JCT D&B Design Responsibility


Would appreciate if someone could educate me on design responsibility. The principal contractor’s QS has adopted a stance, that almost every change is a risk under design responsibility and development.

My viewpoint is as follows;
(And please correct me If I am wrong)

Our design responsibility and obligations would be in accordance with the information and requirements within our contract order documentation, with risk associated with design responsibility covering issues such as: our design not being in accordance with the requirements/specification as per our contract; non-compliance with British Standards, Regulations or CDM, non-compatibility issues or works not necessarily indicated on drawings/schedules, where it should be reasonably apparent for a specialist subcontractor to identify; i.e. radiator or basin without supply pipework;

If however, specified products are changed, perfomance specifications/requirements are amended/revised or quantification changes post-contract, providing everything was initially in accordance with the contract documents / statutory requirements, then this would constitute a change/variation, it should not be considered design responsibility or development?

I will elaborate on specific changes which the Employer considers design responsibility if required.

Thanks in advance.

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@SLH28 assuming that you are under the JCT Design and Build Contract 2016 then any variance in the Employer’s Requirements would be a Change under clause 5.1 entitling you to additional money, loss and expense and an extension of time. The only exception to this is if the Change is as a result of you doing work not in accordance with the contract that needs rectifying including a Change to the Contractor’s Proposals in order to make them comply with the Employer’s Requirements. This said, much will turn on the exact nature of the Change in order to ascertain if you have a contractual entitlement.


Thanks for your help Neil,

Cl.5.1 should be applicable to most our variations. We had quite a few deviations from the original requirements which arose without any decencies or failings on our part.