Design-Build: The Complete Guide

Design-build is a new approach to construction projects. It requires a high level of collaboration between the building owners, design team, engineers, architects and contractors.

This approach proceeds from the concept that the best ideas are born from great minds working together. It guides everyone to be on the same footing, helping to make the project more efficient with fewer costs.

Read more to learn about design-build construction and to get a better idea of whether this strategy can work for you.

Design-Build: The Complete Guide

For simplicity and expedient delivery, design-build construction can improve results by providing a streamlined process. This modern method is estimated to become the main approach for nearly half of U.S construction projects. 

What is Design-Build?

Design build is an approach to construction that allows all contractors to interact with one organization, which handles the overall project. The design-build group holds the contractual risk and responsibility for the project.

That includes the designing, planning, engineering, contracting, and post-construction cleanup. The design-builder also manages each of the contracts between any outsourced companies that provide the materials, equipment rental, and other subcontractors. 

What Are the Benefits of Design-Build?

In a construction environment, there are many details and components that must come together to achieve the overall mission: creating a structure. A design-build group helps to enhance productivity, encourage an environment of communication, and build stronger relationships.

There is full transparency, eschewing proprietary disagreements, secrecy, and miscommunication. An approach like this allows for instant collaboration between parties, which improves the planning, development, and building stages. If all goes well, all team members learn to respect each other and share responsibility for the success of the project. 

Design-Build Process

These are the basic steps that outline how design-build projects are delivered. 

Firm Selection

Determining a design-build firm to work with may be the most difficult step. If you’re considering a construction project, you’ll want to select one that is transparent about how they commit to your project. You should take multiple meetings so you can compare each firm’s level of technical expertise and the cost of their work. 

Project Guidelines

During the early stages, the client and the firm will have to create a contract and blueprint that is feasible for the design-build firm to implement. It should be straightforward and very detailed regarding every step of the construction phase. An attorney familiar with this area of the law should review the terms of the contract. It may also be a good idea to have an independent engineer or architect to review the design. 

Training and Recruiting

For the most part, training and recruiting is handled by the design-build firm. They may provide the client with some insight as to their background and technical expertise, but since the design-build firm is assuming the risk, it’s ultimately up to the company.

Equipment List

It’s important that you aren’t assigned costs that can be spread over several projects. For instance, you shouldn’t assume 100% of the cost of tools that are brought from job to job and reused. You should discuss all the necessary tools, materials, software, and equipment you’ll need for the project.

This list has to fit within the scope and the budget of the project. Materials are also important. Go over material quality and requirements with your builder in advance. It could save you trouble down the line. 

Project Begins

As the various parts of the design team work together to build the project, the client and the coordinator should constantly review the progress. 

FAQs about Design Build Construction

How to Get Started

Before you start any construction project, it’s important to research the team you’re considering. Consultant companies like Home Care Contractors can provide you with additional information on how to begin.