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Design-Build

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DESCRIPTION

Design–build (or design/build, and abbreviated D–B or D/B accordingly) is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor. In contrast to “design–bid–build” (or “design–tender”), design–build relies on a single point of responsibility contract and is used to minimize risks for the project owner and to reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project. “DB with its single point responsibility carries the clearest contractual remedies for the clients because the DB contractor will be responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault”.

The traditional approach for construction projects consists of the appointment of a designer on one side, and the appointment of a contractor on the other side. The design–build procurement route changes the traditional sequence of work. It answers the client’s wishes for a single point of responsibility in an attempt to reduce risks and overall costs. It is now commonly used in many countries and forms of contracts are widely available.

The “design–builder” is often a general contractor, but in many cases a project is led by a design professional (architect, engineer, architectural technologist or other professional designers). Some design–build firms employ professionals from both the design and construction sector. Where the design–builder is a general contractor, the designers are typically retained directly by the contractor. Partnership or a joint venture between a design firm and a construction firm may be created on a long term basis or for one project only.

In 1993, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)[4] was formed. Its membership is composed of design and construction industry professionals as well as project owners. DBIA promotes the value of design–build project delivery and teaches the effective integration of design and construction services to ensure success for owners and design and construction practitioners. The Design-Build Institute of America is an organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design–build.

The Canadian Design-Build Institute (CDBI) describes itself as “The recognized voice of Design-Build practitioners in Canada, promoting and enhancing the proper utilization of Design-Build method of procurement and contracting”

The rise of design–build project delivery has threatened the traditional hierarchies and silos of the design and construction industry. As a result, a debate has emerged over the value of design–build as a method of project delivery.

Critics of the design–build approach claim that design–build limits the clients’ involvement in the design and allege that contractors often make design decisions outside their area of expertise. They also suggest that a designer—rather than a construction professional—is a better advocate for the client or project owner and/or that by representing different perspectives and remaining in their separate spheres, designers and builders ultimately create better buildings.

A 2011 study analyzing the design–build project delivery method in the United States shows design–build was used on about 40 percent of non-residential construction projects in 2010, a ten percent increase since 2005. The study was commissioned by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and was completed by RSMeans Reed Construction Data Market Intelligence.

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