8C — November 2023 — Design Build — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal
D esign B uild
ARCO Design/Build Unlocking the Power of Design-Build in Construction: A Comprehensive Guide
D ue to its numerous benefits, design-build has recently become a popular project delivery method in the construction industry. The method com- bines a project’s building design and construction un- der a single contract. This approach offers clients a seamless experience from start to finish while ensuring that projects get completed on time, within budget, and according to specifications. ARCO Design-Build pro - vides building and construc- tion design services in cities across America. As a leader in industrial design and in- dustrial engineering, we’ve seen how the single contract approach to design-build con- struction can outperform more traditional construction contract models. We created this guide to lay out everything you need to know about design-build, including the steps in the process and the benefits it provides over traditional con- struction. We also cover choos- ing the right design-build firm and the future of design-build in the construction industry. The Origins Of Design-Build Design-build has been around for centuries, with its origins tracing back to the Egyptian and Greek eras. During these times, the master builder oversaw project design, engineering, and construction. This ap- proach was ingrained in the construction industry until the Renaissance era when specialization became popu- lar. Architects, engineers, and contractors became pro- fessionals in their respective fields, creating a chasm in the construction process. The modern design-build method traces its roots to the United States in the 1950s. The first-ever design-build project was the construction of the Ft. Belvoir Hospital in Virginia, completed in 1954. This project was a col- laboration between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a private firm, Bliss & Nyitray Inc. The Construction Industry The design-build method continues to grow in popu- larity. Design-build projects have increased by about 50% The Growth Of Design-Build In
in the last ten years. Ac- cording to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), more than 44% of construc- tion projects in the U.S. are design-build projects. The rise in popularity should be no surprise when considering the benefits of design-build over traditional construction. The design- build method reduces risks for the client and ensures that projects get completed faster than traditional construc- tion methods. Design-build reduced surprises or hidden costs. It minimizes errors and overruns. Design-build ensures proper materials and techniques to meet the client’s specifications. The Design-Build Process The design-build process is a project delivery method that involves designing and constructing a project under a single contract. It is a col- laborative approach that consists of the client, design- build team, and other stake- holders working together from start to finish to ensure project success. The Basic Design-Build Process Consists of 4 Steps The design-build process can include various moving parts and departments work- ing together simultaneously. The specifics of each project will depend on the needs of the client. However, all design-build projects include the following essential steps: 1. Pre-Design The pre-design stage in- volves the client and design- build team working togeth- er to identify the project’s scope, goals, budget, and timelines. Preconstruction services can include things like project financing, pro - curement methods, and per- formance specifications. The pre-design step defines the project’s parameters and sets it up for success. 2. Design In the design phase, the design-build team creates a design that meets all build- ing codes and engineering design recommendations. Some contractors may make digital designs that can in- clude building information modeling. The design step ensures that the project meets the client’s needs, specifications, and budget as the construction begins.
Design-build reduces sur- prises and hidden costs. The entire project gets completed under a single contract, re- ducing the chances of budget overruns, change orders, and other unforeseen expenses. Quality Control With design-build, a single team completes the project, minimizing miscommunica- tion, errors, and conflicts. That ensures that the con- struction crews use the proper materials and tech- niques and that the final product meets the client’s needs and specifications. Collaboration The design-build method fosters team collaboration by keeping everyone work- ing toward the same goal. That ensures that each team member brings their expertise to the project, re- sulting in a better outcome. Risk Management With design-build, the client transfers the risk to the design-build team, re- ducing the client’s exposure to risks such as delays, de- fects, and budget overruns. Design-Build vs. Traditional Construction Traditional construction involves dividing the proj- ect into separate stages, with each stage of the proj- ect management completed by a different team or con- tractor. On the other hand, design-build involves com- pleting the project under a single contract with a team that includes the designer and the contractor. Since traditional construc- tion methods involve several companies, each operating on its own timeline, any change or surprise during any phase of the project can lead to unpredictable delays. Everyone in construction knows unforeseen changes happen in every project. So every project done us- ing traditional construction methods has considerable potential for delay. Coor - dinating across multiple companies, each looking at its own bottom line, can also lead to miscommunications or, worse, confrontations. The design-build method eliminates these problems by letting one company han- dle the whole process—one company with a consistent timeline and singular goal.
3. Construction During construction, the design-build team manages the construction process. It works within the parameters set out in the pre-design phase and consults the de- signers to ensure the use of all the specified methods and materials. The construction step creates the building and plays a critical role in ensur- ing projects proceed on time and within budget. 4. Post-Construction Post-construction involves the design-build team con- ducting a post-construction review to ensure the proj- ect meets the client’s needs, specifications, and quality standards. This final step as - sures all the other steps were done correctly and up to the necessary quality. Each step of the design- build process benefits the client, and the design-build process as a whole amplifies those benefits. Any step in the process could determine a necessary change. The design-build process gives you the most agile form of change order management because it can happen in real time while maintaining con- sistent communication with all parties involved. Benefits of Design-Build With the value of each step of the design-build pro- cess laid out in the section above, let’s look at how the design-build process itself can provide value to clients. Single Point of Responsibility With the design-build mod- el, a single company manages all the architectural design, construction contracts, gen- eral contractors, and sub- contractors. Doing so allows the design-build model to provide design and construc- tion preparations simultane- ously and with open commu- nication. The integration of the design-to-build process gives the method an advan- tage over other construction management methods. Time Savings The design-build method ensures faster project comple- tion than traditional construc- tion methods. By designing and constructing the building concurrently, the design-build method reduces the time it takes to complete a project. Cost Savings
How to Choose the Right Design-Build Firm When choosing a design- build firm, there are several factors to consider. Choose a design-build firm with experience and a track record of success- ful projects. It should also have a reputation for high- quality customer service. A reliable design build firm displays expertise, excel- lent communication skills, acute attention to detail, and utmost professional- ism. So, how do you know if a design-build contractor has these attributes? Ask. Questions to Ask a Potential Design-Build Firm Get the information you need to select the right design-build firm for your project. Don’t be afraid to ask the following questions: • What is your experience in design-build projects? • What is your process for designing and building projects? • What sets your firm apart from others? • Can you provide refer - ences for your work? • How do you handle unexpected changes or chal- lenges during a project? The answers to these ques- tions will guide you to a reli- able design-build company like ARCO Design/Build. Get Started on Your Design-Build Project. Design-build is a project de- livery method that combines the designing and construction of a project under a single contract. Its collaborative approach en- sures a project’s success by in- volving the client, design-build team, and other stakeholders from start to finish. Design-build is a growing trend in the construction in- dustry as more clients recognize the benefits of this approach. A design-build firm can offer clients a more efficient, cost- effective, and collaborative construction process, resulting in a successful project outcome. Choose ARCO Design/ Build for Your Next Design-Build Project ARCO Design/Build is a top-rated design-build firm that offers quality services and exceptional customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our services or start your next design-build project. MAREJ
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