What is Design-Build?

Why Design–Build?

Design–Build is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver the project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity and brings together all those involved at the beginning of the project. The team works together to develop mutual solutions for the project’s needs. Communication between designer and builder occurs from day one. Designers are able to discuss an idea with builders before it goes on paper, and in turn, builders can add “in the field” efficiencies to the design.

Design–Build is Owner-Focused

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. Design–Build with its single point responsibility carries the clearest contractual remedies for the clients because the Design–Build firm will be responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault.

Design–Build Saves Time

The average Design–Build project yields a savings of 20-25%. The Design–Build process, in sharp contrast to the "design-bid-build" method, allows the design team and construction team to have a true and complete understanding of each other’s needs. This understanding eliminates the extra time (and money) spent on unnecessary drawings and details. In many cases, the footings can begin before the selections have been picked out, keeping projects on time and even ahead of schedule.

Design–Build Saves Money

With Design–Build, the cost of a project is known at each phase of the design process, which allows owners to monitor costs alongside their budget. Knowing costs allows the owner to make decisions about where money is spent, even while the project is being designed. Using the traditional method, an owner will not know the exact costs until the bids are received. If the project is over budget, the owner has to pay the architect to redesign the plans to meet the budget and, in that redesign process, the owner loses valuable time and money.