Design-build is a system of contracting under which one entity performs both design and construction. In a “traditional” contracting approach a client commissions an architect or engineer to prepare drawings and specifications and separately selects a construction contractor or construction manager either by negotiation or competitive bidding.
A design-build team is jointly involved in producing a product that meets a client’s needs rather than merely acting as professional advisors. Collaboration of designers and builders is the foundation of design-build. Benefits include:
Total responsibility for the design and construction entrusted to one entity. One entity, or organization, for the entire project, no divided responsibilities with resultant problems.
A coordinated team approach. The Design-Build team works with your management and engineering personnel to identify your needs and provide counsel on important decisions that can affect design, performance and cost.
The design team has access to accurate cost information. We build the projects as well as design them, so we have accurate costs based on actual experience.
Design, construction and cost knowledge are focused in a cooperative team effort on developing a satisfactory building solution, limiting the risks of communication failures and conflicts of interests between the designer, contractor and owner, and fragmented construction responsibility.
Better control of design, cost, and construction. You limit the risks of omissions, errors and costs exceeding your budgets. Costs are known and predictable.
Faster occupancy and facilities operation. The cooperative team effort permits you to accomplish tasks faster. You save design, engineering, and construction time. Many tasks under the coordinated team effort can be performed concurrently.
Today, Design + Build is a preferred method of project delivery for many owners and construction industry professionals. A study conducted by the Construction Industry Institute found that Design + Build projects are delivered faster, and at lower cost, than either design-bid-build or construction management at-risk projects.
Many traditional general contracting firms say they do design-build, but in most cases, they simply hire an outside source to perform the design work and call it design-build. In doing so they miss the key ingredient of “collaboration” that leads to a successful fully integrated design-build project.
At Belz Architecture+Construction, it is a much different process where design and construction professionals are on the same team and in the same offices and are working together side by side in a collaborative method to create the synergy of a great project.
Design concepts and budget realities interact daily at Belz Architecture+Construction to form physical solutions that meet the needs of the clients. Belz has been using the design-build process for six decades and has become one of the nation’s leading providers of the fully integrated design-build approach – the ultimate in efficiency and value.