With over 95 years’ experience in the construction industry, the Mowery team understands completing projects quickly and efficiently not only saves time, but also money, which contributes to a remarkable customer experience. Whether we are building a warehouse or distribution center, senior living facility, or auto dealership, one way Mowery provides rapid project delivery is through design-build construction.

You may be asking, what is design-build construction? Instead of a project owner hiring an architect to design their project and then hiring a general contractor to build the structure, the design-build delivery method is where one company handles both the design and construction phases of a project. This team is responsible (and holds liability) for all aspects of the project including estimation, pre-construction, design, engineering, construction, and post-construction to name a few. The design-build contractor is even responsible for finding and managing subcontractors and vendors if the work is not self-performed. 

While there are many advantages to this popular construction delivery method, there are also some challenges to consider. To dig deeper into design-build construction and learn more about the pros and cons of this delivery method, keep reading!

 

Opportunities

When considering the design-build construction delivery method, there are many opportunities project owners should consider, which include:

  • Faster Delivery Speed
  • Cost Savings
  • One Source of Accountability
  • Expertise in Multiple Disciplines

According to the Construction Industry Institute, the delivery speed of design-build projects is 33.5 percent faster than design-bid-build projects. Because most design-build contractors have an in-house architect and designer, they can begin the build phase concurrent with the design phase meaning the project starts much sooner than with other delivery methods. 

Additionally, because the design-build contractor (one company) is responsible for estimating, designing, and constructing the building, the costs of all resources (i.e., materials, labor, etc.) are identified early on to ensure the project is streamlined and budget-friendly. In fact, according to the Construction Industry Institute, the unit cost of design-build projects is 6.1 percent lower than the design-bid-build delivery method.

In addition to faster delivery and cost savings, design-build provides project owners the opportunity to work with one team, which means there is one source of accountability. The architect designing the structure works for the same company as the builders, which is beneficial because the team dynamic is already established and if a challenge arises, the project owner can rest assured their design-build firm will be able to work together to provide a creative solution to the issue.

Plus, having one source of accountability streamlines the project and makes communication easier. Communicating with the architect, the builder, and subcontractors can get confusing and frustrating for the project owner. When working with a design-build company, the project owner will have one main point of contact, like the project superintendent, who they will communicate with directly to address project updates, needs, and more.

Lastly, when project owners decide to work with a design-build firm, they gain access to a team who has expertise in diverse areas. Not only will the team have experience in architectural design, but they will also have knowledge of the latest building trends and technology. By choosing to work with a design-build team, project owners can tap into diverse insights that will assure their project is completed on time, within budget, and to high-quality standards.

 

Challenges

Although design-build construction provides many advantages to project owners, there are a few challenges they should be aware of before deciding which construction delivery method is right for them. These challenges include:

  • No Bidding Process
  • Establishment of Trust

When it comes to the design-build delivery method, there is no bidding process. Instead of project owners setting the scope for their project and asking general contractors to bid, they select a design-build contractor who then estimates their project and outlines the scope. While cutting out the bidding process can raise initial cost estimates, the overall budget for the design-build method will offer cost savings.

Additionally, design-build construction requires trust. The design-build contractor will manage design plans, subcontractors, material purchasing, schedules, and budget. Therefore, because of their level of involvement in the project, the project owner needs to be able to trust their design-build partner to make the best decisions for the project.

At Mowery, we build it as if its our own and are held responsible every step of the way. Using construction management software, like PROCORE, we can keep all project documentation, change orders, photographs, inspections, and more in one easily accessible platform. Our clients also have access to their PROCORE account, so they can receive project updates in real time. From the quality of our work to our daily interactions with clients and vendors, we strive to create a mutual level of trust between our constituents and team.

 

The Go-To Design-Build Contractor in Central PA

With a longstanding history and years of success bringing our client’s visions to life, Mowery is the go-to design-build contractor in Mechanicsburg, PA. Not only do we offer expedited timelines and cost savings through our design-build services, but we also offer customers a three-year extended warranty on all projects, no change order policy, quality assurance program, project technology, and so much more!

See for yourself the remarkable projects our team has designed and built for well-known clients by visiting our projects page today!