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A true Design-Build relationship is a modern variation of the historical role of the Architect, which was to act as the Master Builder of the project. This meant that the Architect understood not only the principles of good design, but also understood the construction process and supervised the craftsmen who put the building together.

Over time, the role of Master Builder became split into the two separate roles of the Architect and the General Contractor. By replacing a once-linear relationship with a triangular one, new problems and complications have arisen that never previously existed. The General Contractor most often does not have the same understanding of, or affection for, the building. The Contractor’s interests in the project are largely financial, where the Master Builder’s interests were largely to act as the liaison between the Owner and the finished building. Since the building was the product of the Master Builder’s creativity and passion for his trade, financial interests were secondary.

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