Last edited 21 Feb 2022

Lead designer

The role of lead designer is identified in some forms of contract and appointment such as:

The lead designer (sometimes referred to as the design coordinator), directs and co-ordinates other designers in the consultant team as well as any specialist designers that are appointed. This role might include:

As the role of lead designer involves additional services, beyond those expected from a consultant not appointed as lead designer, it is important that it is discussed with consultants before they are appointed and their scope of services and fee is agreed. The client cannot assume that these services will be carried out within the agreed fee unless the role of lead designer has been allocated.

The lead designer will often be the architect, however this is not necessarily the case and appointment documents for other consultants will generally offer provision for them the be nominated lead designer.

For example, on a very highly serviced building, or part of a building, the services engineer might be an appropriate lead designer. The building surveyor might be appointed as lead designer on a refurbishment or renovation project where their training and expertise in building materials applied to the existing fabric makes them uniquely qualified for the role.

NB: 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.

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