A Design and Build manager manages all the processes in relation to producing a set of drawings that a building can be built from.

They are also known as Design and Build Co-ordinators or Design Managers.

This can be a challenging and highly satisfying role with the manager playing a key part in the success of a building project. They are highly motivated, professional individuals and are asked to use their organisational skills to bring together architects, structural engineers and services engineers, along with specialist designers, with the aim of producing a coordinated design.

What does a Design and Build Manager do?

  • Managing a design team.
  • Managing the design process using his/her commercial, contractual, programme/time awareness and technical expertise.
  • Supporting, understanding and advising the client as to the requirements and his/her obligations in the development of a building design.
  • Encouraging and inspiring design consultants to produce their best work using their full flair, experience, resources and talents in a cost effective way.
  • Ensuring the design process recognises current legislation, standards and codes of practice, where appropriate.
  • Ensuring design information is of the right quality and keeps pace with project timescales.
  • Striving to eliminate health and safety risks in the design and financial risks during construction.

What makes a good Design and Build Manager?

Design and Build Managers must be good forward planners and excellent motivators as they have to manage large teams with different goals to enable them to work together to produce a coordinated and coherent design. They need to be able to keep cool under pressure. They need good people skills, the ability present their ideas effectively and to be able to evaluate the ideas of others whilst in meetings. They need an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of a construction project and be efficient document managers.

How do I become a Design and Build Manager?

To become a Design and Build Manager you need a minimum of:

  • 5 GCSEs (A-C Grade) or equivalent (it’s useful if you’ve taken subjects such as maths, science, geography, information technology or design technology)
  • A BTEC in Building Studies, Building Engineering or Building Management or a HNC / HND / Degree in Construction Management or Architecture (including an industrial placement).
  • A minimum of three years' experience of managing elements of construction projects.

Further qualifications can include membership of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) or Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Many degree courses can lead to a career in construction management, including building studies, building engineering, engineering management and building technology.

Whatever the course, you will cover subjects as diverse as building technology, commerce, contract law and building materials. You will learn all about management and the practicalities of it whilst studying the intricacies of economics, cost accounting and computer systems.

Information technology is increasing with managers working on site and in the office so building up skills in this area is vital.

To develop your management skills, you will be expected to take on project work in small groups and get a feel for working in teams and communicating clearly and effectively.

Students often find out more about the role of a manager by doing some industrial experience as a part of their course. Industrial placements are a compulsory component linked to a subject option or piece of coursework.