3. Design

  1. Roger Knowles FRICS, FCIArb, FQSi, Barrister

Published Online: 14 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118257050.ch3

200 Contractual Problems and their Solutions, Third Edition

200 Contractual Problems and their Solutions, Third Edition

How to Cite

Knowles, R. (2012) Design, in 200 Contractual Problems and their Solutions, Third Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118257050.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658314

Online ISBN: 9781118257050



  • design;
  • fitness for purpose responsibility;
  • absence of terms, in a contract;
  • contractor/subcontractor's drawings;
  • engineer's responsibility;
  • design faults;
  • JCT Design and Construct Contract


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What is the difference between a fitness for purpose responsibility and an obligation to exercise reasonable skill and care?

  • Where a contractor/subcontractor's drawings are ‘approved’, ‘checked’, ‘inspected’, etc. by the architect/engineer and subsequently an error is discovered, who bears the cost – the contractor, subcontractor or employer? If the employer bears the cost, can he recover the sum involved from the architect/engineer?

  • Who is responsible for co-ordinating design? Can a main contractor be legitimately given this responsibility, even though he has no design responsibility?

  • Can a contractor be held responsible for a design error where the employer appoints an architect and no provision exists in the contract for the contractor to undertake any design responsibility?

  • Can a main contractor be responsible if a nominated/named subcontractor's design is defective?

  • Must a contractor notify an architect/engineer of defects in his design?

  • Where an architect/engineer includes a new product in his design following advice from a manufacturer and the product proves to be unsuitable, is the architect/engineer liable to the employer for his losses?

  • Where an architect/engineer is required by the conditions of the contract to approve, or accepts a contractor or subcontractor's drawings, how long can he take before an entitlement to an extension of time arises?

  • Where is the line to be drawn between an architect/engineer's duty to design the works or a system and a contractor or subcontractor's obligation to produce working shop or installation drawings?

  • Where an item of work has been properly provided for in the Employer's Requirements but is missing from the Contractor's Proposals, can the contractor claim extra payment for doing the work, on the grounds that it was never included in the contract price?

  • Is the contractor entitled to payment for design in full when the design work has been completed, or should payment for design costs be spread over the value of work as and when it is carried out?

  • On a design and construct project, where the architect is novated from the employer to the contractor, is there any impediment upon the contractor's ability to recover from the architect loss he suffers because of architect design errors which occurred during his employment by the employer?