Improving Design Quality by Contractor Involvement: An Empirical Study on Effects

Eelon Lappalainen*, Petteri Uusitalo, Ergo Pikas, Olli Seppänen, Antti Peltokorpi, Petri Uusitalo, Ana Reinbold, Nikolai Menzhinskii

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


It is generally acknowledged that good-quality design is a prerequisite for good quality and productive construction work. One proposed measure to improve the quality of construction has been contractors’ involvement in the design phase, and this phenomenon has been studied by several researchers. However, such approaches have not adequately addressed how this involvement affects the quality of the design. In this study, the aim was to study the effects of the early involvement of contactors on design quality based on evaluating the design quality factors. A case study was used to collect data and content analysis to analyze structural drawings and design meeting minutes of a large-scale infrastructure project. Particularly, the focus was on gathering information on the quality of the design and how it was addressed in the design coordination. We combined this quantitative data with qualitative open-ended thematic interviews, including respondents who led and coordinated the design on both the client and contractor sides. Our findings suggest that despite the vast amount of design changes, contractors’ involvement and development work in the detailed design phase improved design quality and constructability. Our findings also suggest that the contractor’s involvement during the schematic design phase had a design-enhancing effect in the detailed design phase. This study contributes to our understanding of contractors’ valuable role in design quality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1188
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • design quality
  • contractors' involvement
  • design development
  • contractors' role


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving Design Quality by Contractor Involvement: An Empirical Study on Effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this