- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Feb 2020
Completing a building project involves the coordination of many different tasks requiring a range of specialist professional advisors (or consultants). The type and number will depend on each individual project but they will usually be appointed by the client (employer) to design the building and ensure the project is on track during the construction process. (In a design and build contract, the consultants will usually be appointed by the contractor).
- Structural engineer.
- Mechanical and electrical engineer,
- Quantity surveyor
- Project manager.
- Conservation specialist.
- Employer’s agent
- Health & Safety specialist
- Landscape architect
- Security consultant
Generally, appointments can be selected by:
- Existing relationships e.g the client has worked with them on previous projects.
- Framework agreements.
- Research and interview.
- Open competition (with or without design).
- Selective competitions (with or without design: a few known consultants are selected to enter).
- An existing framework agreement where teams have worked together on previous projects.
- Recommendation: one consultant recommends another.
Given the increasing complexity of many construction projects, it is becoming more common that a consultant appointed on a project, will in turn appoint consultants (sub-consultants) to undertake some aspects of the work for which they have been engaged.
 Deeds of appointment
Consultants are usually appointed into their specific role using standard forms of appointment. Bespoke appointment documents and letters of appointment may also be used, but they generally incur more risk as their terms have not been agreed across the industry and their meaning has not been tested in the courts.
These usually include clauses to cover the following:
- Consultants’ obligations and services that are required under the contract (and services that are not included).
- Fees payable to consultants for carrying out their duties (and a calculation method for when additional work is necessary).
- Duty of care to be exercised by the consultant.
- Assignment and novation.
- Collateral warranties.
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Other clauses such as provisions for adjudication, termination of contract, aggregate liability cap, boilerplate information.
For consultants to work effectively as a team, they are usually advised to adopt collaborative practices as early in the project as possible. The requirement to adopt such practices should be included in appointment documents. For more information see: Collaborative practices.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants for building design and construction.
- Architects fees.
- Collaborative practices.
- Collateral warranties.
- Consultant team.
- Consultant's proposals.
- Form of appointment.
- Letter of appointment.
- Novation agreement.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Procurement route.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance clause in conditions of engagement.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Programme consultant.
- Quantity surveyor’s fees.
- Request for proposals.
- Schedule of services.
- Selection criteria.
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