What is Design/Build?

Design/Build is a method of project delivery in which – the design/build team – works together with the project owner to provide design and construction services. It is one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion – thereby integrating the roles of designer and contractor as it relates to communication with the project owner. Design/build is an alternative to the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. Under the latter approach, design and construction services are split into separate entities and separate work. Often times, this disconnect leads to conflicts, miscommunication and cost overruns.

Benefits of DESIGN/BUILD

1. single point of responsibility.

The design/build contracts combine design and construction quality, cost, and schedule into a single point of responsibility—the design/build firms. Therefore, the owner’s control of the entire design/build process is strengthened and financial risk is reduced by contracting with a design/build firm and its in-house contractors as the design/build firm is unconditionally committed to the success of the project.

2. IMPROVED project quality.

Using the design/build delivery, the designer, architect and contractor coordinate as a team, leaving an owner free to focus on the project’s scope and general decision making. This leads to a higher quality project that better suits the owner’s needs in the following ways:

  • The design/build team works together to produce a complete set of construction documents. By contrast, with a design-bid-build delivery, the owner is responsible for providing complete documents to the contractor. 
  • Constructability can be reviewed throughout the design process by all members of the design/build team. This leads to effective value engineering ideas created by the designer, architect, contractor and engineer working together to maximize design and functionality while maintaining budgetary and schedule concerns.

3. accurate cost projections.

The design/build delivery system allows the contractor to accurately project the budget early in the design phase. A design/build team, working closely with its client, accurately conceptualizes the completed project at an early stage. Continuous and concurrent estimating during the development of design results in accurate, reliable costs and schedule far sooner than traditionally possible. This permits the firm establishment of project feasibility and financing well in advance of the drafting of final construction documents.


Value engineering and constructability review are enhanced and utilized continuously throughout the project duration. The early involvement of the design/build team is essential in maximizing the full potential of the design/build delivery system. Design and construction personnel – working as a team – evaluate alternative systems, materials and methods efficiently and accurately. From the outset of the project, both design and construction expertise is brought to bear upon all components of a project. Decisions that can be made during the programming, concept and design phases will impact the schedule and costs of the project more than any other phase of construction. 

5. time Savings.

With a design/build project, design and construction for a project can easily overlap, bidding periods and redesign time are eliminated, allowing for fast track construction. The owner benefits from this shortened timeframe because construction costs can be reduced and your move in date will be available sooner. 

6. improved risk management.

Because the design/build team has the responsibility for developing drawings and specifications, change orders for errors and omissions are significantly reduced. Each stakeholder on the design/build team is responsible for the risks they are best positioned to manage.

Design/build is easier for the owner,more efficient,faster and less expensive than any other process.