So you want to build, where do you start, Design- Build

Tim Asinger

Saturday Jan 19, 2019

https://www.kesselco.com/

 

Getting a Design-Build Project Off the Ground

 

When designers and professionals undertake a construction project for an Owner, they need to coordinate their efforts with specialists in a variety of fields. This can be a very complex process and there are many opportunities for inefficiencies. Often, the designer has to go back and reconfigure some of the scope and specifics of the project, which can slow down work flow.

 

Design-build offers a different, more efficient way of planning, developing scope and building a project. In design-build, the same people who do the construction also handle the development of the scope. The Design- Build contractor serves as the lead contact with the project owner, who has ordered the project. The Design- Build contractor takes responsibility for assembling a team typically consisting of a design professional (architect and/ or engineer), sub contractors and suppliers .

 

When the building and designing aspects of a project are integrated, the Design- Build contractor can bring it to fruition at a lower cost and higher quality. They can minimize change orders during construction, which avoids costly and time-consuming setbacks.

 

The Design-Build System

 

Not every design-build project is the same. While the basic idea is to integrate design and construction, the details of this approach can vary depending on the needs of the project owner. The owner will have certain objectives and priorities which will determine which delivery system to use, which procurement methods make the most sense and which contract formats the Design- Build contractor will be operating under (Owners financial institution can often have bearing on contracts & terms).

 

 

The main features of a design-build project are:

 

  • Design and construction are integrated together. This reduces the amount of time needed to carry out the project.

 

  • Two major players are involved. The owner who sets the objectives, and the Design- Build contractor responsible for the scope development and construction. The contractor will typically handle most everything else.

 

  • Design-build has only one contract, between the owner and the design-builder. This allows for a single point of responsibility. This helps ensure the design and construction will meet the performance standards as chosen by the owner, and listed in the contract.

 

  • The design-builder is responsible for discovering any incompatibilities between the owners project specifications, project cost/ budget and the performance standards. The owner must bear the cost of reconciling these areas of the project.

 

With this simplified work flow and project organization, an owner can enjoy several advantages over a more traditional project delivery method. These include:

 

  • Fewer change orders and changes are typically reduced due to owners early and consistent involvement with the development of the scope with the contractor.
  • The owner will know sooner what the costs of the project are.
  • Design-build delivers projects sooner.
  • With one responsible party, the coordination between various contractors is simplified.
  • With greater efficiency in the whole project, project claims are typically lower in a design-build project as compared to other delivery methods.
  • The owner can rest easy knowing the design details are under the control of his design-build team. The owner can access the team, review scope, make changes quickly.

 

 

Owner Considerations

 

The project owner is the one who sets the goals and the priorities of a project. In choosing his delivery method, he must consider what is most important and how to best achieve his goals. There are various factors.

 

  • Does the owner want to be bothered with all the project details and scope development or would he or she prefer to set the parameters and leave the project in the hands of experts? How important is it to have design excellence, and how important is it to empower innovative solutions to the project?

 

  • Does the owner wish to have a direct relationship with the designer? How important is it to avoid adversarial relationships and enhance the coordination of the project? Does he or she see a benefit in giving the contractor a voice in the process of planning and designing?

 

  • Is cost an important issue? How soon does the owner need to know what the established budget will be? Are change orders a big problem or does he or she have a higher tolerance for these? Is he or she interested in getting the best value for the investment?

 

  • Sometimes the time frame is more important than the budget. How soon does the owner wish to establish the definitive scope of the project, and how soon the definitive construction cost? Is it important to fast-track the process? How long can he or she allow for builders to complete the project? How important is it to avoid delays due to disputes and claims?

 

  • How important is it that the owner be able to make important decisions in a timely manner? How much tolerance does he or she have for delays between services? Does the owner want the ability to make change orders midway? Whom does he or she wish to be liable for the success or failure of the design?

 

More and more owners, after considering their priorities and weighing their options, are turning to design-build project plans.

 

The Kessel Construction team is a leader in Design- Build construction. We are experienced at design-build projects for commercial buildings. If you have a project you need fulfilled and want to reduce cost and time while freeing yourself of the hassle of coordination, Kessel’s design-build services are right for you. Reach out to us today and see why Kessel has been building for 85 years. www.kesselco.com

 

 

Sources:

https://theconstructor.org/construction/planning-of-construction-project/6401/

https://theconstructor.org/construction/planning-of-construction-project/6401/

https://www.kesselco.com/services/design-build/

https://dbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Primers-Choosing-Delivery-Method.pdf

https://www.csemag.com/articles/five-lean-principles-of-design-build/

https://www.cmu.edu/cee/projects/PMbook/09_Construction_Planning.html

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