Design-Build for Expediting Project Schedules
Single Point of Responsibility
Design-build provides the owner with a single point of responsibility from project inception, through permitting, design, construction, and start-up/commissioning. Within a very short time frame, a team of design and construction professionals begins collaborating to meet the owner's needs, with communications funnelled through a dedicated project manager. By establishing a single point of responsibility, and a collaborative team of engineer and contractor, the design-build approach drastically reduces the potential for conflicts and claims that can occur on fast-tracked projects. Methods of controlling the designer-builder's cost include lump sum pricing prior to selection, where applicable; or alternately, open-book cost reimbursable approaches when scope uncertainties or need for scope flexibility exists.
Early Establishment of Budget and Schedule
When faced with regulatory deadlines, owners often need to quickly determine the project budget to secure the proper funding, and then carefully plan project cash flow. One of the benefits of the design-build approach is the early establishment of the project budget and schedule. Because the contractor is engaged early in the design process, the budget and schedule are developed before the final design is complete and the owner has reliable cost information much earlier than with traditional design-bid-build projects. Since a detailed project schedule is also developed early, the owner and design-builder can work together to establish the project cash flow and account for any special concerns or limitations. The team can also take it a step further by using advanced project scheduling to account for risks and uncertainties that can hinder the project deadline.
When schedules are tight and the pressure is on, choosing a design-build approach for project completion can make all the difference.