We sometimes get asked “why design build”, or more specifically, “why architect led design build”? So we have put together a few paragraphs to explain why we think this is an ideal way to go about a remodel, addition, or new house project. Here it is:
Why Architect-led Design Build?
It takes a team to build a home
In a traditional model, an owner hires both an architect and a contractor. With the design-build model, the owner hires one team to design and construct the project. The result is a project with open communication with no finger pointing at the other party. One entity has accountability for the success of the project from design thru completion. There is continuity of design and project goals throughout the process, with realized cost savings.
One of the greatest advantages of the design-build is open communication. Too often in the traditional architect/builder/owner relationship there is finger pointing when complications arise (and there is always something whether new construction or remodel). As a design-build team, we recognize the importance of being in this together and have the same goals and objectives. Collectively we work together to find solutions to any complications that arise.
One entity is responsible for everything! What does that mean to the owner? The great benefit to the owner is that cost, scheduling, design, and fees are accurately coordinated starting early in the design phase. When the same entity that designs a project builds the project, cost and scheduling are integrated into the design much earlier, saving clients costly design and scope changes late in the process.
Too often in a traditional project delivery the architect doesn’t get to be very involved in the project construction, only going to the site a few times during construction, if at all. The result can be a weakening of the design concept because the contractor will be making uninformed design decisions. In our design-build method, the architect is the leading team member. Bi-weekly site visits with the client and construction manager are the norm. The result is continuity of design concepts and detailing from drawing boards through the project completion.
Cost and Time Saving
Because the architect and builder are part of the same team there is time and cost savings. The cost saving starts early in the design process with estimating of construction cost early in the process and letting that inform the design. The savings continue during construction with the architects’ involvement. Being one entity, the architect is always on hand to answer questions that inevitably arise. Decisions are made quicker and often there is little fee involved. In a traditional delivery method, there is often a lot of waiting for direction from the architect. Or, the architect may not even get to be involved which can impact the end results significantly.