The menu for dispute resolution in construction contracts is wide - mediation, conciliation, adjudication, arbitration. Or now it seems to be 'whatever you're having yourself'. Increasingly parties to main contract disputes are asking the appointed conciliator to agree to become a sole DAB or Dispute Adjudication Board if the dispute is not resolved at Conciliation stage. Can they do this? Yes, with the agreement of the parties. What's the point? the dispute knowledge is retained by the DAB post conciliation instead of briefing a new arbitrator. Also it delivers a final decision quicker and more cost effectively than arbitration. The origin of the DAB was in big infrastructure projects where the risk was that disputes between contractor and employer/sub contractor could lead to delays and stoppages to works. The DAB, usually a three person team met regularly on site to review ongoing disputes and resolved them there and then. Consequently there is little point having a DAB at the end of he project. Just appoint an adjudicator under the Construction Contracts Act 2013. Quicker still.
A dispute board or dispute review board (DRB) or dispute adjudication board (DAB) is a 'job-site' dispute adjudication process, typically comprising three independent and impartial persons selected by the contracting parties. The significant difference between Dispute Review Boards and most other Alternate Dispute Review techniques (and possibly the reason why or Dispute Review Boards have had such success in recent years) is that the Dispute Review Board is appointed at the commencement of a project before any disputes arise and, by undertaking regular visits to the site, is actively involved throughout the project (and possibly any agreed period thereafter). A Dispute Board becomes a part of the project administration and thereby can influence, during the contract period, the performance of the contracting parties. It has 'real-time' value.