Design-build is a method of construction in which under a single contract a design-build team works alongside the project owner to provide design and construction services. A contractor, designer, developer, design-build firm, or a joint venture can lead a design-build project, but there is only one contract for both designing and building. Design-build delivery is an alternative to traditional design-bid-build delivery that splits the design and construction services into separate contracts. The advantages of design-build for the owner are there is only one contract to manage and one single point of responsibility because the designer and contractor are on the same team. With design-bid-build, owners must manage two separate contracts. In these cases, the owner often becomes the middleman between the designer and contractor. The advantages of design-build to the contractor is it increases a contractor’s independence, productivity and profits. Design-build is a single-contract delivery method of construction that can deliver successful, superior results in less time and for less money that design-bid-build delivery.
The design-build method of one contract between the owner and the design-build team fosters collaboration and teamwork between the designers and builders.The design-build method can also result in quicker completion of projects with fewer change orders than the design-bid-build method; which saves money. In fact, a study by the Computer Integrated Construction Research Program of Penn State evaluated the financial benefits of the design-build method of construction.
- Design-build unit costs were 6 percent less than design-bid-build. Unit cost is the gross square footage divided by the final project cost
- Design-build construction speed was 12 percent faster than design-bid-build. Construction speed is the square footage of construction work put in place per month
- Design-build delivery speed was 33 percent faster than design-bid-build. Delivery speed is similar to construction speed but includes construction and design times
The Five Phases of the Design-Build Process
Select a design-build firm or contractor. Typically, building owners select a design-build contractor based on estimated price and added value in addition to experience, expertise, and credentials.
The pre-construction phase is when the design-building team assesses the owner’s goals, vision, finances, and current and future building needs. During the pre-construction phase, the team also begins architectural, mechanical and electrical system assessments and evaluations of conceptual floor plans, fire and smoke code compliance, interior room finishes and structural systems. Also, at this time, surveyors perform a field assessment of the job site to prepare it for construction. All this information is essential to the team to identify the right facility, design and construction program that will achieve the goals within the agreed upon budget and schedule.
The architectural design phase is when the construction team and project managers partner with a design team to value engineer cost savings into the design. The purpose of value engineering is to improve the function and reduce the cost of the building. Value engineering evaluates a building’s projected lifetime use and determines the best components to use that will increase the value of the structure over its expected lifespan. Maximizing the project’s function while minimizing cost generates the greatest value for design-build clients.
With a design-build project, the construction phase quickly follows the architectural design because there is no need to bid out a construction contract.
After completion of the project, the post-construction phase includes walk-throughs, instructional videos, hands-on training and core documentation for owners, managers, and management teams.
Utilizing Bautex Wall System for Design-Build Solutions
The Bautex Wall System is a design build exterior wall solution that produces value engineering cost savings through improved function and reduced costs. The Bautex™ Wall System is built with insulated concrete blocks that simplify construction by combining structure, enclosure, continuous insulation, and air and moisture protection in a single integrated assembly. A designer, contractor, developer or design-build firm can manage the designing and building of Bautex Blocks walls under one contract. Then, a sub-contractor or self-performing general contractor, once trained by Bautex, can easily install the Bautex Blocks. Utilizing Bautex Blocks in a design-build process can save time and increase the value and function of a structure.
Design-build involves a design-build team that work under one contract with a project owner. One team, one contract, and one owner unify the flow of work throughout the lifespan of the project. The design-build method also saves time, money and ultimately improves the value of the project. In fact, design-build is becoming one of most significant trends in design and construction today. According to the Design-Build Institute of America, the use of design-build contractors or firms has significantly increased in the United States over the past 15 years. Also, a recent report indicates that the government offers about 50 percent of its contracts and the army and navy offer more than 75 percent of their contracts as design/build work. For more information on using concrete insulated blocks in the design-build method visit Bautex Wall System.