9 Top Considerations When Choosing a Design-Build Delivery System

by | Jun 11, 2019 | Building Systems, Design Build

As a property or business owner, the decision to undertake a new construction project is only the first step of many. You know you need to get this done, but it’s not uncommon to be uncertain about the rest of the process.

Fortunately, choosing the design-build system over traditional methods gives you an advantage since the architectural and construction areas are delivered through a single point of contact. Beyond this, there are several decisions you should make to ensure that your relationship with your design-builder is as effective and strong as possible.

1. Create an Owner’s Guide

Before you have any conversations with a design-build company, you should first create an owner’s guide for your new project. This guide will include information relative to:

  • Possible site locations
  • How you intend to use the facility
  • Any preferences that will impact the project
  • Design requirements or limitations that will affect the project

If you’ve already established a relationship with a design-builder before creating this guide, you can most likely set up several meetings to streamline this process.

2. Select a Procurement Process

After you’ve established your owner’s guide, it’s time to select a design-build partner. How you do this might depend on whether you are in the private or public sector.

As a commercial client, you can follow whatever selection process you’d prefer, but it’s helpful to first create some selection criteria and then use these to review prospective providers.

If you’re in the public sector, the process is more involved since you will likely need to issue RFQs and then ask a selected list of firms to submit RFPs. Once you choose a contractor, you can begin working on budgets and drawings.

3. Choose Your Contact Determination Method

How your project is priced or budgeted, can vary based on the project and the needs of the client. Some private sector clients have the choice of unit price, lump sum, cost plus, and guaranteed max price. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method.

Since public sector clients are limited in how they can budget and spend dollars, they are also limited in how they can contract for services. For example, increasing a price after contract generally isn’t permitted.

4. Secure Financing and Insurance

Your design-builder needs to know that they’re going to be paid for the work they complete. This is why your next step should be to acquire financing for the project and submit proof to your contractor. You should also secure adequate project insurance that covers builder’s risk, commercial general liability, and pollution.

5. Gather Site Information

Now it’s time to make sure that your design-builder has all of the site information they need to move forward with the project. This includes compiling the following information:

  • Legal descriptions and surveys of the planned site
  • Geotechnical surveys containing soil information that could affect the project
  • As-built drawing of any existing structures on the site
  • Information regarding easements or other agreements with public entities or neighbors
  • Environmental impact studies and statements that could affect the project

6. Identify Your Deliverables

Your design-builder will help identify a set of deliverables which are items that you’ll be responsible for per the contract. These might include such things as utility connections, permits, landscaping or other improvements, or on-site furnishings. They can also provide assistance with these items wherever needed.

7. Review Design Submissions

As the project owner, you’ll need to meet with your design-build team periodically to review progress and confirm that your goals are being accomplished. If they’re not, it’s important to speak up as soon as possible so that adjustments can be made.

8. Ensure Project Compliance

On a design-build project, you have a host of inspection rights. These include:

  • The right to inspect both on-site and off-site work that is ongoing
  • The right to review the quality assurance programs of your design-builder
  • The right to state whether or not your project has been completed

9. Focus on Your Primary Role

As a business owner, you can’t do everything at once, and we recognize that you still have other responsibilities. While our goal is the successful completion of your project, we want one of yours to be full reliance on us while you focus on running your business.

K-Con for Your Next Design-Build Project

Whether this is your first construction project or you’ve been through this process several times in the past, you need a partner with knowledge and experience. At K-Con, Inc., we are a qualified design-build contractor that works closely with government and commercial clients.

Our company has successfully executed more than 650 contracts across every U.S. state and territory, working with a variety of military, government, and private industry customers. Contact us now to learn more about our services.