Design-Build is a process that was applied as early as 1800 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia when the Code of Hammurabi assigned Master builders absolute responsibility for both design and construction. Today, we are seeing a resurgence in the use of design-build as owners select this as the most economical and efficient project delivery method. The popularity of design-build is owner-driven. Customers, weary of architect-contractor disputes, project delays and prices that spiral out of control, have locked on to design-build as the most logical way to eliminate most of these problems.
Design-Build construction is the method that most effectively delivers to the owner the critical elements of price, function, aesthetics, time and quality. The design-build concept is one in which the contractor-builder and project designer work closely with the customer-owner from the first day. The building teams job is to help the customer develop the job and explore all his/her options. Together, builder-contractor and designer provides the owner with single-source responsibility and direct lines of communications.
We at Stephenson General Contractors encourage our clients to pursue design-build because our experience has taught us that this process improves quality, reduces time, lowers price and minimizes disputes. The client-owner determines the budget and I know we can build faster because we are in direct communication with the client-owner from the beginning. Questions and quality issues are addressed upfront. Together we control the project.
There isn't much new about the design-build delivery method. The really large projects - The Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building - have always been design-build. So the big boys have always had the advantage. We can now offer our clients, big and small, this advantage.