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When is the Design-Build Construction Process Not the Best Option?

Apr 2, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

In some of our past blogs, we’ve discussed the design-build process: how it works and the benefits of choosing this method of construction delivery. There are, however, certain instances when the design-build process might not be the best option for your project.

When Does Design-Build Contracting Not fit?

Not every project will be a good candidate for the design-build process. Traditionally, anything in the public sector does not comply or work well with design-build delivery. The most notable project in the State of Minnesota was the rebuild of the I-35 bridge after the collapse. The rebuild proposal was identified as a “Best Value,” (aka Design-Build). While the project was completed through this avenue, countless suits followed the award of the project.

The state ultimately prevailed and was able to build this project through “Best Value/Design-Build,” but the resources dedicated to it far outweighed the result according to many professionals in the industry.

Project Scale

Which aspects made this process a bad choice? Project financial size, physical size, and complexity may make this process difficult to deliver through design-build delivery systems. Once a project gets large enough, the financial benefits diminish. It’s often best not to hire a single group containing an architect and third-party engineers to get the most competitive and competent bids.

Professional Requirements

When you hire professional service groups, more groups are capable of building off of a “full specification” versus interpreted specification. This is especially true in the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural components of the project. Note: this creates a good opportunity for the Construction Manager process or the General Contracting process[1] 

Many design firms often complete their project using in-house architects that specialize in few types of building types or styles, rendering them unqualified compared to third-party architects with an unbiased focus and more well-rounded or direct experience. In-house architects will also push for systems that they specialize in based on their self-performed assemblies, which can be viewed as both negative and positive.   

The BCI Design-Build Process

Our goal is to always keep your schedule and your budget in mind using a team-based relationship. We set clear expectations and goals and manage them in a way that allows autonomy with accountability. We feel your risk is our risk, and the long-term view is how we will yield knowing we share the same home, resources, and networks. We attempt to lead this way in the pre-construction process, the construction process, and the close-out process.

At BCI Construction, we strive for the best possible resources, leaders, and partnerships available in the industry. Our teams are motivated, expert planners and coordinators with decades of experience. If the traditional method of construction delivery will not best suit your project, we’ll adapt our process to fit your needs. Contact BCI Construction to get started.

Link to blog pt. 1

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