DESIGN-BUILD FROM PAPER CONCEPT TO PROJECT REALITY, IS THIS PROCESS RIGHT FOR YOU?

If you’ve ever had a great idea but didn’t know how to translate that concept from idea to reality, you are in luck! The term is gaining popularity, especially in the construction industry.In today’s fast-paced, busy world, this idea of having a one-stop shop for an entire construction process seems like the perfect solution, right!?However, there are also questions and things to look for when shopping for the right fit and contractor for your project.We sat down with Pre-Construction Director, to break down the process and get tips as you seek out your next Design-Build project and contractor.

DESIGN-BUILD PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL

The Design-Build process in a nutshell is quite simple; the customer manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The designer (client) and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing unified project recommendations to fit the client’s schedule and budget. Any changes are addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem-solving and innovation.  No excuses or blame-shifting. While single-source contracting is the fundamental difference between design-build and the old ways, equally important is the culture of collaboration inherent in Design-Build. (DBIA).

IS THE DESIGN-BUILD PROCESS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A TRADITIONAL BUILD?

The Design-Build process allows for an increase of concurrent work activities, like design and procurement. This aids in developing shorter schedules and reducing costs. Through an effective design and budgeting approach, the client is kept apprised of developing cost by reviewing and participating in the selection of materials and layout to ensure that budgets are not over-run and design is kept in-check. This saves costs in redesign and the project timeline/schedule.

Finally, the most effective element of costs savings comes from the absence of “Change Orders” and project cost increase. Clients, Architects and Contractors all have their hands on the wheel, the gas and the brake to ensure that changes are made timely, as surprises are eliminated, as an open and transparent process of collaboration develops. This saves cost, headaches and time!

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A CONTRACTOR?

When looking for a Design-Build Contractor, you should be looking for experience in the Design-Build process, pre-construction process, a culture of collaboration and cost understanding, transparency with costs and process.  Stay away from hard-bidders (a term in construction where the consumer has little say in the design of the project).  Finding the right fit for your project is worth your investment every time.

HOW DO MY IDEAS/CONCEPTS BECOME REALITY?

In the construction industry, 70% of the projects come to fruition as a constructed product, however, for the client that may be a higher percentage. When a client is able to realize the design concept, cost implication and reality of the construction process, then a project becomes more real for them. Often our role is helping a client’s idea become a possibility. They may have to return to the budget drawing board, but perhaps for the first time, since the inception of the idea, they are able to see the potential and they are able to move to the next step, which is making the project a reality.  That is the beauty of this process, “Your Vision. Realized.”

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