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What is meant by Design and Build in Construction?

Design and Build Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide

Design and building as a procurement route in construction is an exciting and innovative approach that offers many benefits for both the client and the contractor.

One of the key benefits of using design and building is that it allows for a more streamlined and efficient construction process. With traditional procurement routes, the client hires a designer to create the plans and specifications for the project, and then separately hires a contractor to build the project. This can lead to delays and miscommunication as the designer and contractor may not be on the same page, or the contractor may not fully understand the design intent.

Design and building eliminates this problem by bringing the designer and contractor together from the very beginning of the project. The contractor is able to offer input and suggestions on the design, and the designer is able to take into account the contractor's expertise and experience. This leads to a more cohesive and cohesive team, which in turn leads to a more efficient and effective construction process.

The client can choose to have the contractor handle all the design work or they can hire a separate consultant to create a concept design and outline specification. Then the contractor is appointed to complete the design and carry out the construction. The contractor may use their in-house designers or hire a separate consultant to complete the design.

In the design and build procurement route, the client, also known as the employer, establishes their project needs and communicates them to potential contractors as "employer's requirements". The contractors then respond with their own proposals, including a cost estimate for the project, known as "contractor's proposals".

Another benefit of design and building is that it allows for a more flexible and responsive approach to construction. With traditional procurement routes, the client may be locked into a specific design and may not be able to make changes once construction has begun. With design and building, the client is able to be more involved in the design process and can make changes as needed. This allows for a more customized and tailored solution that meets the client's specific needs and requirements.

Design and building also allows for a more cost-effective approach to construction. The contractor is able to offer input on the design and suggest cost-saving measures, which can lead to significant savings for the client. Additionally, the more efficient and effective construction process that results from the collaborative approach of design and building can lead to reduced delays and costs.

Lastly, design and building leads to a high-quality end product as the designer, contractor, and client all work together to ensure that the final product meets the client's needs and exceeds their expectations. The contractor's input during the design phase allows for the identification of potential issues before they become major problems, which leads to a more efficient and high-quality construction process.

What are the types of Design & Build?

There are two main types of design and build: single-stage and two-stage.

Single-stage design and build is a process where the contractor is appointed under one agreement to handle both the design and construction of the project. This method is used when all the information necessary to calculate a realistic price is available when tendering begins.

Two-stage design and build, on the other hand, is a process where the contractor is first selected based on their fee, overhead costs, and profit. They then work with the design team, who may be employed by either the contractor or the client, to develop the design. Once the design is complete, a fixed price is negotiated for the second stage, which is the construction phase. In this case, the design team may be novated to the contractor if they are not already employed by them.

When is it suitable to use Design & Build?

It is suitable in certain situations such as:

  • Where a quick start on site is necessary, as design and construction can overlap.

  • When the client wants to minimize their risk, as they have no responsibility for design.

  • For complex technical projects that can benefit from the contractor's expertise in the design stage.

  • When the client does not want to retain full control over the design development.

  • When the client wants to have a single point of responsibility.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

The design and build procurement route offers several advantages, such as:

  • Having a single point of responsibility for design and construction.

  • The ability to commence work on site earlier.

  • Having early price certainty.

  • The benefit of the contractor's experience during the design stage.

However, it also has some disadvantages such as:

  • The client may find it challenging to prepare a comprehensive brief that meets their requirements.

  • It can be hard to compare tenders and determine if they offer value for money.

  • The contractor may prioritize ease of fabrication, speed, and low cost over aesthetic quality.

  • The client needs to commit to a concept design early in the project development.

  • Variations from the original brief can be difficult and expensive to arrange.

It's important to note that design and build procurement route has its pros and cons, and it's important to carefully evaluate if it's the best option for a specific project based on the client's needs, budget and the complexity of the project!

Overall, design and building is a procurement route in construction that offers many benefits for the client, the designer, and the contractor. It leads to a more efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality end result and allows for more collaboration, flexibility and responsiveness, which makes it a great option for most construction projects.

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