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Design-Build: What You Need to Know

The design-build method is becoming one of the most popular methods used to design and complete construction projects in the country, despite being a relatively new process. Design-build improves communication between contractors, designers, and clients.

Understanding Design-Build vs. Traditional Project Delivery

Under a design-build system, the client contracts one company to work as both the designer and contractor throughout the project. As a team, they work together to provide the project results based on client specifications. Any changes to the plan require collaboration since there is no where to shift blame when something goes wrong. Design-build saves time, simplifies construction, and increases client satisfaction.

It is a more innovative approach than the traditional method, which is known as design-bid-build. This approach requires two separate contracts for a designer and a contractor. If there is an error in the plan, the client has to shoulder the added costs, schedule changes, and other inconveniences that could lead to litigation and delays.

1. Price & Bidding

Common misconceptions claim that less competition will drive up the project cost. When many contracts are up for grabs, companies will try to offer their services for the lowest possible price. However, this is not always the case for design-build companies. Those that provide transparent partnership processes are transparent with clients and let them know what they are getting with their proposals and value engineering.

2. Project Roles

In a traditional method of construction, the architect and contractor are under two separate contracts. Those who opt for this method believe that a separate architect protects the client from issues the contractor may encounter.

However, an architect has a low-level risk when he/she commits an error; the client is the one who has to meet the financial impact, and the contractor has no obligation for the errors and changes. In a design-build approach, the company absorbs these risks, which is why both the architect and contractor make sure none of these mistakes happen. This helps ensure a successful project outcome.

3. Simplify Processes with Design-Build

To save time, the designing and building phases begin simultaneously, which many believe may have a negative impact on project quality. But, because the project is a contractual agreement, parties have more motivation to collaborate and work towards a successful outcome. By simplifying the processes and communication, the company can fast-track the schedule and foresee many aspects of the project without sacrificing quality.

Clients who overcome negative preconceived notions about design-build see the benefits of a faster and efficient project. While not all projects may gain from this type of system, those that are completed using this method generally see a very positive outcome.

At Pro Circuit Inc., we have handled a wide range of projects. Our team is qualified to provide industrial electrical, commercial construction, and other major service areas in construction under a design-build arrangement in the Kansas City area. Contact us today to request a bid!

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