Friday, 6 April 2007

Design & Build Part 4: Some More Thoughts on Design and Build

Image: MS Office
Keywords: architects, blueprints, construction, contractors, developers
Ok, so the million Dollar question is - 'If the Design & Build process is so good why doesn't everyone use it?'

Well, one disadvantage is that the contractual set-up tends to be much more involved than for the traditional one. It requires a lot more up-front work by the contractor which is largely unpaid and much more risky than traditional project bidding. From a home owners perspective the Design and Build process has been largely associated with large public projects and the benefits for smaller projects have not been publicized well. Also there is the fear that one would not get the best deal, by locking in too early and to one provider.

But in our competitive world, there is an emphasis on customer satisfaction to provide repeat and referral business. A properly documented and executed Design & Build process is the more customer friendly and satisfying because it almost totally eliminates the wiggle room for stretching out your project's time or cost. It also gives the client a lot more influence and power in the relationship. By dealing with just one representative responsible for all areas of the project, confusion about who was supposed to do what, when that was to happen and who had to make the call is made very simple and direct. If Design & Build is good enough for mega projects, its benefits will compel smaller consumers to demand the same protection and services. My prediction is that over the next few years Design & Build will be on the rise as consumers insist on having more control and less risk on their projects.
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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