Understanding the Design-Build Approach

What you need to know: Understanding the Design-Build Approach

Tim Harmon presented at a recent event about Understanding the Design-Build Approach. Here are a few of his key points:

Team Member in Board Room - Design-BuildTools / Design-Build

What is design-build?

• Design-Build is a teaming approach to a project
• Provides a single-point of responsibility for both design and construction of a project
• Owner gets a “one-stop shop” for design and construction requirements while the design-builder assumes most risks and responsibilities in the agreement


What’s needed to be successful?

• Owner’s vision
• A well defined scope of work
• A specific range of responsibility for each team member and criteria for measurement
• A knowledgeable project owner who can make quick, sound decisions
• Experienced, competent team members
• Trustworthy help from consultants and/or others
• It is essential to have a good-standing relationship with and trust your design-builder


What are the Con’s of this approach?

In general, most Con’s can be eliminated with a strong, trustworthy relationship between owner and design-builder.
• The designer is often a consultant to the builder, this will possibly eliminate important checks and balances
• Many design-build companies do not share the results of subcontractor bidding with the owner
• Design-build designers may not have the experience needed for each specific project


What are the Pro’s?

For the most part, choosing design-build means saving money, saving time and is the overall best value. However, it is important to do your research and speak with advisers to determine the best approach for your particular project.
• Approximately 12% less cost than the traditional design-bid-build approach
• Communication is greatly enhanced by pulling all essential team members to the table early
• Preconstruction estimates are highly accurate
• A guaranteed maximum price can be established early
• Subcontractors contract directly to the design-builder


Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about this approach or the construction process in general.