ECC Option B - Contractors Design Risk

The Contractor has submitted a design for cladding for approval from the Project Manager, but is asking for urgent approval to commence straightaway. The Contractor has stated they will take all risk of the design being incorrect.

Under clause 14.1, the PM acceptance of the design does not change the Contractors liability for the design - is this correct? Specially for Option B, how is this dealt with financially?

The design acceptance procedure relates to those parts of the works which the Contractor is to design and which are also required to be submitted for acceptance by the Project Manager (both as stated in the Works Information / Scope).

As you rightly state, the PM’s acceptance does not change the allocation of responsibility, although clause 21.2 also expressly states that the Contractor is not to proceed with the relevant work until the PM has accepted the design, so would be in breach of contract and ‘at risk’ if they did so.

The PM has to respond within the ‘period for reply’, unless a stated timescale has been added to the sub-clause, which is a common amendment. The dates for acceptance are also required to be shown on a programme submitted for acceptance.

The design procedure can apply to all main options under the ECC form. Under main option B the financial arrangement will depend on how the bill of quantities captures the procedures in relation to design and whether there are separate items, such as design submission, acceptance etc, which can be included in a payment assessment, forming part of the Price for Work Done to Date.