Distinctive Characteristics of Design-Build
There are three distinctive characteristics in the Design-Build approach:
- Communicating instantaneously: being able to communicate instantaneously speeds the whole process which improves your project schedule.
- Conducting business without boundaries: you have no physical or geographical boundaries getting in the way of your timeline.
- Producing customized products: the ability to quickly produce products that are custom and not your prototypical replications.
So what are some of the advantages of the Design-Build approach?
- Builds Teamwork
- Single Point of Responsibility
- Open/Transparent Communication
- Eliminates Adversarial Conditions
- Not Restricted to Building Types
- Faster Project Delivery
Single source of responsibility means one entity drives the flow of work all the way through completion by using open/transparent communication. The roles of contractor and designer are integrated to allow the architect to spend more time on the project. Both of these factors directly relate to eliminating adversarial conditions by using a single contract between the Owner and Design-Build Team. The D-B Team forms a unified front that helps create an enjoyable working experience for everyone involved. There is no blame game or finger pointing when something goes wrong. Rather, there is a shared responsibility for the design, budget and schedule, which brings the focus directly to solving the issue at hand as a unified front.
With everyone's input and ideas from the beginning, the D-B Team is able to produce a highly customized and quality product for the Client/Owner. This is where collaboration and trust in the team is the key to the whole approach. Everyone brings their expertise to the project, which elevates the overall design, construction process and finished product. All of the advantages help with faster project delivery because the D-B Team, working together from the start, streamlines the project timeline and brings more cost effective solutions.
Design-Bid-Build vs. Design-Build
In contrast, the Design-Bid-Build approach is more complicated than the Design-Build approach because the Client/Owner has to work with two separate contracts, one for design and one for construction. This may create problems throughout the process because there is not a single source of responsibility. If a problem arises, the architect and contractor may blame one another rather than work together to find the best solution. Whereas with the Design-Build approach everyone is on the same side and has the same amount of responsibility if a problem arises.
There is no “I” in Team
The Design-Build approach is simple, “There is no I in team”. The Design-Build approach cannot be just one person. It is a group of teammates participating to achieve the same goal. It doesn't matter how great a super star you are, you can't win the championship game without your teammates. It's the same with Design-Build, you can't complete any quality project on time or within budget without your team. The Design-Build approach breaks down the silos that are typical in the A/E/C industry. The approach is based on brainstorming, collaboration, trust, mutual respect and shared leadership.
This blog post is based on the information presented from “Advantages to Architects with Design-Build Approach” by Ray Caruso (C.E. Floyd Company, Inc.), Tom Peterman (Peterman Architects), Steve Ceglarski (The Wyatt Group) and Ron Brodeur (Wayne J. Griffin Electric, Inc.) at the 2015 ABX Conference in Boston.
Article contributed by C.E. Floyd