The design-build method has become an increasingly popular and effective way of completing construction projects.
Design-build firms operate under one contract with the project owner to complete both the design and build steps of a construction project. A single contract for both design and construction is what defines design-build methodology. This single contract streamlines the process while saving time and money for both the owner and the design-build team.
All the members of the team collaborate, which makes every aspect of the process more efficient.
1. Preconstruction Planning and Project Proposal
The preparation step is equally as important as the physical construction, as it sets the course for the project as a whole. In this phase, the design-build firm will get to know your vision, goals, budget and needs. After getting to know your expectations, the team will develop drawings, estimate costs and build potential schedules to offer you in a design-build proposal. The firm will discuss the proposal with you and make changes as necessary.
During this stage, the construction and design teams will simultaneously begin conducting financial and site assessments to prepare a job site for preconstruction, construction or identify areas of need if you’re improving a current space. Assessing sites before beginning construction allows the teams to prepare for any challenges that may arise so there are fewer setbacks in your project’s timeline.
2. Architectural and Engineering Design
The design phase is where the construction team will partner with an architectural team to complete the final drawings. This aspect of the design and build approach benefits the project owner because the input of all team members results in more accurate drawings. More accurate designs can help lower the chance of changes or issues with the plans as construction begins.
During this step of the design-build process, the team will look for areas for cost savings and efficiency while still meeting your preferences and needs. Most design-build companies look for anywhere they can help add value to a project while trying to save the owner money.
In most cases, the construction phase can begin while the design phase is being completed. The construction team will prepare the job site and some elements of construction can begin while the designs are finalized. This process allows the teams to stick to a rigid schedule, completing the project quicker than in other methods. Early collaboration between architects and builders allows for a smoother construction process. Since all the workers are working on the same team and towards the same goal, communication is more effective and concerns can be addressed promptly.
After construction wraps up, you’ll have complete access to your new space, and the design-build organization will give you an overview of the project deliverables. This overview will mostly consist of documentation that the project has been completed and everything is signed off on. If the project was for a business, the post-construction phase might also include new training materials and walk-throughs for the owners and other management personnel.