December 20, 2011: Design-Build contracts have been in place for the longest period. The reason being the advantages they offer in the present day business environment which requires complex and puzzling options for design specifications, building methods and materials. It makes the process of decision making and implementation quick and cheap. It will also save time from discussions and arguments among the team, a common problem faced by every design team. This is much beneficial for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies.
In such agreements, the clients avail the service of a service provider with some architectural or interior design background- to design the project and then build the project, if the design is accepted by the client. This simplifies the effort in signing different contract with the designer and the contractor.
This approach will not fit into all the requirements. In the case of specialty projects with complex operational requirements, it is better to employ a specialist designer or a design team and contract out the building activity to a contractor. If a design build contractor is a specialist in such projects, he can take care of design and building of the project and other requirements such as HVAC, laying cables, lighting and electrical as well. Usually, a design build contractor will consists of a group of experts that engage in a single contract, which brings the expertise of a few brains into a single entity.
The design-build approach will not offer benefit large projects where it requires specific designs and contract it out to several contractors. The scale of the project along with low cost can offer substantial savings in the cost of construction.
The Design-Build approach suits well for smaller projects, when both money and budgets are tight for the firm. Increase in details and materials will result in increased cost, due to the need for more coordination by the builder. Integrating all this array of activities into a single contractor’s effort will lead to substantial savings.
Economies of scale may not come true in the case of specialty works such as data centre, cabinet systems etc. In such conditions, separate design-build contract with a specialist may not endure cost reduction, but will ensure quality service. Here the client may pay more, but will get value too for the money spent.