Prime TexasEJ Bradley CompanyChisholm PlazaParkview Centre



Design-build is a process of design and construction that improves costs, improves quality, reduces schedules, and provides an overall better experience for the owner. Design-build is the method of choice in many countries when it comes to design and construction and has grown rapidly in the US over the past several decades.

What is Design-Build?

Design-build, as the name implies, combines the design and construction phases of a project into one package.

In a "traditional" construction process, the owner retains an architecture/engineering firm, perhaps through a bidding process, to design a building or facility. Once this is complete, the owner then puts the construction phase out to bid based on the design specifications. The construction contractor is usually chosen based upon a low bid.

In the design-build process, the owner retains a design-build firm, through negotiation or competitive bid. The design-builder is then responsible for organizing the TEAM that will design and do construction for the project.

Advantages of Design-Build

Here are some of the many advantages of design-build:

  • One point of contact for the owner.
    • The owner has one group to go to for questions, answers and responsibility. The owner does not have to manage the project as a multiple phase project with multiple, separate parties. Likewise, the owner does not have to put out to bid each phase separately in a non overlapping manner.

  • Architecture/Engineering and Contractor are a Team
    • Working as a team with a common goal, the architecture/engineering and contractor groups are better able to communicate, test ideas in a quick and efficient manner before final design, and work in a non-adversarial manner. The improved communication is not only within this group, but with the owner, too.

  • Early Definition of Costs
    • The design-build team, working closely with the client, accurately conceptualizes the completed project at an early stage. Continuous and concurrent estimating during the development of design results in knowledge of firm overall cost far sooner than is traditionally possible. This process also permits making early decisions - which have the greatest impact upon cost - in an informed, cost-based environment.

  • Time Savings
    • Design and construction are fast tracked with bidding periods and redesign time eliminated. Long-delivery components are identified and ordered early in the design process. Therefore, total design-construction time is significantly reduced, which translates into earlier utilization of the completed facility.

  • Dollar Savings
    • Design and construction personnel, working and communicating as a team, evaluate alternative materials and methods efficiently and accurately. From the outset of the project, both design and construction expertise is brought to bear upon all components of a project from site work through mechanical and electrical systems. Because cost evaluation is progressively "feedback" into the design process as it proceeds - not after design is complete - decisions affecting cost and design are continuously optimized.

      Because the builder is responsible for both design and construction, cost overruns resulting from design error or faulty coordination are the responsibility of the builder, not owner. The owner pays only for scope changes which he initiates.