Design & Build

James L. Williams Middle East

Design & Build Capabilities

JLW are considered as the EPC/Design and build specialists in the UAE market. Over half of JLW’s turnover is design and build, with the other traditional build-only.

When we started in the UAE in 2008 we had to find a gap in the market and find a niche where we could enter a very competitive saturated market.

JLW Design & Build Approach

We started operating our company as a pure design and build engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor. We started offering clients design and build solutions as an EPC/Design & Build contractor. This meant that the clients could award the project early with the ambition that they hit their budgets. We would come in and advise whether or not it was possible. There would be no risk of clients paying for design deficiencies, which is one of the biggest issues that’s happening now in traditional build only projects.

We have a proud history in the Middle East region and are the market leader in delivering Design and Build projects.

We have our own in house Engineering team which positions the company to be able to take the lead on the design and ensure that our Clients requirements are met within budget and on time

In the 10 years of completing EPC/Design & Build projects we have continually improved in how we deliver, by selecting the best engineers from the local market and abroad.

We also have invested heavily in the training of our employees and utilising the latest digital technologies such as virtual reality, 4D simulation, laser setting out, and photogrammetry.

Unlike our competitors our engineering and BIM team lead the modelling and drawing production during the design stages to allow the design model to transition seamlessly into the construction model.

This allows us to incorporate all the prefabrication designs leading to early procurement and fabrication of MEP services while the initial CSA works on the project are underway.

We have worked on various types of design and build contracts in the past, commencing from RIBA stage 2 onwards and have worked successfully with novated consultants or where we directly engage with our own suite of design consultants.

Advantages of Design and Build

The following is a list of the main benefits we offer as an experienced D&B contractor to our clients:

Unless there are changes to the Employers Requirements (ER’s), or changes in law, we are responsible of the design and delivery of the project. The design and authority risk remains with the EPC contractor.

This is achieved by incorporating accelerated construction techniques that traditional designers will not implement (such as but not limited to – offsite prefabrications of services, single model (draw once) approach … etc.).

We provide lump sum certainty on the construction costs, ensuring the design develops to meet both the Employers requirements and the budgets we set.

If the Client makes changes to the Architecture or Employer Requirements, we guide them with the most optimal cost solutions and those that will minimise the extension to the time of completion.

Material and technical submittals commence once the lump sum price has been agreed even before the end of schematic or detailed design stage.

We take advantage of buildability and prefabrication at the design stage which assists in producing a better quality design and installation at site.

We can assist clients in getting service agreements for specialist systems (ELV systems, fire protection system, gas etc) agreed upfront prior to appointment of the specialist contractors.

Programme Optimisation (Traditional Design-Bid-Build v Design & Build)

Programme optimisation is realised by having early engagement with the contractor. This allows design and fabrication drawings to be developed in parallel along with early procurement, early commencement of substructure/enabling works which can coincide with early off-site MEP fabrication while initial civil works are progressing at site.

Cost Certainty: (Traditional Design-Bid-Build v Design & Build)

Selected Projects


60 MW Data Centre

Dubai, UAE

Masdar Neighbourhood Housing 2

Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Dubai Mall – Za’abeel Expansion

Dubai, UAE

Masdar Headquarters,

Abu Dhabi, UAE

City of Lights

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Standard Chartered Bank UAE Headquarters

Dubai, UAE

The One JLT

Dubai, UAE