Design–build (or design/build, and abbreviated D–B or D/B accordingly) is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor.
In contrast to “design–bid–build” (or “design–tender”), design–build relies on a single point of responsibility contract and is used to minimize risks for the project owner and to reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project. “DB with its single point responsibility carries the clearest contractual remedies for the clients because the DB contractor will be responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault.
The traditional approach for construction projects consists of the appointment of a designer on one side, and the appointment of a contractor on the other side. The design–build procurement route changes the traditional sequence of work. It answers the client’s wishes for a single point of responsibility in an attempt to reduce risks and overall costs. It is now commonly used in many countries and forms of contracts are widely available.
Design–build is sometimes compared to the “master builder” approach, one of the oldest forms of construction procedure. Comparing design–build to the traditional method of procurement, the authors of Design-build Contracting Handbook noted that: “from a historical perspective the so-called traditional approach is actually a very recent concept, only being in use approximately 150 years. In contrast, the design–build concept—also known as the “master builder” concept—has been reported as being in use for over four millennia.
Take advantage of the cost- and time-saving benefits of our design-build services. As one of the few construction companies in the region with an in-house design firm, we provides a unique opportunity to maximize your savings and simplify the construction process. Our architecture and construction teams work in adjoining offices, so communication is streamlined and the teams work in tandem to bring you value-engineered solutions throughout your project. We’ve collaborated on more than 200 projects together over the past 30 years. Here’s a brief summary of how the process works.
With design-build, ECD Construction performs both architectural and engineering design as well as the actual construction work. We use this system because it has many advantages over the “traditional” contracting approach or “design-bid-build” where the owner commissions an architect or engineer to prepare drawings and specifications, and separately selects a contractor by negotiation or competitive bidding. The design-build method provides a unique set of advantages not available in any other construction delivery system:
Undivided Responsibility: We provides both architecture/engineering and construction resources under a single contract. The owner works directly with a single entity for cost control, quality assurance, schedule adherence and performance of the finished project. This results in clearly fixed responsibility, maximum cost control and immediate responsiveness.
Collaboration: The client can exercise his or her desired degree of control over design with the added advantage of continuously knowing the cost implications of each decision. The client’s control of the entire process is strengthened by contracting with a single firm that is unconditionally committed to the success of the project.
Early Knowledge of Costs: The ECD team, working closely with the owner, accurately conceptualizes the completed project at an early stage. Continuous and concurrent estimating during the development of design results in knowledge of firm overall cost far sooner than is traditionally possible. This process also permits making early decisions—which have the greatest impact upon project costs—in an informed, cost-based environment.
Faster Turnaround: Construction can commence before the design is complete. This allows an expedited schedule compared to traditional construction, where the owner must wait through advertising, receiving and reviewing bids. In addition, project budgets and costs are established before final plans and extensive detailing are completed, eliminating costly redesigns and lost time. Early planning involvement in the project’s design allows for the best opportunity to control project costs. Plus, occupancy can occur earlier, resulting in increased productivity for our clients.