Design-Build Services

Architecture, Interiors, Planers, Engineers, Landscapes Design

What Is Design-Build?

In its simplest terms, the design-build construction delivery method replaces the traditional method of awarding separate contracts for design and construction. The contractor, designers, subcontractors, and owner work together as one team to build a project that meets or exceeds the owner’s expectations. Team members focus on communication, collaboration, and solving problems together rather than pointing fingers and placing blame.

Below is a comparison of the contractual relationships using the traditional design-bid-build method of construction vs. design-build.

With the traditional method, owners must manage two (or more) separate contracts in which the owner becomes the middleman, settling disputes between the designer and the contractor. This fosters an adversarial relationship between the parties, which the owner must mediate. This is not ideal. With the design-build method, the owner needs only to manage a single contractor with the contractor, who forms a team with the designer and manages all subcontractors. Together, they work with the owner to develop the project’s goals, budget, and construction schedule. Everyone on the design-build team is focused on the end product rather than creating turf wars.

The 5 Phases of the Design-Build Process

There are essentially five phases involved in the design-build process, and while this may sound like a lot of steps for a simplified process, it’s important to understand that the phases often overlap. Other construction methods often consist of several steps, which are typically performed by separate entities, and upon completion of the previous.

1. Team Selection

The first step of the design-build process is for the owner to choose a design-build team. Owners carefully vet potential candidates and often choose the contractor-architect team with the most design-build experience and that best understands the company’s vision, needs, and budget.

2. Pre-construction

Though it may seem like a short phase, the pre-construction step is just as important, if not more so, than any other part of the process. Attention to detail during this phase is critical, as this is when the design-builder will learn about the owner’s business, including its goals, challenges, budget, and overall vision for the project. It’s a time for asking as many questions as necessary, so as to get a solid picture of what is expected to be delivered.

3. Architectural Design

Once the project parameters have been clearly defined, including the timeline, budget, and location, the architectural design phase can begin. At this point, some of the initial design strategy work may have already begun during the pre-construction phase. From here, all project team members will work together to develop the best possible design to help the project succeed.

4. Construction

If the design-build team has not already begun initial construction during the design phase, then it can begin immediately after. However, it is common during design-build projects for there to be some overlap between the design and construction phase, which can speed up the project considerably. Communication is simplified throughout the construction process, as there is typically just one point of contact for the project.

5. Post-construction

Upon completion of the project, the design-build team provides an overview of the project deliverables, as well as various O&M training materials, such as instructional videos, documented procedures, and in-person training sessions for applicable personnel. Because all of the work is done by a single entity, the post-construction process is often much more streamlined than when the designers and contractors are working separately.

The Benefits of the Design-Build Process

To begin, the estimated cost of the project is established very early on in the process, which eliminates the risk of going over budget later on during construction. The design-build process allows for more simplified project management, since all team members are working together under a single contract.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of using the design-build method is the speed at which projects can be completed. By simplifying every part of the process—from the design-build team selection, to the design process, to construction—the entire project can be more efficiently managed and completed much faster than with the design-bid-build method. And, because the project can be completed more quickly, the building can be occupied sooner, and used for its intended purpose.

The design-build process also allows design-build teams to produce a repeatable project plan, which can be altered slightly for additional projects for the same client, or they can be customized to meet other client projects. This can be beneficial to both design-build teams, as well as owners. Cost Savings

Cost Savings

Leadership from the Mimaran Projects team in both design and construction ensures cost savings through the prudent use of materials, cost-efficient construction processes and reduced labor costs.

Accelerated Schedule

With the Mimaran Projects team involved from the start of the design process, components of the project—such as site preparation and foundation work—can take place while more detailed designs are being completed.

Hassle-free Relationships

Because the owner, architect and builder work together as a team, emphasis is placed on harmony and combined solutions.

Time Savings

Because the project is more efficient and construction can actually begin before the final designs are completed, owners can occupy their facilities sooner.


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