Design-Build is a method of project delivery where the Design-Build contractor becomes the single source of responsibility to the owner. The Design-Build contracts directly with the owner to provide architectural/contractor design services, as well as construction services. The contractor accepts full responsibility for integrating conceptual design with functional performance, budget, and schedule for timely completion of the project.
The benefits to the Design-Build style of delivery are as follows:
Single Source of Responsibility
- Single source for integrating conceptual design with functional performance.
- Single source of responsibility for adherence to project cost budgets.
- Single source of responsibility for the quality of the construction.
- Single source of responsibility for maintaining the project schedule.
- Allows the owner to concentrate on decision making throughout the project, rather than the coordination between the contractor and designer.
- The Design-Build contractor is solely responsible to produce quality results.
- The Design-Build contractor is responsible to produce quality design documents. In contrast, under traditional contractual methods, the Owner accepts the responsibility, and provides the documents, free from errors or omission.
- The Design-Build contractor is responsible to meet the owner's requirements and expectations, as outlined in the design scope.
- Design-Build lends itself to a "fast track" approach to construction.
- Design and construction often overlap under the Design-Build approach.
- With Design-Build, material procurement and construction often take place while the design is still in progress. This results in time savings, which translates into cost savings.
- Time savings reduce overall project durations, which allow the owner to access and to utilize the project much sooner than the traditional construction approach.
- Value Engineering - Both the design team and the construction team work together to evaluate alternative materials and methods to best suit the specific project needs. This Value Engineering ensures that the project incorporates the most value added and constructible materials in the initial design, to meet the requirements of the Owner.
- The Design-Build contractor is responsible for the project design, and at the same time, is accurately estimating the cost of the design.
- Guaranteed construction costs are known much earlier in the design process.
- Knowing the cost of the project early in the design phase allows the owner the opportunity to decide whether or not to proceed with the project, before substantial design dollars are spent.
Under the more "traditional" approach, the owner contracts with an architect and engineer to design the project and prepare specifications for bidding and construction. The contractor for construction is then selected from the bidding process, and builds the project under a construction contract with the owner.