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Reasons to use a design-build project delivery system

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We hear the term “Integrated Project Delivery” used in the construction world today.

And in my opinion, “Design-Build” is the original and stands as the most consistently successful form of integrated project delivery for construction.

History indicates that Design-Build has been used successfully on all types of construction projects. Projects using Design-Build have been completed in many different countries, large and small in scope, horizontal and vertical and simple and complex in their design and construction.

Reflecting upon more than 30 years’ experience with Design-Build, I am offering five major reasons why owners and design and construction professionals choose a Design-Build project delivery system:

(1) It provides a strategic thinking response to owner demands for increased quality and a continuous improvement commitment to the delivery system and the actual final product.

There is a greater focus on quality control and quality assurance through the continuous involvement of the entire design/construction team throughout the project. And project innovations can be uniquely developed by integrating the skills of the designer and contractor.

(2) It saves time and money through the use of a strategic thinking process for developing the budget, schedule and constructability of the project from the start of the project.

Early contractor involvement enables:

• Construction engineering considerations to be incorporated into the design phase and enhances the constructability of the plans.

• Fast-tracking of the design and construction.

• Concurrent design and construction phases for different segments of the project.

• The ability to get continuous cost updates using construction costs from current projects and communication efficiencies and integration between design, construction engineering and construction team members throughout the schedule.

(3) It provides a strategic approach to avoiding or certainly minimizing the probability of adversarial relationships and potential legal issues. Fewer change- and extra-work orders result from more complete field data and earlier identification and elimination of design errors or omissions that might otherwise show up during the construction phase.

(4) It provides a strategic thinking response to demands for risk management. It provides a reduced potential for claims and litigation after project completion as issues are resolved by the members of the design-build team.

(5) It provides a strategic thinking approach to provide the ultimate level of flexibility through a truly integrated team that is able to take on very challenging and complex building projects.

Glenn Ebersole, Professional Engineer, is strategic vice president, business development/marketing at Hollenbach Construction Inc., an award winning professional construction management, design/build and general contractor organization in Boyertown.

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