Early Contractor Involvement :Advantages and Disadvantages for the Design Team

Andreas Heier Sødal1, Ola Lædre2, Fredrik Svalestuen3 & Jardar Lohne4

1M.Sc. Student, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)/Project Engineer, Multiconsult AS, Phone +47 48203418, [email protected]
2Assoc. Prof., dr.ing, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU.
3Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU/Design Manager, Veidekke Entreprenør AS.
4 Researcher, dr. art., Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, NTNU.


The purpose of this paper is to assess the advantages and disadvantages for the design team when the contractor is involved in the early phases of design. The research was carried out by studying relevant literature and conducting nine semi-structured in- depth interviews with key design and construction personnel on two case studies selected from the Norwegian construction industry. Previous research demonstrates that projects benefits from multi-disciplinary collaboration through all project phases. However, little research has been found concerning how early contractor involvement affects the work of the design team. The analysis documented in this paper show that there are several distinct advantages for the design team when contractors are involved early. The positive implications include not only improved cost estimation, planning, constructability and risk management, but also a reduced amount of errors and changes in latter phases. Unquestionably, the premises governing the design process will change with early contractor involvement. Contractors intervene into a process which used to belong to designers and architects. Designers can thereby experience a challenge of their interests, as contractors are typically perceived to have a distinct focus on constructability, cost and schedule. It is vital with an acceptance and dedication among the team members to adhere to new forms of collaboration. The contract must give incentives for both parties, and the early contractor involvement has to gain all parties in order to succeed.


Lean Design, Lean Project Delivery, Collaboration, Contractor Involvement, Constructability



Sødal, A. H. , Lædre, O. , Svalestuen, F. & Lohne, J. 2014, 'Early Contractor Involvement :Advantages and Disadvantages for the Design Team' In:, Kalsaas, B. T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T. A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 519-531

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