Design Responsibility Agreements

It is common practice for subcontractors to rely on the designer to ensure that the project is properly designed so that the work can be carried out in accordance with the plans and specifications. If the work is carried out in accordance with these contractual documents, it should be the designer`s responsibility to ensure that the project meets the requirements of the current code and is carried out in accordance with the designer`s intent. In fact, this is the task that a design professional is paid to accomplish. As a general rule, a subcontractor does not have control over the design of the project or the right to unilaterally make changes to the project. So why would a subcontractor accept the risk of a wrong project? Traditional Construction Contracts Projects and Construction Contracts New Public Works Contracts Comment All parties to a construction project must know from the outset who is responsible for the design element of this project. Parties should also be aware of situations in which design responsibility or design opportunity can be included in a contract. Traditional construction contracts In a traditional construction contract, the project is carried out by an architect or engineer employed by the employer. The contractor is supplied with design and must build the work accordingly. It is an absolute obligation. Contractors are generally not responsible for the design. However, they should take into account a number of tacit commitments that could make them responsible for design defects.

For example, in Lindenburg/Canning (1), a contractor was considered negligent because he had not brought a manifest design error to the designer`s attention. In Plant Construction Plc v. Clive Adams – Associates and JMH Construction Services Ltd (2), it was found that a contractor was required to “vigorously protest any instruction to proceed with work on a project that the contractor knew or should have known was defective” and was therefore found to be negligent. In addition, certain conditions relating to the works – and the goods delivered under these works – are also included in the contract. In particular, the sale of goods and supply of services act 1980 involves a number of conditions, some of which imply that the supplier has the capacity to provide the service, that the services are provided with the required expertise, diligence and diligence, and that the products provided under the contract meet their objectives and that they meet the commercial quality.