Design-Build

Design-Build construction has quickly become Precision Construction Service’s most successful project delivery method. Precision acts as the single point of contact to the Project Owner, which makes us responsible for ensuring that the design/construction process meets all budget, schedule and performance requirements.

Precision’s robust project planning, cost estimating, and constructability analysis background provides the framework to guide the design team from concept to construction documents. All project stakeholders — including the owner, builder, architect, engineer and any other project consultants — work on the same team, to meet the same objectives and ultimately, create a successful project.

how design-build construction works

In the Design-Build Project Delivery Method, the project owner works with a single point of contact, Precision Construction Services, who is responsible for all components of both the planning, design and construction phases. Design-Build is unlike the traditional Design-Bid-Build model of construction, and it is one of the fastest growing methods of construction in the country.

Design-Bid-Build puts the responsibility of the project in the owner’s hands, as they work with design consultants on the front-end of the project, put the project out to bid, and wait hopefully while the construction industry takes the time to respond favorably to the created design. This traditional method often creates adversarial relationships and finger pointing since design consultants and contractors are not necessarily responsible for each other’s work. The design team may blame the contractor for the budget being overrun, or the contractor may blame a poor design for all the change orders.

In Design-Build, all contractual responsibility falls under one entity: the Design-Build Contractor.

how to choose a design-builder

Project Owners are beginning at ground zero, since the project’s design doesn’t yet exist while many variables in project scope do. It is important to choose the Design-Build firm based on experience, track-record, and the skill set of the overall team.

It is typical to create a contract with a Guaranteed Max Price (GMP) with a savings split between the contractor and owner. Under this contractual method, the Design-Builder is contractually incentivized to make the project as cost-effective as possible.

When researching a Design-Builder, ask about their experience with pre-construction planning and value engineering. Many General Contractors claim that they understand the Design-Build project delivery method but do not have the skill sets to deliver the project successfully.

For example, many General Contractors rely heavily on the subcontractor or specialty trade market to assess costs and perform constructability reviews. For example, the General Contractor will call the Concrete Contractor to review the costs and design of the project’s podium deck. In Design-Build, the early stages of design do not provide adequate detail for the review of subcontractors, or the subcontractors will not put enough energy into the assessment since the project is still some time away from being contracted. This is why the Design-Builder needs to have a strong background in constructability reviews, cost estimating at the schematic through construction document level, and experience in the pre-construction planning phase.

As the design progresses, the Design-Builder will need to keep an eye on the budget and make value engineering decisions along the way to ensure that the project budget does not get off-track. For this reason, the Design-Builder must be versed in understanding both what the design team shows on the plans and what is required to complete the project.

Precision’s strong background in project planning and cost estimating allows our experienced, AACE Certified Estimating Professionals to work with designers in a collaborative, informative team environment.

Value of Design-Build COntracting

  • Saves Time: Construction may begin before final design has been completed. Subcontractor selection can be done in conjunction with design development.
  • Single Point of Contact: The Owner will have one contract and one contact. No finger pointing.
  • Minimize Change Orders: Since there are no excuses for ambiguity in the design documents, change orders due to the project design are non-existent.
  • Identify Long-Lead Items Early: As the design progresses, consistent constructability reviews and cost estimates will be performed. During this time, long lead items can be identified and purchased.

Design-Build is a great choice for projects that can benefit from a decreased schedule and volatility. To learn more about Design-Build, please contact Precision Construction Services.

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