A growing number of construction firms are opting for the design-build method in lieu of the traditional design-bid-build delivery method. Design-build accounts for around 40% of all non-residential construction, and it’s expected to grow in popularity when it comes to construction and renovation projects because there are several notable benefits to using it. Since design and construction take place simultaneously throughout the length of a design-build contract, owners usually prefer it when faced with a tight schedule to save time. Federal agencies are also deciding to go with this contracting method to fast track more projects and receive the return on investments sooner. Here are some other reasons why design-build is being referred to as the wave of the future in construction.
Working together is paramount to any successful project. Design-build contracts promote more teamwork by bringing owners and design-build teams together to achieve the same goal. Design-bid-build projects often lead to delays when owners blame builders and vice versa. Design-build projects encourage everyone to work on solutions together.
One advantage that design-build firms have is that they are experts in both construction and design. In addition to being experienced architects, many of them have professional experience in construction pricing and sequencing. It’s not uncommon for these firms to also have a solid reputation in the industry along with access to the some of the most reliable subcontractors.
Since the design-builder is responsible for the entire project from its inception, more focus is placed on meeting the overall deadline and budget. All of the costs associated with the project are closely monitored early in the building process to ensure that there is continuity.
Design-build contracts are typically more transparent because they encourage more involvement and collaboration between the owners and teams of builders. Owners are able to confirm that their goals are being accomplished along the way when they understand and agree to what is going on. Design-build construction also involves controlling multiple timelines that all require coordination. Design-build creates opportunities for owners to contemplate major decisions and inquire about their options.
Yet, there can be some considerable drawbacks concerning these contracts as well. For instance, sometimes the project outcome might not produce the expected result. If a project isn’t scheduled properly, then it can lead to significant delays. And, in some projects, the final costs can be higher than what was originally provided by the construction estimators.
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