Advantages Of Design-Build Contracts in Dubai, UAE


What is a design and build contract?

Design-Build Contract is a project delivery system used by the construction industry in which the responsibility of the design and construction of the structure is assigned to a single entity that is a Design-Build Contractor. 

The design-build construction model eliminates many of those traditional challenges by streamlining the construction process. Rather than hiring a separate architect then a contractor, hiring a design-build contractor combines both services, so all parties work together as a team from the very beginning. Usually, this suggests that construction can start and end sooner.


Design-Build Contracts – Single Point Responsibility of Project, Avoid Variations, Avoid Disputes between parties, Easy Authority Approvals, Avoid Project Delays.


In contrast, to “design–bid–build” (or “design–tender”), design-build relies on one point of responsibility contract and is used to minimize risks for the project owner and to scale back the delivery schedule by overlapping the planning/design phase and construction phase of a project.


Design-build also has a single point of responsibility. The design-build contractor is liable for all work on the project, therefore the client can seek legal remedies for any fault from one party.


The traditional approach for construction projects consists of the appointment of a designer on one side, and then a contractor on the other side. The design-build procurement route changes the traditional sequence of a workflow. It answers the client’s wishes for one point of responsibility to reduce risks and overall costs. It is now commonly used in many countries considering its advantages.


Use of Design and Build Contracts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai is an emerging market for design-build contracts. The owners often experience the reduced cost of construction as they don’t have to worry about design changes or construction issues. They don’t have to pay for consultants or their supervision.

In Dubai, the Authorities like Dubai Development AuthorityDubai Municipality, Trakhees, and Dubai South has very strict control over the quality of construction and EHS environment, health, and safety at construction sites. They have structural inspections and quality checks on site. There are also random inspections to check the safety of workers and workmanship. All building materials used in the construction are approved by Dubai Central Labs. Ready Mix Concrete, Concrete Blocks, Cement, Reinforcement steel, structural steel, and waterproofing chemicals are approved by Dubai Central Labs.

Hence the owner/client/investors are assured of good quality of construction and peace of mind. Design and Build Contract for such an authoritarian environment is the best way to go. 


What are the advantages of a Design-Build Project to Owners/ Clients/ Investors?

  • Single Point Contact for Project Update / Changes / Progress.
  • The design stage of the project is faster and time is reduced for planning by the project management team.
  • Avoids miscommunication between consultants, contractors, and owners.
  • Avoids variations due to design faults by consultants and hence avoids project cost escalations.
  • Reduce project costs compared to traditional contracts.
  • Smooth workflow between government authorities and this avoid time loss.
  • Any design changes shall be on account of the contractor. The owner need not bear those expenses.
  • Better coordination between structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing drawings. The design conflicts can be avoided and better controlled.
  • Any changes/requirements of a client can be incorporated in a better way because of single point contact. There won’t be ambiguities in design and construction.
  • Avoid disputes, ego issues between consultants, contractors, and sub-contractors as all agencies are appointed by the main contractor. 


What are Dis-advantages of Design-Build Project to Owners/ Clients/ Investors?

  • The concept remains unfamiliar to several business owners, so expectations must be officially communicated and documented in the project cycle.
  • Because there are few checks and balances about subcontractor negotiations, change orders and payment requests, a high degree of trust must be established between the owner and contractor.
  • Cutting out the bidding process can raise initial cost estimates, but the ultimate cost could still be lower since there will be no unforeseen complications during construction.


Choosing the right Design-Build Contractor/Firm for your project.

When you hire a design-build firm, you’re getting a packaged deal, so make sure they can meet your needs on both design and construction. When vetting a design-build contractor, come prepared with all of the questions that you simply would ask both an architect and a construction company. See samples of the company’s work and ask for references to help you decide if they are a good candidate for your job.


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