The delivery method for construction projects falls into two broad categories: Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build.
Design-Bid-Build is a phased, step-by-step process that begins with the architect, followed by client-approved plans being bid out to multiple competing construction companies. The winning bidder becomes the appointed contractor who completes the project. This approach demands a thoroughly vetted document package and a best price/value determination often under rushed time constraints. Always present is the risk that the construction documents have not covered everything required. The lack of contractor-vendor input during the design and planning phase may handicap the project at a later date, causing costly delays. Further, savings on the cost of construction materials may be overlooked.
The Design-Build process is superior and owner/developer friendly because it involves contractors and vendors from the start. Either architect or builder can take the pivotal role of managing all parties from the beginning. After careful selection of the Design-Builder, a strong team is established to address project needs and goals, thus establishing parameters that become the team’s collective task. The Design- Builder and its team become financially responsible early enough in the process to manage risk, assuring a smooth delivery, which saves the client time and money. When trusted with the responsibility of Design-Builder, or any negotiated approach, GSD embraces the task to service the client beyond expectations.
An example of Design-Build in action was our retail construction engagement with Wentworth, a chain of mall-based art galleries. Without experienced construction management on staff, delivery of their retail galleries was taking longer than expected and costing more than it should. We stepped in, tasked with total project delivery: consultation on construction lease exhibits, multiple unit delivery flow, construction specifications, permitting, and problem solving. In a multi-year roll out of 30-40 units, Wentworth was able to enjoy timely, planned openings, leaving them to do what they do best: sell magnificent works of art.
Another example from the education construction sector involved a charter school with a mandate to open for the coming school year. Knowing exactly what was needed but lacking time to pursue the Design-Build process, GSD stepped in to meet the aggressive deadline. Via early planning, firm budgets, and streamlined permitting, the school was delivered on time and on budget!
The Design-Build process (and hybrids of it) builds trust with the client. They quickly learn that our early, pre-construction project management relieves them of much stress and responsibility. We build a sense of trust that we are working honorably on their behalf every step of the way.
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