Benefits of Involving a General Contractor During Design

In recent past, the standard construction delivery method was Design-Bid-Build. In this method the architect designs the entire project before a general contractor would ever see construction documents. The Design-Bid-Build method still accounts for 60% of construction methods according to the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Owner’s Guide to Project Delivery Methods.

At Harmon however, we are seeing that a large quantity of owners are using a different delivery method which comes at a project with a collaborative approach. This is most often called Design-Build or Design-Assist. This method gets the general contractor involved early on, during the design phase of the project.  

There are several benefits to using a collaborative delivery method including:

  • Cost Estimating During Design Phase
  • Constructability Review
  • Value Engineering
  • Schedule Reduction
  • Site Logistic Issue Resolution
  • Better Risk Management
  • Improved Project Ownership

A reduction in schedule length is a benefit that can help all parties involved with the project.  Some examples include:

  • Providing final building to the owner faster, which allows them to generate revenue sooner.
  • Shorter project duration will decrease contractor time on site, which in return reduces general conditions and provides additional savings to the owner.
  • A shorter time frame will also reduce the architect’s construction administration time, providing savings to the owner.
  • Since the contractor is able to perform cost estimates during the design phase, it allows the designer to be more in check with the budget. This can prevent the architect from having to go back and redesign later on because the project is over budget.

At the end of the day TIME IS MONEY. Reducing the amount of time spent on a project allows for greater savings back to the owner.

 

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