The design coordination role at the pre-construction stage of construction projects

Issaka Ndekugri, Nii A. Ankrah, Ebenezer Adaku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The importance of the concept of prevention through design (PtD) to the alleviation of the problem of poor health and safety (H&S) management in the construction industry is widely acknowledged. It has been adopted in the regulatory framework for H&S in the UK construction industry through the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) which place on the project client obligations with emphasis on coordination of H&S at the pre-construction stage of the project by a client-appointed ‘Principal Designer’ (PD). Unfortunately, research into the implementation of CDM 2015 into actual practice at the pre-construction stage has been patchy. The paper reports, with respect to the PD role, on part of research undertaken to respond to this gap. It involved surveys of clients and practitioners via fourteen focus group discussion sessions with over eighty participants to develop knowledge and understanding of the PD role. The research issues included: appointments to the role; structures for discharge of the role; day-to-day functions of the PD; remuneration arrangements; and common challenges regarding the PD.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalBuilding Research & Information
Early online date7 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Funding: This research has received funding from the EU’s Horizon
2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 837721.


  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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