Successful Design-Build Projects

Association of Construction and Development
September 12, 2012 — 1,761 views  

Some construction projects carry an inherent financial liability, and contractors and buyers are constantly on the lookout for ways to minimize operational risks and hazards. This is the reason why some professionals choose to turn toward design-build construction (abbreciated D-B or design/build on official documentation) during residential and commercial projects.

However, before choosing this method of construction, one must first understand exactly why it is different from a traditional building process.

Understanding Design-Build Construction

Essentially, design-build construction affixes a single point of responsibility in case anything goes wrong. This individual is known as the design-builder or the design-build contractor. The entity can also be a conglomerate corporation as well. The point is, this person or company oversees every aspect of construction, while traditionally this task falls to middlemen or specialists. Typically, a design-build contractor is an expert in the construction industry, someone like a structural engineer, an architect or a general contractor.

Also referred to as "master building," the D-B process is claimed by some to be millennia old. Think of it this way - in the past, a stone mason might have risen through the construction ranks to become a master builder. He or she would be a specialist in molding stone, but would also know the required specialists needed to complete a residence. This person would oversee the finding and hiring of lumber providers, architects and other professionals.

The same can be said of a modern-day design builder. From a customer's standpoint, it is better to have an individual to go to for answers than an effectively faceless construction company. A design-builder contractor can help explain the current scope of a project to a concerned buyer, but can also be blamed if anything goes wrong.

Rival methods

Design-bid-build is considered to be the chief adversary of design-build construction. In this process, an agency or parent company composes specific contracts that govern the intricate specialties of niche professionals. For example, the same stone mason previously mentioned would not gather all of the workers under his or her banner - instead, he or she would assign each of them responsibilities and hold an individual accountable if a task was not finished in time.

Most construction professionals prefer to work in a design-build setting because they cannot be held responsible if something goes wrong. However, design-build contractors can earn more money because of the high risk associated with the position.

Association of Construction and Development