Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Design & Build Part 3: How Will We Know If a Design and Build Contractor Is Pricing Accurately?

Image: MS Office
Keywords: architects, blueprints, construction, contractors, developers
A Design & Build contractor can save money on a project by doing good cost planning, managing site logistics and reducing or eliminating rework/redesign costs. But why would they not take advantage of their position to squeeze the client and fatten their margins? They are, after all, engaged before the design is finalized and have ample opportunity to pump up the numbers. The controls again are built into how they secure their engagement - by the budget and cost estimate they develop during the initial discussions and consultation. Unless the scope changes drastically they are contracted to stay within those limits. The firm contract price which is developed during the detailed design is based on a published fee structures and cost guidelines. Since they are involved in all the stages of the process, they also take some of the risks by giving a firm price at the beginning. They are stake-holders in their clients' projects. And if we as the clients still have doubt about cost validity, additional checks and balances can be introduced, such as an independent cost consultant, detailed fee breakdowns with negotiated percentages and fully disclosed and detailed change order pricing.

From the standpoint of cost and time controls, the Design & Build process outperforms over the traditional construction one.

Some more thoughts on Design & Build. Click here to read on.
This article was contributed by Ari Berman, a Management Consultant from Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in operations and process change. He has helped companies spanning aircraft builders to soda drink manufacturers to increase their value - finding and improving important details that never got attended to in past. His work in the construction industry includes overseeing commercial construction projects in retail shopping malls across Canada. He can be reached at 647-235-8181 or via e-mail on

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