What are the advantages to design build as opposed to the conventional system that utilizes both a general contractor and an architect? This is a question that you will learn the answer to in the next few paragraphs. Here are some of the top reasons that this is such a good method and why a partner that is a design builder is so important.
1. When you are partnered with a design builder, everyone is on the same team. Everyone has the same goal – which is to create a project that is successful in that it meets and exceeds the expectations of the client. When the challenges arise – and they do on every single project – there is no need for finger pointing. Everyone simply has to roll up their sleeves and find a solution.
2. Full accountability in that there is one entity that is accountable for every little (and big) thing. This includes how the project looks when it is completed, the cost of it and even the completion time. When you have the same groups build the project that also designed it, there is much closer attention paid to the scheduling and pricing while it is still in the design phase. Everything has a price and it is all taken into account very early in the process. This includes all landscaping allowances, utilities, construction costs and fees. Unlike with traditional construction where the actual price is often much more than what the architect originally said. In other words, design-build focuses more on the results instead of excuses.
3. When you have a design build firm working for you, they are involved from the beginning of the project until the end. This adds a level of efficiency that is not seen in traditional construction as it removes the chances for things to fall through the cracks when going from an architect to a contractor.
4. Design build firms have to be experts both in architecture and in construction. The principals in the firm need to have both the formal architecture training and the field experience in construction. They need to understand how things are priced, what the sequence of events needs to be and how the buildings come together. They should also have experience with structural engineering.
In this new economy, you might notice that there are some architects who try just a bit too hard to appear as if they are a design build firm while they have no field training at all. Alternatively, you will find a few general contractors who, all of a sudden, claim to be experienced designers.
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