Design-Build: The most popular construction project delivery system

A single point of responsibility streamlines the process

The workplace is ever changing. The influx of new generations entering the workforce along with technology innovation and looming workforce shortages are causing companies to undergo office renovations or relocation. The thought of going through major facility changes can be daunting for business leaders. Investing in professionals who will guide them, while helping them understand the implications and value of options, is essential for a successful project.

The Design-Build project delivery system has become the fastest growing and most popular method used to deliver construction projects in America. This project delivery system streamlines the process of a project that includes design and construction by providing a single point of responsibility through one contract. The Design-Build contract begins with initial concept development and continues through project completion, providing the means to pursue “faster, cheaper, better and easier” ways of doing things.

Trust, teamwork and creative problem-solving

A successful Design-Build experience is a highly collaborative process that’s built on trust, teamwork, innovation and creative problem-solving. The designer and construction manager work together as a team, providing unified project recommendations to fit the owner’s goals, schedule and budget. When challenges are encountered during construction, brainstorming and creative problem-solving often involve the owner’s team as active participants, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and consider options. Everyone works together to develop innovative, adaptable solutions, while avoiding excuses and blame-shifting that might otherwise occur.

Highly desirable benefits for the owner

In Design-Build, one entity is accountable for cost, schedule and quality performance. With singular responsibility, the Design-Build team is motivated to deliver a successful project by fulfilling multiple objectives, including aesthetic and functional quality, budget and schedule for timely completion.

Total design and construction time can be significantly reduced providing faster project delivery. Material procurement and construction work can usually begin before construction documents are fully completed. The overall time frame is shortened considerably. Construction may begin on a portion of the project while remaining phases are still in design. The condensed schedule translates into lower costs and earlier utilization of the completed facility.

Construction costs are known far earlier than in other delivery systems. The entity responsible for design also estimates construction costs and can accurately conceptualize the completed project. Phased contracting for Design-Build services provides the owner multiple “go, no-go” decision points during the design process.

Value engineering is more effective when design and construction are working together as a team throughout the process to find cost savings. The decision to proceed with the project is made before substantial design expenditure, with knowledge of final complete project cost.

The Design-Builder is responsible for developing drawings and specifications as well as constructing a fully functioning facility. Change orders due to “errors and omissions” are virtually eliminated, providing the owner with reduced risk.

Design-Builders meet performance needs, not minimum design requirements, often delivering a better project than initially imagined. Singular responsibility inherent in Design-Build serves as motivation for proper project performance, providing the owner with better project quality.

In a Design-Build project, the owner experiences decreased administrative burden because they only need to manage one contract with a single point of responsibility. Owners can focus on the project and timely decision-making rather than managing multiple contracts.

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