Design responsibility matrix
Building design was traditionally carried out by a team of consultants working for the client, who would complete the design before seeking tenders from contractors to carry out the works. However, as buildings have become more complex, specialist designers have emerged, contractors have taken on more of a managerial role, and the supply chain has become more engaged in the design process. As a result, it is increasingly important to define precisely who is responsible for which part of the design.
A design responsibility matrix or 'project roles table' sets out responsibility for each element of the design at each stage of the design development process and to what level of detail. It might be accompanied by the development of a contractual tree, illustrating the contractual relationship between the participants in the project.
Preparation of a design responsibility matrix should begin early in the development of the project. It may start with a simple, strategic overview of design responsibility for the main design elements. As the project progresses however, it should increase in detail to allocate responsibility for specific elements, systems and products, setting out the level of detail and format of design information to be produced and any requirement for collateral warranties.
The client may wish to allocate the roles of lead designer and lead consultant to co-ordinate the work of designers. It might also be appropriate to appoint a design co-ordinator (for the co-ordination and integration of design prepared by specialist contractors) and a computer aided design (CAD) and / or building information modelling (BIM) co-ordinator and BIM information manager. Contractors may appoint their own design managers to co-ordinate their own design and that of sub-contractors.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building designers.
- Contractual tree.
- Design liability.
- Design management.
- Design management plan.
- Design manager.
- Design programme.
- Design team meeting.
- Design review.
- Design team.
- Design web.
- Lead consultant.
- Lead designer.
- Uniclass 2.
- RACI matrix.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Sadiq Khan publishes a new development strategy for the capital.
In the week of the momentous Heathrow decision, we look back at the development and design of T5.
BSRIA’s flagship event will address performance and wellbeing beyond compliance.
Young Architects and Developers Alliance launched to build the relationship between the two disciplines.
BS 8536-2:2016 Design and construction: Code of practice for asset management (Linear and geographical infrastructure).
Paying for off-site goods or materials can be useful, but it puts the client at risk.
People power can be transformative if properly informed and inspired.
ZHA win competition to build an Urban Heritage Administration Centre in Saudi Arabia.
Leaps, not steps, are needed to avoid a ticking time bomb, say BRE in response to Farmer Review.
A multi-purpose hall in France covered in a translucent orange membrane.
Winning designs revealed for a rock formation-influenced residential complex in Rennes.
An article explaining the techniques, regulations and environmental impacts of carbon capture and storage.
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.