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George A. Everding, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 37
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 12:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A question in terminology…when we specify wood trusses, for example, and require the supplier to provide engineering services, are we asking for “delegated design” or “design-build”? How about in a performance based spec where we ask a supplier to provide an architectural plan for systems furniture? Or where we have the HVAC system designed and built by a subcontractor… is this really “design-build” or “delegated design”?

I lean towards reserving “design-build” for the overall project delivery method, and using “delegated design” for those components of the project that are designed by a supplier or subcontractor. I’ve done a cursory review of AIA A201, PRM, and online and haven’t really come up with a good definition of “delegated design”. Thoughts or comments please.
Ralph Liebing
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 186
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 12:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

George, 1997 AIA Dcoument A201 at Paragraph 3.12.10, in addressing delegation of design services, makes reference to "portions of work". Therefore, I agree with you that D/B is solely a "whole project designation".
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 41
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree. Design-build seems to be used consistently for the total project as a project delivery method. The one exception that I can think of in common language is the reference to a "design-build" subcontractor or subcontract.

I agree that the use of "delegate design" seems appropriate for components where design responsibility is delegated to the contractor. The PRM refers to the delegation of design several times although it only uses the phrase "delegate design" once as an adjective. I could not find any references to the subject in the AIA Handbook of Professional Practice.
Ronald J. Ray, RA, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: rjray

Post Number: 39
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 02:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Why use the phrase “delegated design” at all?
If one follows CSI’s Section Format, then I see no use for using either of the two terms you question.

I’m not sure, but “delegated design “ sounds like yet another Arcom MasterSpec creation that is not defined anywhere, especially in AIA A201. I agree with Ralph Liebing, in that A201, does refer to portions of the work requiring “professional design services” and how submittals for this type of work is to be addressed.
George A. Everding, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


My question was prompted more by an in-office discussion about an upcoming project than by what to say in the specifications. A comment by the Project Manager, "We have a number of fish tanks in this project and our designers said they will be done design-build" was what I was responding to. The intent, we think, is that we will define location and extent, but their design is by a separate company at a later date....fish tank experts, we suppose.

In this instance (and similar instances), it strikes me that the term "design-build" is incorrect, but I am not sure "delegated design" is right alternative either.

Yes, "delegated design" is a MasterSpec term, and yes, I certainly can avoid both terms when I get around to writing the spec, but it would be nice to have a phrase to use both internally and with the client to define exactly what it is we want the Contractor (and by extension the fish tank guy or gal) to provide.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 367
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 04:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Calling the requirement for the contractor to design certain portions of the work "professional design services" may be accurate, but it could be confusing since the design professional on the project is not the contractor. "Delegated design" is exactly that: design of portions of the work is delegated to the contractor. The term is used by Masterspec in their Section 01330 - Submittals, so it is not undefined if you have prepared your documents with Masterspec and used that section, or if you have defined the term in your own version of a specification. It's perfectly acceptable to define a term in your project manual and use it throughout in the way you defined it.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 23
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 05:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We use the term "design responsibility" and "design-build responsibility" for such assemblies as unitized curtain wall or glass and metal guardrailings which are obviously a part of the total work of the project. We have not experienced any adverse issues when assigning the subtrade bidder to engineer the product or system. Example language from a curtain wall spec starts as follows:

"F. Design-Build Responsibility:
1. This is a performance specification. Criteria for solution of a airtight, watertight and structurally sound curtain wall system specified in this Section is for sole purpose of establishing design intent and performance requirements.
2. Drawings indicate external profiles and configurations required, relationships of building structure, and other exterior and interior building elements with which work of this Section will interface. Details shown are intended to emphasize acceptable profiles.
3. Be totally responsible for curtain wall and other work of this Section. Total responsibility does not preclude the Architect's approvals at each step of the procedures. Adequately prove acceptability of solutions to Architect."
Vivian Volz
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 29
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 06:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The new CSI PRM doesn't appear to define "delegated design", but what we are usually doing when we delegate design is referred to in the PRM as "performance specifying".

I agree, though, that "delegated design" is a useful designation. We use it, along with "deferred submittals", for work such as guardrails that are to be engineered by the subcontractor to comply with a standard or specified set of performance requirements. ("Deferred submittals," by the way, are delegated design submittals sent to the permitting authority for review, later than the main application for permit. In other words, delegated design, from the building department's point of view.)

The fish tanks, on the other hand, sound like a separate contract let by the owner for future work. Even so, it sounds like the fish tanks would be performance specified whether they were in your contract or not. After all, they'll be expected to meet some very basic reqirements: be of a certain size, withstand expected forces, and support a certain kind of marine life. You may not have to know anything more than that in order to adequatly specify the performance of the work by the fish tank folks.

I suppose we're not used to throwing around "performance specifying" the way we throw around "design-build," but give it a try: "A performance spec." "Spec'd by performance." "Performance specified." "Our drawings show a profile, but the handrails are actually performance specified." See, it could happen. Try substituting "delegated design", and it still works.

So, you have two choices for what to call that kind of contract, without misusing "design-build": "Delegated Design" or "Performance Specifying." I think which you choose probably ends up depending on whether you and your consultants are familiar with MasterSpec. I agree with John that you might confuse the issue by referring to the design of your fish tanks as "professional design services."

Thanks for raising the question; I'm contributing to our in-house construction administration manual on the subject, and I hadn't recognized that "delegated design" is a MasterSpec term, not a CSI or AIA term. I'm not going to stop using it, but perhaps I'll explain that it's not universally known.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 42
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 07:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The PRM does refer to the delegation of design as one of the possible reasons for using performance specifying: "To delegate technical design responsibilities to industry specialists."

It also includes of cost of delegated design as one of the construction costs: "Delegated design costs for engineering of products based upon performance criteria."

Although "delegated design" is not a defined term in the PRM, that term is certain complementary to its content.

The term "delgated design" is being used to identify this type of activity in the new CSI Construction Specifications Education Program (CSEP).
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 159
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 11:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Is the new CSI Construction Specifications Education Program (CSEP)now available?
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 43
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 12:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I believe it it is scheduled to be be available by the end of the summer.
gerard Sanchis (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 06:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Much ado about little.

If there is a question as to what "delegated design" means, why not define it in Div One?

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