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What is Design-Build?

Design-build brings the architecture and builder functions together as one team in a single contractual entity to the owner. This entity, Design-Builder, is accountable to the owner for the entire project, beginning to end, including the final project design, costs, and Schedule.

The following chart illustrates the advantages between design-build and traditional design bid build project delivery from a project structure and accountability perspective.


The next figure shows the differences between the two methods from a process and timing perspective.


A few things stand out between the two timelines. First, the point at which costs are established occurs much earlier in the process for design-build. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, much more attention is given to pricing and scheduling in the design phase. The costs of all aspects of the project are taken into account early on in the process. Fees, materials and construction costs, utilities, landscaping allowances, and all other costs are considered and accounted for. The budget and vision are defined early on, and become the agreement for the entire project.

The second thing that stands out is reduced time to delivery. This happens for several reasons. First, there are fewer steps in the process because it eliminates time spent putting a job out to bid and waiting for responses. Also, since the owner is working with the same team from start to finish, they will get a more accurate construction schedule upfront and have the right lead time on required materials. This also means it is possible to begin work on the initial building phase of the project while you are still working on final design and finishes decisions. Finally, if there are any issues during construction, these can be resolved quickly to prevent further delays.

But time reduction and cost management are not the only advantages with design-build. Here are some others.

Increased Owner Involvement

Design-build operates under the assumption that the owner wants to be an active participant in the design and construction process. With this model, the design-builder and the owner are in this together, working towards the same goal—to complete a successful project that exceeds owner expectations that everyone will be proud of. It is inherently transparent because the owner understands the process and updated regularly by the design builder on the progress of the project.

Enhanced Continuity

Having a design-build firm involved in the project from start to finish adds an inherent efficiency and effectiveness to the process. The chance of items being overlooked is greatly diminished.

Improved Collaboration

In design-build, the owner retains total control over the project, and the team is there to empower and collaborate with them. When teams encounter challenges (and there are always challenges), pointing fingers is not an option. Instead, everyone rolls up their sleeves and works on solutions together.

In short, there are many reasons the design-build delivery method works so well for new construction and major renovation projects, including many others not listed here.

BDB Construction has an in-house professional with designation by the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) with a wealth of experience delivering design-build projects. With our expertise and through our relationships with design and other industry professionals, we can assemble a team specifically tailored to plan, design and build your project. Contact us today to learn more about the ways our team of professionals can help your organization meet its goals.

3084 Brickhouse Court

Virginia Beach VA 23452

Phone: (757) 772-8104

Fax: (757) 772-8105

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