Saving time and money is always on the minds of business owners, leading most of them to consider new building processes, materials, etc. Design-build (D-B) continues to grow in popularity across the construction industry as more owners are hiring one general contractor to deliver both the design and construction phases of their projects. Here are some times when using Design-build might be more effective than other options.

  • When time is of the essence. Research shows that both construction and delivery speeds are much faster using experienced design-build teams. Results have indicated that projects using traditional Design-bid-build (D-B-B) approaches tend to have more schedule growth because developers have to work with several different firms separately.
  • When you truly want to maintain a budget. Collaborative project delivery systems like Design-build provide owners with more reliable cost outcomes. These projects have less cost growth, and they are less expensive to build on average than Design-bid-build projects.
  • When you want higher quality project outcomes. Good construction leaders understand that their main priority is to meet the needs of the end user. Maintaining budgets, schedules and other variables are all moot if the client doesn’t approve of the finished product. Design-build teams are usually the best bet to achieve highest quality project outcomes.
  • When you want to mitigate risk. Design-build contracts require that design and construction teams collaborate to complete designs that meet the needs of owners. The need for change orders is reduced because design completeness is the responsibility of a single entity.

Although Design-build methods are useful for many different projects, there are still situations when traditional Design-bid-build methods are best such as:

  • When you want to encourage competition. Design-bid-build enables design firms and contractors to bid against each other on projects. It’s usually the preferred method of government agencies and when federal funds are involved to ensure that they are dispersed in a fair and transparent manner.
  • More professional accountability. Some owners make the mistake of opting for Design-build because it looks good on paper without fully understanding all its nuances. Owners are less liable for discrepancies when they keep designers separate from contractors with traditional Design-bid-build practices.

Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all delivery method, you really need to understand the differences between Design-build and D-bid-build before you can decide which one is more useful. Construction recruiting efforts can be adjusted based on the delivery process that you want to use. If you want to specialize in more Design-build projects, then you’ll need more candidates that are team-oriented.


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