How Can The Design-Build Approach Help You?

October 10, 2023

  Design-Build is a project delivery method in the construction industry where the design and construction phases of a project […]

Construction blueprints and engineers equipment.


Design-Build is a project delivery method in the construction industry where the design and construction phases of a project are handled by a single entity. In the traditional project delivery method, known as the Design-Bid-Build, the design and construction phases are separate, and the owner first hires a design engineer to create the project plans and specifications. Once these are complete, the owner then solicits bids from contractors to build the project.  


Understanding Design-Build 


In contrast, the Design-Build approach streamlines the process by merging these two phases into a single contract with a single point of responsibility. Here is how it typically works:  


  1. Design-Builder Selection: The owner selects a design-builder through a competitive bidding process or negotiation. This entity can be a construction firm with in-house design capabilities (such as FWS) or a joint venture between a design engineer and a builder. 
  2. Conceptualization and Design: The design-builder works closely with the owner from the project’s conceptual stage. They collaborate to define the project’s scope, budget and goals. The design-builder then takes on the responsibility for the engineering design work. 
  3. Construction: Once the design has progressed to a sufficient stage  and approved by the owner, the design-builder starts the construction phase. This continuity between design and construction allows for greater efficiency, as potential issues can be addressed during the design phase, reducing the likelihood of costly changes during construction. 
  4. Single Point of Responsibility: The design-builder becomes the single point of responsibility for the entire project. This simplifies communication, reduces conflicts and streamlines decision-making, as the owner has one primary contact for all aspects of the project. 


Why Choose Design-Build? 


Design-Build offers several advantages: 


  • Faster Project Delivery: With design and construction happening concurrently, project timelines can be significantly shortened. 
  • Cost Certainty: Owners have a more accurate idea of project costs early in the process, reducing the likelihood of budget overruns. 
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Close collaboration between the design-builder and the owner encourages innovative solutions and ensures that the project aligns with the owner’s vision. 
  • Reduced Risk: The single-point responsibility model reduces disputes and litigation risk. 
  • Streamlined Communication: There are fewer communication gaps because the owner interacts primarily with one entity. 


Design-Build is particularly well-suited for projects that require rapid delivery, have complex or evolving designs, or involve a high degree of collaboration between the owner and the construction team. However, its success relies heavily on the competence and experience of the chosen design-builder, as they must effectively manage the design and construction aspects of the project to ensure a successful outcome. 


If you’re seeking a partner for your next construction project, we invite you to consider FWS for your Design-Build needs. We offer a seamless and collaborative Design-Build approach, where we bring together design and construction under one team. This method streamlines the process, accelerates project timelines and enhances cost certainty. Contact us today to discuss how we can turn your construction project into a resounding success.  

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