Design build is a project delivery system designed to give a more streamlined approach to construction projects. The system brings the planning, design and construction functions of a project together to form a single team with the aim to deliver projects more quickly. Nearly 40% of all non-residential construction projects use the design build approach, with its popularity continuing to grow momentum.

What is the design build approach?

As the name implies, the design build approach combines both the design and construction aspects of a project. An easy way to look at it is to think about putting together a sports team. You’re picking the teammates you know you can trust and collaborate with in order to win the game – in this case, a winning construction or renovation project. The whole idea of a design build approach is to save money and time, as well as prevent contract disputes between the owner, designer and builder. There are many other benefits to the design build approach which can be detailed through the following:

1. Total accountability

The design build method doesn’t consist of just one person, but instead, a team responsible and accountable for the entire project. From the end result, to the costs associated, to how quickly the project is completed, the design build contractors are held accountable as a team. Because of this, all aspects of the construction project are taken into account early on, with the design build approach breaking down the departmental barriers typically seen in the design and construction industry.

2. Continuity

A design build team is involved in the process from start to finish, aiding in the efficiency and continuity of the project. The continuity between designer, builder and constructor greatly diminishes the chances of project items being overlooked.

3. Expertise

Design build firms are experts in the fields of design and construction. All parties should be professionals with formal qualifications, architectural training and proven experience. They should also have a deep understanding of pricing, sequencing, and how buildings and renovation projects come together. There is a great advantage to working with designers who think like builders and builders who think like designers, since it allows all aspects of a project to come together professionally and to the highest of standards.

4. Owner involvement

The design build approach is unique, since it operates under the assumption that the owner wants to be an active participant in the design & construction of their building. By being involved in all aspects of a construction project, owners can guarantee that their goals and ideas will be brought to fruition and to their standard. This owner involvement builds more pride and a sense of accomplishment, allowing the owner to be engaged in every step of the building project.

5. Collaboration

With everyone’s input and ideas being considered and utilised from the beginning, the team is able to empower and collaborate with each other to produce a high quality product. Design build eliminates any room for ego and allows the owner to retain full control over the project while working together with the design and construction subcontractors.

6. Time saving

The design build approach makes it easier to stick to the construction schedule, meaning there is less wasted time. Decisions throughout the design and construction process can be revisited or manipulated without any change orders or additional fees. Design build can therefore benefit projects that are on a tight schedule or agencies with a need to fast-track their projects, allowing for the return on investment to be capitalised sooner.

7. Cost saving

With the design build approach, construction costs are determined and fixed during the design process. Due to the abbreviated design process, there are lower architectural design and engineering costs. The design build method saves approximately 6% of project costs compared to a typical design-bid-build process. In this traditional approach, the owner has no way of knowing which parts of the project may be cost-prohibitive until the completion of the design process.

Utilising the design build approach for quality and efficiency

The design build approach uses the concept of team collaboration to deliver a quality project on time without having to make any shortcuts or incur excess costs. This method is based on teamwork, mutual respect and shared leadership to come up with the best, most time and cost-effective solutions.

For a professional and collaborative approach to your home build, find out why Gemmill Homes is a builder you can trust to see your design to construction process fulfilled to the highest standard.