It’s no secret among construction leaders that design-build organizations and projects are growing exponentially.
In fact, design-build is expected to account for 44% of construction spending by 2021, according to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). As a result, competition is intensifying for contractors to gain owners’ trust and preference in project selection.
Owners are looking for more reliable ways to assess the credentials of competing contractors and make the best decisions based on time and cost considerations.
Ultimately, they need to be confident that their contractors have the tools and experience to help them complete a design-build project.
The DBIA reports that design-build strategies can deliver projects up to 102% faster, with 3.8% lower cost growth than traditional design-bid-build models.
With the old linear design-bid-build model, owners had to complete the design and then go through a lengthy bidding process before finally starting construction. But with design-build, there’s a shared approach that allows all aspects of a project to come together at the same time, resulting in further savings in time and money.
For example, in the traditional design-bid-build model, engineers design independently of how a project is going to be built. However, by completing the design during construction, with constant collaboration between engineers and builders, recommendations can be made that can save time and money.
Contractors need to assure owners that they not only have the experience of managing design-build projects, but also use tools that are optimized to ensure the success of the entire construction team.
To do this, they must demonstrate that they have three essential components to enable a successful design-build project management strategy: collaboration, transparency, and security/access control.
Collaboration starts with access
With construction beginning before the design is complete, design-build strategies emphasize the need for all organizations on a project to truly embrace collaboration. General contractors should ensure they have the tools to support the optimized access to information needed to collaborate across a design-build project.
Document sharing, scheduling, risk management, and other critical features must be integrated to ensure everyone has the information they need, when they need it.
As with all collaborative projects, cloud storage solutions and data visualization tools will play a vital role in enabling real-time sharing of actionable data between design-build projects. .
Transparency keeps owners informed
Project management tools should always provide all parties with a clear understanding of the decision-making matrix to avoid costly delays or unacceptable surprises for owners.
Reporting frameworks and frequency, agreed Employer Information Requirements (EIR), and standardization and project governance are all indispensable tools that provide clear, unalterable audit trails on the status of information. decisions and tasks related to the project.
This improved transparency between the construction team and the owner ensures that everyone has a better understanding of any issues before they escalate into project-altering issues.
Security and access control build trust
It is essential that all information about a project is captured on a single platform, and that all stakeholders have control of their data, and that no stakeholder has an advantage over another.
Project information should be housed in a secure environment and protected from threats with stringent security protocols to ensure that all stakeholders know their data is protected.
For example, designers generally don’t want to share changes with builders until they know the design is final, ensuring full quality control of information shared.
The same goes for the Request for Information (RFI) process – stakeholders need to be sure that only specific contractors have access to data directly involved in the project.
While all of these steps are essential, perhaps the biggest challenge in a design-build project is engaging owners and other project stakeholders.
To do this, it is the responsibility of the construction team to illustrate that its design-build strategy has proven itself, measuring and projecting progress in real time through regular reporting and reporting tools. references.
Only then will owners and contractors have the confidence they need to move forward with their own design-build initiatives.
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