Practioners Toolkit - Construct-only and Design and Construct

The National framework for traditional contracting of infrastructure documents best practice to promote improvements in the planning and contracting phases of major projects.

Traditional contracting

The two primary categories of traditional contracting are:

  • Construct-only – the design has been undertaken by the client, and the supplier is responsible for constructing the works to the client’s design.
  • Design and Construct– generally a limited design has been undertaken by the client who then invites potential suppliers to tender on the basis of completing the client’s design and constructing to that design.

In the context of the National framework for traditional contracting of infrastructure, traditional contracting refers to those contracts that to varying degrees allocate construction and design risk to the suppliers (but are not alliances or public private partnerships).

National framework for traditional contracting of infrastructure

The National framework for traditional contracting of infrastructure has been initiated to document best practice to promote productivity improvements in the planning and contracting phase of major projects.

The Framework provides a resource that individual jurisdictions can use to inform their own policy and guideline development for traditional contracting of infrastructure.

The Framework addresses:

  • Traditional contracting using Design and Construct - the default method addressed as it is most commonly used for large infrastructure projects; and secondly the Construct-only method by exception where a different practice may be required.
  • Infrastructure projects.

The framework does not address:

  • Traditional contracting models other than Design and Construct and Construct-only are not addressed comprehensively, however differences are highlighted where material and relevant,
  • Project selection and cost-benefit analysis,
  • Procurement options analysis,
  • Building projects.

The Framework makes explicit that where there is a conflict in the guidance of this framework and jurisdictional policies and guidelines, the jurisdiction’s position will take precedence.

The National Framework for Traditional Contracting guidelines are available at the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website.

Market engagement and tendering strategies for design and construct projects using collaborative methods

Towards Agreed Expectations – Tender Strategies to Improve Design and Construct Infrastructure Delivery Outcomes  identifies opportunities for improving market engagement and tendering strategies in design and construct (D&C) contracting for public infrastructure delivery.  This report focuses on the relationship between the client and supplier during the tender phase.
This report describes two options for the structured application of collaboration.  The options can be used together or separately.

  • Collaboration 1 -  interrogation of client’s requirements – allows tenderers to comprehensively and robustly scrutinise the client’s documented tender requirements.  This step generally allows tenderers to understand what is required of them and the problems that may arise.
  • Collaboration 2 - testing - gives tenderers an opportunity to test their emerging tender proposal with the client.  Following this testing each tenderer should be in the position of confidently submitting a full and final tender capable of acceptance by the client.

Further detail

For more information about the Design and Construct and Construct-only models, contact the Construction Policy Team.


Reviewed 07/03/2018
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