Top client body set to launch £10 250 registration scheme for design-and-build contractors.
A leading client body this week launched a registration scheme that aims to lift standards of design-and-build construction.

The Design Build Foundation Registration Scheme has been drawn up to force contractors, consultants and specialists to meet rigorous standards to prequalify for design-and-build work.

DBF client members, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, BT and Slough Estates, have promised to use the registration list as a key guide when selecting firms.

Contractor members, including Laing, Amec, Kier and Kvaerner, will be the first firms invited to achieve registered status, but this will be widened to specialists and consultants later.

The idea, according to Slough Estates’ construction general manager Bernard Rimmer, is that only “top-class companies” will pass the registration test.

“We will reflect the better end of the market,” he said. “The average UK contractor who doesn’t understand design-and-build as a speciality stands no chance.

“A number of major contractors have considerable D&B expertise, but some might struggle. There are also some smaller firms that are better in this field than some of the majors that will gain registered status.” Firms will be charged £10 250 to be tested for registered status.

They will have to provide evidence of their financial status, their supply-chain management performance and their health and safety record, as well as having three current projects chosen at random and tested. Tests will be carried out by the Building Research Establishment.

The application form also asks for details of:

  • value of design-and-build projects completed in the past three years, broken down into building types
  • accident frequency
  • number of environment-related prosecutions
  • training and investment in research and development
  • value of partnering work with specialist companies and negotiation with designers
  • pace of cultural change, defined as the amount of work awarded on a non-price-competitive basis
  • staff employed directly, plus contract and temporary workers.