design build-close up image of construction team discussing design build plans
WRITTEN BY The Embry's Team 6 minutes READ

When embarking on a construction project, choosing the right project delivery method is critical. The design build approach stands out as a modern solution that streamlines the process by integrating design and construction services under one contract. This article explores how design build delivers several benefits and why it’s becoming the go-to strategy for construction projects across various industries.

Ready to start your next build?

But not sure where to start? No worries. Inside the blog we’ll discuss:

  • Understanding the Design Build Approach
  • The Anatomy of a Successful Design Build Project
  • The Advantages of Choosing Design Build

Understanding the Design Build Approach

The design-build approach is a construction project delivery method that has revolutionized the construction process. Unlike the traditional design-bid-build method, where design and construction services are contracted separately, the design-build method fosters collaboration and unified problem-solving within the team by consolidating these services under a single contract.

The first step in this process is the selection of a design-builder, who assembles the necessary team members to carry out the project. This integrated team works together from the get-go, streamlining the construction process and ensuring that the project is delivered efficiently.

Defining the Design Build Model

The design-build model simplifies project management by placing all design and construction services under a single contract. This means the project owner only needs to manage a single contract with the design-build contractor, who is responsible for assembling a team that includes both designers and subcontractors. This integration streamlines the project development process, creating an integrated design and construction team that works together from start to finish.

The design build model is in contrast to the traditional design-bid-build approach, which often results in isolated niches that can lead to ineffective communication and course corrections.

The Role of the Design Builder

The role of the design-builder in a design-build project is pivotal. Acting as the single point of responsibility, the design-builder allows the client to seek legal remedies for any faults from one entity, thereby simplifying project management and reducing potential conflicts. The design-builder fosters a culture of collaboration, transparency, clarity, and alignment among all parties.

Furthermore, in the design-build model, contractors are tasked with writing contracts, setting the foundation for project responsibilities, and ensuring that all team members are on the same page.

The Anatomy of a Successful Design Build Project

A successful design-build project is a well-coordinated symphony of stages that ensure the construction process is streamlined. The design-build process encompasses five overlapping stages:

  1. Site selection
  2. Project conception
  3. Preliminary design and cost estimation
  4. Selection of the design-build team
  5. Detailed design phase, contract finalization, construction, and project closeout.

Let’s delve deeper into these stages and understand how they contribute to the success of a design-build project.

Initial Concept and Feasibility

The design-build journey begins with the project planning phase, where the design-build team and the owner collaborate to shape the project vision, ensuring alignment with the owner’s expectations, budget, and timelines.

At this stage, feasibility studies play a crucial role, providing a structured analysis to determine project viability and highlight potential issues before construction starts. This includes conducting a cost-benefit analysis to assess economic viability and an operational feasibility study to ensure the project effectively solves problems and achieves its goals.

Collaborative Design Phase

The collaborative design phase of a design-build project is where the magic happens. During this phase, the design-build firm and owner work closely to conceptualize the project, establish the performance requirements, and lay out initial schedules and budgets. The builder and specialty subcontractors are integrated into the design phase, leading to more detailed and accurate project plans and reducing the likelihood of encountering constructability issues.

Efficient Construction Phase

The construction phase is characterized by:

  • Robust planning
  • Efficient management of unexpected challenges
  • Streamlined communication, ensured by having a single team in charge of subcontracting, daily operations, and communication with the project owner

The construction schedules are further accelerated by:

  • Initiating site work while finalizing detailed designs, a process facilitated by the design-build model
  • This heightened level of collaboration affects how bids are handled
  • How scheduling and quality are managed
  • All of which uphold project efficiency

The Advantages of Choosing Design Build

design build-close up image of construction team discussing building plans

There are numerous benefits to the design-build project delivery method. It offers a range of advantages for project execution, including:

  1. Faster project completion times
  2. More collaboration between key stakeholders
  3. Streamlined construction process
  4. Cost efficiencies
  5. More accurate budget estimates

These benefits make the design-build approach a popular choice in the construction industry.

Enhanced Communication Across the Entire Team

One of the key benefits of the design-build method is the enhanced communication it facilitates across the entire team. By providing a single point of contact for the owner, the design-build method simplifies communication and effectively reduces project management burdens. This unified project approach streamlines the decision-making process, reducing the potential for conflicts and misunderstandings.

Furthermore, integrating various professionals into one cohesive design-build team ensures:

  • Quick and efficient communication
  • Decrease in change orders
  • Better risk management
  • Overall project success

All of these factors contribute to better risk management and overall project success.

Cost Savings and Value Engineering

The design-build model offers several benefits, including:

  • Efficiency and communication
  • Cost savings through early involvement of builders in the design phase
  • Prudent use of materials
  • Establishing the project budget early, leading to more accurate construction costs and reducing the risk of unexpected expenses.

Accelerated Delivery Schedule

Time is of the essence in any construction project, and the design-build method certainly appreciates this fact. By allowing construction to commence before final designs are fully complete, the design-build method expedites overall project timelines. This approach has led to significant time savings in complex projects like highways and bridge constructions, as it enables a quicker start and seamless progression.

We’re Design Build Construction Experts

To conclude, the design-build approach has reshaped the construction industry by streamlining the construction process. However, it also comes with its unique challenges that require strategic planning to make your space shine and effective management to make your build happen. Despite these difficulties, real-world success stories attest to the adaptability and effectiveness of this approach.

When you’re ready to get started with your design build construction project, Embry’s Roofing is here to help.

Get in touch with us to learn how we can assist with your endeavor!

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