It’s likely you’re already familiar with the term design-build construction. But what exactly does design-build mean, and what are the advantages of using a design-build company for your construction project?

In short, design-build means exactly what it says. Instead of the traditional method of one company (an architect) handling the design and another (a general contractor) the construction, the same company handles both.

Here are seven key advantages to using the design-build method of construction over the classic design-bid-build method.

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Singular Responsibility

With both design and construction in the hands of a single entity, with design-build construction there is a single point of responsibility for quality, cost, and schedule adherence. The design-builder is motivated to deliver a successful project by fulfilling multiple parallel objectives, including aesthetic and functional quality, budget, and schedule for timely completion. With design-build, the owner is able to focus on scope/needs definition and timely decision making, rather than on coordination between designer and builder.

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Enhanced Communication

Because design and construction are overlapped, and because bidding periods and redesign are eliminated, total design and construction time can be significantly reduced. With design-build construction, material and equipment procurement and construction work can begin before the construction documents are fully completed. The resulting time savings translates into lower costs and earlier utilization of the completed facility.

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Faster Project Completion

Design-build construction projects can be completed in a shorter amount of time because bid time is reduced, scheduling for the project can begin before design is finalized, potential construction problems are uncovered early and enhanced communication keeps everything moving.

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Quality Control

The singularized responsibility inherent in design-build serves as a motivation for quality and proper project performance. The owner’s requirements and expectations are documented in performance terms and it is the design-build entity’s responsibility to produce results accordingly. The design-builder warrants to the owner that it will produce design documents that are complete and free from error. During the construction process this attention to quality does not end, as the designer becomes the master builder, and manages the construction of the project to completion.

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Reduced Administrative Burden

During procurement, the potential exists for design-build to reduce the owners administrative burden. During actual design and construction, the owner is not required to invest time and money in coordinating and arbitrating between separate design and construction contacts, but rather is able to focus on timely decision making.

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Early Knowledge of Construction Costs

Construction costs are known far earlier than in other delivery systems. The entity responsible for design is simultaneously estimating construction costs and can accurately conceptualize the completed project. Staged contracting for design-build services affords the owner one or more “go, no-go” decision points during design. The decision to proceed with the project is made before substantial design expenditure and with knowledge of final project cost.

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Improved Risk Management

Performance aspects of cost, schedule and quality are clearly defined and responsibilities/risks are appropriately balanced (individual risks are managed by the party best positioned to manage that risk). Change orders due to “errors and omissions” are virtually eliminated, because the design-builder had responsibility for developing drawings and specifications as well as constructing a fully-functioning facility.

We would be happy to talk with you in detail about your specific needs and tenant improvement or construction project and the advantages we provide as an experienced design-build construction company.