Are you considering a building project? If so, you may have heard of design-build project delivery. Unlike the traditional, low bid design-bid-build method, design-build is where the designer and builder are unified as a single contractual entity to the owner.
According to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), design-build construction now accounts for approximately 40% of all non-residential construction. The growing popularity of design-build is understandable, as it alleviates owner risk throughout the project. Every construction project carries a certain amount of owner risk, but by unifying the designer and the builder into a single contract, a significant portion of the risk is shifted from the owner to the builder.
One aspect of project risk directly relates to the work of the designers. During a design-bid-build project, there may be errors and omissions in documents prepared by the design team that commonly result in change orders for the owner. With design-build, these change orders are virtually eliminated because the designer is contracted with the builder, not the owner. The project risk is even mitigated for the builder, as the designer and builder are actively collaborating to minimize errors and omissions and to provide the most effective solutions. This collaboration ultimately translates into a higher quality project for the owner.
If reduced risk and higher quality in construction projects are important to you, then the design-build process might be right for you. The DBIA has a vast collection of design-build tools and educational resources. To learn more about the basics of the design-build method of project delivery, refer to the DBIA’s informational primer “What is Design-Build” found below.
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