Examining the Dynamics of Novation from the Principal Contractor's and Architect's Perspectives

Alan Griffith, Andrew King, Andrew Knight


Design and build is a popular form of procurement worldwide. In its conventional form, it is characterised by the integration between design and construction. Novation, a variant of design and build where design responsibility is transferred from designer to contractor as procurement evolves, has gained in popularity. However, the characteristics of the process, although well identified, continue to create confusion and problems for clients and contractors alike. This paper focuses on the dynamics of design and build novation from the principal contractor's and architect's perspectives. It embraces key aspects of both the pre-contract and post-contract environment. Its contribution forms a part of a major UK Government funded research project investigating design and build best practice. The findings presented in this paper broadly indicate that contractors believe novated design and build can be disadvantageous and that considerable fragmentation can be created in what should be an integrated procurement approach.

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