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Beal and end all?

Letters

AN Beal (NCE 18/25 August) appears to blame design and build contractors for the absence of designers on site.

In my experience it is actually clients who are responsible - at least, those clients who are aware that they have a choice.

When I worked for Halcrow (I am now retired), we advised clients who wanted to follow the D&B route that the presence of the designer on site was of great benefit to the project, and that we proposed to ensure his participation by making it a requirement of the contractor's QA system that the designer had to certify that his designs had been accurately reflected in the works as constructed.

Some thought this was an excellent idea and the proposal was adopted; others asked if it would cost them any more, to which we said that it probably would, and they promptly vetoed it.

As with everything else in life, if you make all your decisions based on price, you will end up with goods or services that satisfy that criterion - and that is probably all that will be satisfactory about them.

Colin Reed, reed@sarum13.freeserve. co. uk

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