The design-build construction method has five primary phases:
- Selecting a Design-Builder
- Pre-construction assessments
- Architectural design
- Post-construction & Warranty
But unlike other construction methods, phases overlap, and all team members collaborate throughout the process to provide rapid project delivery.
Selecting a Design-Builder
In contrast to other methods that begin by selecting an architect, the design-build construction process begins when you select your Design-Builder. Because Design-Builders aim to find you savings throughout design and construction, you’ll benefit from using a qualifications-based selection vs a hard-dollar, low-bid selection process. The reason? Design-builders deliver the best value by evaluating budget solutions early in the design process and by creating continuous price estimates as the design progresses. Limiting your prospective builders to hard-dollar bids before they have a chance to get into the project can lead to misleading and uncertain estimates. Even worse, it can mean a project that doesn’t deliver what you need.
The pre-construction phase of a project is crucial, setting the course for a successful job. It includes business and financial assessments, in which your Design-Builder’s pre-construction staff learn about your business, industry, goals, vision, financial realities and current and future facility needs. Making your Design-Builder aware of your budgetary goals early to ensure the project begin down a path that your budget cannot support.
Concurrently, architects and engineers begin architectural, mechanical and electrical system assessments and review any existing floor plans, fire and smoke preparations, interior room finishes and structural systems. While the design team gathers critical information, surveyors perform a field assessment of your job site to ready it for construction. If you’re improving your current space, your Design-Builder will assess your facility to identify areas of need. These assessments define key parameters like codes, compliance requirements, topography, the area’s weather characteristics, usable on-site natural resources and more.
With all the key information in mind, your project team partners with you to identify the right facility, design and construction program to help you achieve your goals within your budget and time constraints.
At this stage, your project team has a solid understanding of your business and financial needs, project schedule, cost, job site, and your facility’s architectural and mechanical requirements. Next, your construction team and project managers partner with the architectural team to value engineer cost savings into the design.
This is where design-build construction differs from other construction methods. Architects can be employed directly by the Design-Builder (the Bannett Group has an 8 person design staff), or the Design-Builder can subcontract out specialty design to trusted architectural design partners. Architects work on the same team, under the same contract, with the Design-Builder. And all key project team members come together to form a design that is an appropriate blend of form and function. Architects, engineers, construction professionals and key subcontractors and vendors can all add value at the inception of a build.
Following architectural design, you’ll save time, as you won’t need a second bid phase to select a contractor. In fact, your Design-Builder will start readying your job site while design progresses, and elements of construction can begin during the design phase. By overlapping construction and design, your project team can deliver a timely build that makes aggressive schedules possible. You’ll still have a construction team, specialty subcontractors, materials vendors and all the same quality standards as you would in other methods. But the job will get done more quickly, to a clearly defined scope with total accountability.
Post-construction & Warranty
Once your new or renovated facility is complete, your Design-Builder should provide a post-construction handoff. That includes walk-throughs, hands-on training and core documentation for owners, facility managers and facility management teams. Don’t overlook the post-construction handoff, as it’s a critical part of any build.