Construction procurement: design-build as an alternative to design-build
Bell, Steven D.
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The construction method of Design-Build (DB) is gaining wide spread acceptance in the construction industry. DB is quickly becoming a viable alternative to the traditional construction method of Design-Bid-Build (DBB) (see Figure 1.1). Many feel shifting from DBB to DB is favorable for the construction industry, because it reunites design and construction services under one entity reducing a project's time span (see Figure 1.2). A result of shortening the time span of a project is lower cost. Cost is often the driving force behind major decisions in a project. In construction, the phrase "time is money" is very indicative of the industry; to reduce time is to reduce the owner's construction total. "For a client with an overriding concern on costs, the design and build approach provides better protection than the traditional system." In order to reduce time, good communication must be maintained between all participating parties. Communication is greatly enhanced in DB compared to DBB. The owner has only to deal with one agent, the design-builder. It is the responsibility of the design-builder to coordinate all contracted entities to produce the project. The DBB approach to construction has the potential to produce an adversarial relationship between architects, engineers and contractors with the owner acting as a liaison official between them. These poor relationships stem from the historical lack of trust and empathy that designers and contractors have for each other. The end result is involved blaming each other if something goes wrong with the project. DB forces these professions to work together as a team, providing input to each other from the beginning to the end of the project, The end result of an owner using DB to produce a project is an earlier occupancy with less construction cost and a positive attitude between all involved parties due to better communication.