Scenario: The customer needs to get a building project done. He approaches an architecture firm that provides him with a stellar design. The customer then entrusts the design with a builder who goes about the construction. The end product deviates much from the intended design. Rework is called for. Cost overruns and customer dissatisfaction are the results. The solution to the above is for the customer to engage with a design-build firm. Let us see what the benefits of doing it are.
The model alleviates the risk of the owner all throughout the project as he has entered a single contract with a party that serves as the designer and builder. Design-build eliminates errors in design carrying over to construction. Oftentimes the owner is able to communicate perfectly with the designer who conveys his overall picture of how the project should look like. The owner might be dealing with a great builder too, but because the designer and builder are disparate entities, much of the message will be lost in translation.
By having your design and build teams working under one roof, the biggest gain is project team coordination. In the initial requirements planning level itself, the owner gets to talk with all key players like the architect, estimation engineer, site engineer and project manager who buys into the project plan. They are on the same page regarding what is to be done and how. There is no room for any communication gap.
The project risk is mitigated for the owner as the builder and designer are in constant interaction and errors are minimized at every stage. There is total transparency in the project execution and signoffs are taken at various phases like Requirements finalization, Specifications preparation, Project plan, Design and stages of construction.
From the owner’s standpoint a huge amount of time is saved by going in for design-build, time which would otherwise have been lost in micromanaging the project, talking to independent players, minimizing communication bottlenecks, avoiding duplication of effort, reworking and fire fighting.
In design-build, you strive to get it right the first time, every time. Saving of productive time and effort translates to saving in time as it goes without saying. The owner is able to keep tight control of the budget of the project itself, hence mitigating cost escalations which are the bane of projects which are distributed among disparate parties handing disparate functions without a holistic approach binding them.