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. It can be subdivided into architect-led design–build (ALDB, sometimes known as designer-led design–build) and contractor-led design–build.
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.
Design–build is sometimes compared to the “master builder” approach, one of the oldest forms of construction procedure. Comparing design–build to the traditional method of procurement, the authors of Design-build Contracting Handbook noted that: “from a historical perspective the so-called traditional approach is actually a very recent concept, only being in use approximately 150 years. In contrast, the design–build concept—also known as the “master builder” concept—has been reported as being in use for over four millennia.”
Although the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) takes the position that design–build can be led by a contractor, a designer, a developer or a joint venture, as long as a design–build entity holds a single contract for both design and construction, some architects have suggested that architect-led design–build is a specific approach to design–build.
Design-build plays an important role in pedagogy, both at universities and in independently organised events such as Rural Studio or ArchiCamp.
Design-Build (DB) Construction 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 Plan & Spec, Design-Build places sole responsibility on our end of the contract and it is used to minimize risks for the project owner. It reduces the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project, saving time and money.
AT Mechanical understands that this type of delivery method can be more attractive to project owners since the DB contract would deem subcontractors such as us liable for the work of a project, creating a safety cushion for building owners and developers.
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.
Until 1979, the AIA American Institute of Architects’ code of ethics and professional conduct prohibited their members from providing construction services. However today many architects in the United States and elsewhere aspire to provide integrated design and construction services, and one approach towards this goal is design–build. The AIA has acknowledged that design–build is becoming one of the main approaches to construction. In 2003, the AIA endorsed “The architect’s guide to design–build services”, which was written to help their members acting as design–build contractors. This publication gives guidance through the different phases of the process: design services, contracts, management, insurances, and finances.