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Industry defends use of Olympic design and build

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CONSTRUCTION LEADERS this week hit back at claims by top architect Lord Rogers that contractor-led design and build contracts for London Olympic schemes would lead to venues devoid of design air.

'This contract form is about working in an integrated way which is only in line with Egan and best practice in the industry, ' said Construction Industry Council chief executive Graham Watts.

Rogers' attacked the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) choice of procurement last week, claiming that a model under which architects would be selected as part of contractor led teams would lead to venues devoid of design air.

Building Design Partnership process director Alan Swash, backed the use of design and build contracts as long as design quality was safeguarded in the contract.

'I actually see some benet from this as long as the contractor has a vested interest to make that stadium as good as it can be. The issue is about how you get that written into the contract.' Whitbybird design director Mark Whitby blamed architects for the decision to opt for design and build.

'The government has lost trust in architects after projects such as the Jubilee Line Extension, the Dome and the Scottish Parliament.

'I can understand why they have gone for design and build but with the Olympics it is a tragedy because the design quality at the end of the day will suffer.' The ODA defended it use of design and build.

'The ODA is committed to high quality design but the functionality of venues and the legacy that they leave behind for the community is also very important, ' said a spokesman.

'We want innovation yes, but balanced against delivery.

Design and build, if done well, can produce fantastic buildings.

We have established an independent design panel to advise us on design quality, of which Lord Rogers is a member.'

The London Assembly was due to discuss the true cost of the Olympics on Wednesday amid fears that the budget had doubled.

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