or review and extension of owner's concept design). Procedures to address quantity adjustments. act as the Owners representative during the initial planning. and 3) be the “trusted advisor” to the Owner by assisting with the planning.) In cases where a cost recovery basis is agreed and the contractor’s bid is successful. and advice on what additional data is required. investigation. for tender pricing (refer to FIDIC scope definitions. Contracting opportunities for the consulting engineer Whenever there is horizontal or vertical infrastructure to be constructed or renovated in a design-build delivery system.. It is important that the agreement for tender design recognizes that the CE will continue to produce the final design should the bid be successful. reinforcement). The CE can perform in one of at least three roles: 1) the designer employed by a construction contractor. FIDIC has issued a Practice Note on the subject of the Consultant in Design-build Contract.. therefore. The opportunities are numerous for the CE in this system. in each case all parties must be aware of their contractual responsibilities. Input to contract terms and conditions. 2) fee negotiations after selection. etc. however. may be in the range of 15% to 30% of a full design. No. or limited. Some of the issues relative to this arrangement include: 1) the contractor expecting the CE to produce tender designs for no compensation. and commissioning phases. The owner needs to have enough preliminary design to “level the playing field. construction. It is important that the Contractor understands and accepts the preliminary nature of the tender design and includes due contingencies in his tender. Scope of tender design Make sure the scope of the tender design includes: A review of available site data. sufficient to indicate sizes. plus a bonus of equal amount. the CE should understand the risks involved with each potential role. etc. (The fees may be converted to lump sum. Specification references. design coordination. The level of Professional Liability coverage should not be excessive. Agreement The CE should contract with the contractor on a standard form of agreement. http://fidic. Fees The CE must be paid for the tender design services. client liaison. The contractor as prime This approach is the most common throughout the world. or the CE may share in the contractor’s bidding risks through acceptance of a cost recovery basis which translates as 60% to 70% of the full fee for time inputs. When this model is used the CE must understand the issues and exercise sound business judgment. In order to protect himself the CE should: 1. However.The Role of the Consulting Engineer in Design-Build | International Fe. Payment should be in full for the time inputs.) relationships. the CE is subsequently paid the balance of the tender design fee. safety. construction engineering. and public welfare are not to be compromised. delivery. capacities. and payment conditions. and 3) the expectation of tender designs to be accurate in all respects (i. 3. The Design Build process is a team effort.

2005: 217.21/about/statement18. then the work must be fully designed or specified and FIDIC recommends that the conventional Design-Bid-Build method would be more appropriate. As stated earlier. in order for a successful DESIGN BUILD process to be realized there must be a clear definition of the work including a preliminary design in the range of 10% to 30% depending upon the project type. The Prime should use the same good business practices in this model that a constructor would use in the earlier described 3 of 3 28/04/2014 16:24 . FIDIC.Payment verification .210.. Privacy policy Copyright General Conditions Contact FIDIC World Trade Center II Geneva Airport Box 311 29 route de Prés-Bois CH-1215 Geneva 15 Tel +41-22-799 49 00 Fax +41-22-799 49 01 Email fidic@fidic. FIDIC Definitions of Scope.Quality control during construction . and thus is paid 130% in total. and technical skills as well as equipment and manpower resources whether in-house or through subcontractor arrangements to properly execute the entire project. As the prime contractor.asp 2.Assistance during commissioning. http://fidic. FIDIC Policy Paper: Informed Purchaser. In this approach the CE would develop sufficient detail for the Owner’s documents such that the prospective DESIGN BUILD constructor’s proposals would be consistent to the point of making a rational selection.Dispute resolution . The consulting engineer as prime contractor In this model the CE holds the direct contract with the Owner and must have financial. The Owner’s CE may also function as a technical advisor throughout the project by providing such services as: . managerial. or perform all the necessary engineering functions which the Owner may require.Design review . In the case of the successful bid. References 1. his obligations as engineer are not to be compromised.197.The Role of the Consulting Engineer in Design-Build | International Fe. In this model the CE may augment an in-house engineering staff. if the work cannot be quantified for pricing or the Owner cannot live with a substitute. at a fee agreed prior to bidding and allowed in the bid. the CE is subsequently engaged to complete the design and construction phase services under a separate fee arrangement. However. in preparation.Procurement . This fee for final design will reflect the payment already received for the input to further 30% as a bonus. The consulting engineer as the agent of the owner This model is the most traditional role for the CE and services are contracted under a Professional Services Agreement.

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