Have you heard of the “design build” method? Instead of hiring a company to design and then another to do the work, you can get one seamless solution.

In the past, the common method of doing commercial construction was to have one company design the job and to bid the actual work out to another company. The current trend is to hire a single company to design and build a project. The following are some of the advantages of what has come to be known as the “design/build model”.

In the traditional delivery of a construction project, known as the Design/Bid/Build method, the owner would have to manage two separate contracts: one with the project designer, and one with the contractor. Such a workflow could lead to several complications, including:

  • Delays from miscommunication or discrepancies between design and construction objectives
  • An adversarial relationship between the designer and contractor 
  • In extreme cases, litigation

Nowadays, there is an alternative project delivery method that can mitigate, and sometimes even eliminate, the above mentioned issues. This is the Design/Build method.

The Design/Build method refers to a project delivery system which involves only one contract between the owner and a design-build entity, including all specialists, subcontractors and sub-consultants. This means that there is a single point of responsibility for all design and construction decisions and issues, instead of two or more factions with limited scope and compartmentalized responsibilities.

Advantages of the Design/Build Method

What are the advantages of the Design/Build method? Here are just a few:

  • Project innovation. The close working relationship between the design and construction departments in a Design/Build methodology can often foster innovative solutions to unexpected challenges. For instance, a Design/Build entity may be able to find a cost-effective solution that keeps the project on budget without sacrificing its aesthetic appeal.
  • Reduced costs. A Design/Build entity’s unified approach to design and construction can save the project owner a lot of money in the long run. The Design/Build entity has strong incentive to reduce the number of design changes that occur during the course of the project, which is an advantage to the design department. Disputes over additional design features can be avoided, as well as unnecessary delays due to lack of communication or misunderstandings. The owner can also save through early ordering of materials. 
  • A shorter timeframe. Because of the close collaboration between the design and construction branches, a Design/Build entity can often deliver projects in shorter timeframes compared to the traditional method. This is advantageous both to the owner, and to the Design/Build entity, which may be able to take on several projects at the same time. The Design/Build entity may also be able to present alternative design proposals to the owner for review in a streamlined manner, potentially allowing the project to be completed in an even shorter period of time.
  • Internal conflict resolution. The last thing an owner wants to deal with is handling personality differences between designers and contractors, designers and sub-consultants, or contractors and subcontractors. With the Design/Build delivery method, conflict resolution is the sole responsibility of the Design/Build entity. The issues are resolved in-house, and the customer receives the best work the entity can give, without the drama.

Who Should Use the Design/Build Method?

While the Design/Build method may not be appropriate for every project, it has found wide success across all sectors of the design and construction industry. For instance, Design/Build “is now used in 40 [percent] of all non-residential construction projects in the U.S., including 80 [percent] of military projects and 50 [percent] of projects worth more than $10 million.” Clearly, the Design/Build method can be implemented in a wide variety of building projects.

At Antham Construction Group, Inc., we provide our clients with a unified, seamless approach to design and construction. If you are interested in learning more about the advantages of the Design/Build method, reach out to us today.