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.

Full Text



Akintoye, A. (1994). Design and build: a survey of construction contractor's views. Construction Management and Economics, 12, 155-163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446199400000021

Akintoye, A. and Fitzgerald, E. (1995). Design and build: a survey of architect's views. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 2(1), 27-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/eb021001

Andrews, S. (1999). Update on Design and Build. Architects' Journal, 3 June.

Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (1964). The Placing and Management of Contracts for Building and Civil Engineering Work, (Banwell Report). HMSO, London.

Bennett, J, Pothecary, E. and Robinson, G. (1996) Designing and Building a World-Class Industry. Centre for Strategic Studies in Construction, University of Reading, Reading.

Chappell, D. (1994). Architects' legal position on D & B. Special Report Design and Build. Architects'Journal. 9 March.

Chevin, D. (1993). Fitting The Bill. Design and Build Supplement, Building, 30 July.

Construction Industry Institute, Australia, (CIIA) (1996). Constructability Manual. CIIA, Adelaide.

Glaser, B.G. and Strauss, A.L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory.Aldine, Chicago.

Griffith, A. and Sidwell, A.C. (1995). Constructability in Building and Engineering Projects. Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Griffith, A. and Sidwell, A.C. (1997). Development of Constructability Concepts, Principles and Practices. Engineering. Construction and Architectural Management, 4(4), 295-310.

Griffith, A., Knight, A. and King, A. (2003). Best Practice Tendering for Design and Build Projects. Thomas Telford, London. http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/bptfdabp.32187

Hackett, J (1998). Design and Build: Uses and Abuses. LLP Reference Publishing, London.

Hayes, K. (1987). Design and Build here to stay! RIBA Practice. April.

Latham, M. (1994). Constructing the Team. Final Report of the joint government/industry review of procurement and contractual arrangements in the United Kingdom construction industry. HMSO, London.

Minogue, A. (1993). Setting up the Contract. Design and Build Supplement, Building. 30 July.

Mosey, D. (1998). Design and Build in Action. Chandos Publishing, Oxford.

Schuman, N. (1999). AGame of Two Halves. Building. 3 September.

Siddiqui, AW (1996). Novation: and its comparison with common forms of building procurement. Construction Papers, No. 60. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Ascot.

Strauss, A. and Corbin, JM. (1998). Basic of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Proceduresand Techniques. Sage, London.

Swindall, W. (1993). Understanding Novation. Design and Build Supplement, Building. 30 July.

Turner, A. (1990). Building Procurement. Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Turner, D.F. (1995). Design and Build Contract Practice. Longman, Harlow.