Design-Bid-Build is Not a Good Fit for Commercial Tenant Finish
KANSAS CITY, MO- The concept of design-build (DB) has been around for centuries. In fact, it has been around much longer than the design-bid-build process that is so popular today. “DB lost favor with the public over a century ago when lobbying efforts by Architects Associations became powerful enough to sway customers into believing the design-bid-build process was superior,” says Scott Hamele, President of Construction DesignWorks, Inc. “ If you have a budget and a schedule to live with, which most of us do, then design-build is the way to go.”
One Responsible Party
General Contractors (GC) are typically responsible for 100% of the construction costs of a project. It makes reasonable sense to then incorporate the design into their scope of work that results in one responsible party. Whether or not the GC has an in-house architect or subcontracts out these services, the GC becomes the single point of contact and responsible party to ensure the project is designed and built to meet the expectations of the client as well as stays on budget.
A design-build process allows the creativity and expertise of the architect and the GC’s construction and job costing experience to provide a smooth project for the client. The architectural elements are fine-tuned with the help of the pricing feedback of the general contractor during the design phase.
Most design-bid-build projects require a period of time after the bidding process to allow for the General Contractor(s) to provide value engineering ideas. These are cost-saving ideas that the GCs and their subcontractors come up with alternate design elements. In the design-build process, this value engineering is done during the design and not after a laborious bidding process. It can save weeks if not months of time.
Clients hate change orders. Architects do not like them. Believe it or not, General Contractors despise them. GCs do not like to see clients shell out extra money for things that should have been incorporated into the design from the beginning. There are always unforeseen elements that require change orders, especially in remodels. However, design-build historically reduces change orders as it incorporates the design team, general contractor, subcontractors, and suppliers’ experience and resources into the design process. Thus weeding out flaws in the design and narrowing down options.