Design/Build construction programs were created with the home or business owner’s schedule in mind. The project manager or general contractor will overlap different segments or phases of the project, including design, permit gathering, and the actual construction of the project. The Design/Build concept is an offshoot of the traditional Design-Bid-Build process and involves the collaboration of building professionals. This includes architects, project planners, any necessary subcontractors and in-house workers.
Design/Build projects vary in a few ways. If the project involves one contractor who is in charge of both the design and construction of the project, the program is called "Contractor – Led Design/Build." If the client is actually a design firm that will be handling this phase of the construction process, the job is known as “Design – Led Design/Build” In these cases, design and construction are rarely handled by one group, instead opting to subcontract either part of the job.
The benefits of using the Design/Build approach to complete your project are three-fold: First, the program means that the Design/Build contractor will be accountable for all elements of the building process. Secondly, the deliveries of services come from a single source, eliminating the need to communicate with multiple parties regarding their progress. Finally, the project offers a unique way to gauge value. For instance, if the owner decides to change materials or methods of construction to meet their needs, the owner simply needs to adjust the program without having to re-bid the entire project. Above all, Design/Build programs are usually completed more quickly as a result of streamlining all elements of the building project.
The typical process for a Design/Build program involves the following steps:
1. The owner recognizes their need to build or expand a commercial, residential or industrial space.
2. The owner (or their agent) prepares a list of requirements for the project.
3. The owner approaches a Design/Build firm to develop the project using their maximum price as a guideline.
4. The Design/Build firm prepares its proposal for the design, timeline and costs of a project.
5. If the owner accepts these terms and conditions, a contract is drafted and signed by both parties.
6. The Design/Build contractor carries out the entire project with the help of in-house professionals.
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