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Risky Business

It is fascinating to see how traditional contracts seem to be finding favour again (Leader last week).
The undeniable truths are that contractors will always seek a competitive advantage and, as long as the risks are reasonably apportioned, that this process will also generate best value for a client.

Design and build, or early contractor involvement, fail where the risks are transferred too extensively and/or where the contractor is given limited opportunity, or reward, to really innovate, and thus create best value.

If traditional contracts re-appear, then I can see the scope for alternative designs, of which we have done hundreds, simply re-appearing also – each contractor will want his competitive edge. All that happens is that the original design effort is partly wasted – not an efficient use of our industry's precious resources.

Design and build, with consultants really working closely with contractors, in a truly non-confrontational environment, will always generate best value, as long as the risk profiles are sensible and the rewards for all are achievable.

SIMON BOURNE (F), managing director, Benaim, simon.bourne@benaimgroup.com

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