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procurement guide - design, manage and construct


The Design, Manage and Construct route is a hybrid route between Design and Build and Management Contracting.

Like Management Contracting, the Design, Manage and Construct  contractor is appointed to manage the construction of the project through a series of trade-contracts. It differs, in that the contractor is also given responsibility for programming and procuring the design information, so that the design consultants are employed by the ‘design and manage’ contractor, rather than the client.

The Design, Manage and Construct contractor is selected, usually in competition, early in the programme on the basis of a response to a set of tender enquiry documents which requires the contractor to tender a fee for:

  • pre-commencement services;
  • construction services during and after the project;
  • a lump sum for site staffing and facilities, etc

As well as price, the required performance of the design and manage contractor is a major factor in the selection process.

For the actual building process, the works are divided into separate trade packages, for which tenders are sought from trade-contractors by means of a variety of tender routes, vut by preference on a lump sum basis. The selected trade-contractors are taken on by the design and manage contractor.


  • Gives single point responsibility.
  • Gives single point responsibility.
  • Creates a flexible tendering environment.   Allows for ongoing change because works are tendered progressively. In turn this reduces the ongoing likelihood of claims being made by the trade-contractors, should significant changes be made.
  • The ‘Design, Manage and Construct’ method lends itself well to complex or fast track construction because construction work is able to be started before the design is finished.
  • Leads to a less confrontational relationship between the Design and Manage contractor and the client.
  • Management of the design information production by the design and manage contractor has the potential to lead to fewer delays arising from lack of information.
  • In most cases the Design and Manage contractor adopts overall financial responsibility for the default of sub-contractors.


  • Can lead to duplication of resources between trade-contractors and the Design and Manage contractor and therefore can also lead to a higher level of tenders.
  • No contract sum is established.   Therefore the client relies upon the Quantity Surveyor's estimate, endorsed by the Design and Manage contractor initially and then progressively firmed up as tendering progresses during the course of works.
  • There is an ‘arms-length’ relationship between the client and the contractor’s design team, which can potentially lead to lower client satisfaction with the final design.


Appropriate for large, complex projects or fast track projects where potentially an early start is required and where the client wishes to have a single point responsibility.

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