What Is Design Build?

What Is Design Build?

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More and more, contractors are using the term “design build” and you’ve probably heard it several times in your quest to find the perfect company to carry out your office construction or remodeling project. But, what exactly is “design build”? 

In simple terms, it is an innovative project delivery method that is applied to office design or construction projects, which incorporates two different disciplines, designing and building, into a single one.

How Does Design Build Differ From The Traditional Design / Bid / Build Delivery Method?

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With the design / build method you eliminate the need for separate contracts that are necessary with the old traditional project delivery method. This means that instead of hiring an architect and a general contractor to design and construct your project separately, a single firm takes care of all the design and construction services of your entire project, which will be carried out in a more seamless manner. This firm also takes care of permits and any engineering work that your project may require.

In short, the design / build team is invested in producing results that exceed your expectations while communicating directly with you, the project owner, without pointing fingers at separate subcontractors. By now you are probably wondering how design build works and what benefits it presents for you, so let’s move forward and see how the design build project delivery systems have revolutionized the construction industry.

The Different Stages Of The Design Build Process

As one of the most simplified project delivery methods, the design / build construction process consists of five overlapping stages.

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As one of the most simplified project delivery methods, the design / build construction process consists of five overlapping stages. 

You are probably wondering why there are so many phases in such a streamlined method, but you have to keep in mind two important issues. The first is that, even though there are five stages, they usually overlap and result in only one contract, which makes the process flow in a more fluid way. The second is that with the design / bid / build construction process, you have to repeat the different stages multiple times with each contractor, resulting in multiple different contracts where you have to wait for one to be completed before starting the other.

The basic stages of the design / build process are:

  1. Selection of the design build team stage
  2. The pre-construction stage
  3. The architectural design stage
  4. The construction stage
  5. The post-construction stage

Selecting a Design / Build Team

During this stage of the process, the project owners will select a design build team or firm, focusing on the experience of the members of the team in design / build construction and the project owner’s budget. 

It may be very tempting for the owner to select the firm with the lowest project costs, but doing so may not produce the desired outcome for the project, so it is imperative they understand the value of selecting a design build company with the skills and qualifications required for their project. 

This is especially true when the project involves office buildings and remodeling, because not all interior designers have the required knowledge and skills to produce the desired outcome.

The Pre-Construction Stage

This stage is probably the most important one in the entire design / build process. Great attention should be paid to the details of the project during this stage, because this is the phase during which the design build team will learn about the expectations, vision, and budget of the project owner.

It is during this stage that all contractors, architects and consultants will work as a single team to evaluate all the current structures and systems to determine what steps must be taken before they can start the actual construction project. In order to achieve this properly, they must perform a detailed evaluation of the site, and ask as many questions as possible to the project owner.

The Architectural Design Stage

During the design phase of the process, the design team will start working on the initial concept, design and drawings of the project. It is here when cost estimates can be established and areas for monetary savings will be evaluated. When everything has been said and done, at the end of the design process the architect involved in this stage will present the owner with the preliminary drawings and final budget. Once the design and budget are accepted by the owner, construction can begin.

The Construction Stage

This is when the construction team starts working on the design build project as was accepted by the owner. During this phase the design and construction workers are focused on creating a high-quality project result which means the communication channels are consistently flowing between all those involved in the project.

The Post-Construction Stage

During this part of the construction phase the owner and any applicable personnel will receive any and all deliverables and instruction manuals, as well as any necessary training for select personnel. This marks the end of the design build integrated project delivery process.

What Are The Advantages And Benefits Of the Design / Build Collaborative Approach?

Contrary to other project delivery methods, the design / build process can represent a number of advantages and benefits for project owners. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • In design build projects, all the work is performed by a design and project team that actually knows the cost of construction and can implement cost savings designed to ensure the owner’s budget is applied in the most optimal way.
  • The design builder can let the owner know where money can be saved at almost every step of the process, with constant communication with the owner about any features that are added or changed and their influence on the final cost of the project, allowing the owner to make informed decisions.
  • Contrary to the design / bid / build process, the design / build system helps avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the project. The owner will know the cost of everything from the start and through every step of the way.
  • The design build system works for all types of projects, whether they involve a full office construction project, or a simple bathroom remodel job.
  • Because design and construction teams work together as a single entity, the quality of the end result will be higher than with any other method.
  • The owner has the ability to intervene and be part of all stages of design build projects and has full control of construction spending.

Are You Ready To Get Started On Your Office Construction Or Renovation Project?

As a full-service design / build firm, WDI Group can help your organization with office design and construction, as well as office furnishing needs. Equipped with the experience, skill and creativity to achieve impressive and cost-effective results, the WDI team can help turn your vision into reality. 

If you are considering an office construction or renovation project, and the design / build process appeals to your vision, contact WDI Group today.

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