Design-Build Basics You Need to Know for Better Buildings

Design-Build Process Basics

The design-build process is becoming popular these days. But it’s not a very clean process yet. It’s important that the process has the contractor and the architect working together. It should be as if it were a partnership.

There needs to be respect from both parties. This is so that they can have a perfect result void of defects, problems, cost overruns. They need to be able to come together to make sure that they meet the requirements of the client. But, let me go back to that.

Contractor and Designer Must Be on the Same Page

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for the contractor and the design professional to be on the same page. Almost as if they were partners. Never forget that. Together, they can cut down on any kind of cost overruns while the project is being designed. The contractor can contribute his opinion on what are going to be the costs or the fees. The contractor also offers his or her opinion on possible scheduling impacts. To have that input is so, so important.

At the same time, remember, the contractor is not a design professional. He needs to respect the design parameters that the design professional brings. This is all with the sole purpose of being able to meet the client’s needs. Let’s say that the construction professional that is knowledgeable in their trade. It will spell disaster for your design-build process. Also, if you have an architect that does not understand construction practices. That may be a disaster, too. That’s why they need to operate as if it were a partnership. There are a lot of pitfalls.


Projects that Need a Design-Build Process

That’s something we often say here at Development One. It’s that design-build is better for infrastructure-type projects. Smaller projects don’t need too much design work. It’s more for engineering, like designing a parking or utilities structure. It’s also for other systems within the building. And it’s for structures that do not need an intensive type of design work that could go back and forth. It’s for the facility that is design-intense. This means that the client has complex requirements in engineering-wise and aesthetics. If this is the case, then those disciplines need to come together. And if the contractor is not in support of that, then it will be a very difficult project all the way through.

If you have a design-build team, but they’re not coming together. If they’re not working together, this project will be difficult all the way through. But, a design-build process where the team is very cohesive. They can provide some benefits to the process. The project can have less scheduling delays and fewer cost overruns. They could provide a plan that is buildable, a facility that is buildable, and a happy client, of course.

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