October 22, 2020 / ,

Design Build Construction Is The Future of Building

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If you check out our Modular Construction page that’s listed under services in the main navigation, you’ll see that one of our construction offerings is called design-build construction. On the page we list it as “design build expertise.”

This helpful guide is meant to give you a general overview of what that means, and why you’ll be glad to work with a modular construction company capable of design build project management.

So let’s dig in.


Design Build: It’s a Process

What is design build construction? Design build is an efficient process or method in which one company is contracted to oversee a project from initial design conceptions and planning, through the construction of the building itself, and ending with the final delivery of your beautiful new building project.


Understanding the 3 Project Delivery Systems

Design Build Vs. Design Bid Build Vs. Construction Management


Project Delivery System #1: Design Build

As mentioned above, design build is a streamlining process that brings together all of the major components of your building construction project under one contract. The design build company will execute and oversee the entirety of your construction process. The result of this type of management is an efficient workflow process, aligned project logistics and goals, and a high quality, quick delivery of a finished building.


Project Delivery System #2: Design Bid Build

Design bid build actually refers to the most common construction process for traditional construction companies. For this type of delivery process, the design company is contracted separately from the construction company. 

While the resulting building may be exactly what you want, companies that utilize a design bid build contract for multiple contractors are putting themselves at risk. The mutually exclusive companies are not legally contracted to work well together and this lack of collaboration can lead to hurdles in communication, disagreements, and refusal to work together. This may delay the time it takes to deliver your final project.


Project Delivery System #3: Construction Management or Construction Manager at Risk

In this type of process, an owner relinquishes all construction responsibility and some of the cost risk onto a construction manager. The construction manager is then on the hook for delivering a project for the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) established in the design phase of construction. This puts them in charge of all contracting and construction management and the execution of the work.

While initially attractive, it’s important for owners to recognize that they’ve relinquished total control over to a third party. This can result in conflicts of interests as well as confrontation and high costs should design changes be demanded by an owner.


What are the Advantages of Design Build Construction?

Here are a list of the biggest advantages when it comes to utilizing design-build construction:

  1. Increased collaboration between teams/subcontractors
  2. Single contract for the entire project
  3. Streamlined workflow
  4. Logistics management overseen by the design-build contractor
  5. Efficiencies result in a cost-efficient design build process
  6. Cost established early on in the process allowing for a more fixed project price
  7. Efficiencies result in delivering construction projects on time
  8. Construction can begin prior to design completion
  9. Owner transfers risk, expertise, and resource management to one entity
  10. Comprehensive specifications established upfront in the project


The Design Build Approach Using A Modular Construction Process

Since we are a modular construction company that offers design build expertise, let’s create an example of the process within our industry. 


See here for a complete guide to the Modular Construction Process.


Suppose that you’d like to hire a modular construction company to act as your next commercial general contractor to tackle a design build project. 

Here is how the design build process would look for you:


Step 1) Contract a Design Build Capable Modular Construction Company

After doing all of your homework to hire the best modular construction company for your project, you select a company that offers design build services. Contracting a company of this type means that they’ll manage a team of subcontractors or offer the services of their diverse design-build, in-house team.


Step 2) The Pre-Construction Assessment

We might be biased, but don’t work with a company that doesn’t have a plan in place to cover a pre-construction assessment. In this crucial step, your design-build construction company will evaluate your company, your financials, your industry as a whole, your visions and goals.

This also a great opportunity to assess the financial reality of your current situation and balance the needs of short-term requirements for construction, and long-term considerations.

With modular construction, we can build you the exact modules you’ll need at this time. But during the assessment phase, we’ll also be able to plan for the addition of more modules as your company grows or your service offerings evolve.


Step 3) The Design Team Begins the Planning Process

The design builder will manage and contract for design build engineers, architects, project management teams, subcontractors, and specialty trade professionals to collaborate together and with you to layout cost-effective designs that meet all your modular building requirements. This includes the needs of your staff, clients, customers, your maintenance team, anyone else invested in the functionality of your project, and your financial goals.

It’s during this step, that everyone should have a pretty clear understanding of what the final costs of your project will be. And your design-builder will be in charge of making sure that your project stays as close as possible to this determined price-point.


Step 4) Modular Construction Begins

For modular construction, we can begin the construction process even before the final design is completed. This will give us a two-fold head start on almost any traditional construction company.

The second part of modular construction that allows you to receive a quicker final project is that the site preparation and foundation work can all be completed while the individual modular units of your construction project are being built in an off-site area.


Step 5) Delivery of Constructed Modular Building

Once your modular building or prefabricated building has all of its components assembled and permitted, and the site preparation is completed, your design-build contractor will arrange for the transportation and logistics to deliver your project and assemble it on-site.

The buildings are stacked, welded together, utilities are connected, finish work is executed, and any necessary landscaping that was contracted in will be finished.


Step 6) Post-Construction

The final step is smooth exchange of information about your new modular building facility. This means that the design-build modular contractor has assembled all necessary documentation about the final specs of your project, locations of important serviceable components, etc.

This ensures that any future maintenance and construction teams can easily step on your campus and know where they need to go to fix, or install new construction projects.


Is design-build more expensive than other building processes?

No. While it might seem like purchasing this level of expertise, design, and resource management would be more costly than a design bid build or construction management process, studies have found that that is not the case.

In a study conducted by the Design-Build Institute of America, they laid out some of the specific cost and time savings associated with design build services in contrast to the other two construction project delivery systems.

Their findings reported:

Cost Performance of Design Build Projects:

  • Design build projects were 1.9% less expensive than Construction Manager @ Risk per square foot.
  • Design build projects were .3% less expensive than Design Bid Build construction per square foot.
  • Design Build projects also saw a 2.4% less cost growth than Construction Manager at Risk projects.
  • Design Build projects saw a 3.8% less cost growth than Design Bid Build projects.

Schedule Performance of Design Build Projects:

  • Design build projects see a 3.9% less schedule growth than Construction Manager at Risk projects.
  • Design build projects see a 1.7% less schedule growth than Design Bid Build projects.
  • Design build projects were completed 13% faster than Construction Manager at Risk projects.
  • Design build projects were completed 36% faster than Design Bid Build projects.
  • From a design through final construction project completion, Design Build projects were delivered, on average, 61% faster than Construction Manager at Risk projects and 102% faster than Design Bid Build projects.


Ready to Join the Modular Construction Revolution With Our Design-Build Process?

If you’d like to find out how our award winning, fast growing construction team can build your custom modular building, then contact us today. Select the “request a quote” button on this page and one of our modular building experts would be happy to connect with you about why developers, building managers, and contractors love working with us.

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