One of the more common misconceptions about the design-build process is that the contractor actually has architects and engineers on staff that create the design documents. Although some design-build contractors do complete working drawings with their staff, Paul Hemmer Company believes that the objectivity of third party design professionals is crucial to a design-build project’s success.
Technically, design-build simply means that the builder is responsible for contracting for the design– not actually doing the design. The critical component for success in a design-build project is the ability of the construction manager to direct the design in order to manage the project budget and schedule.
Third-party design professionals on a design-build project provide a number of benefits, including:
- Expertise- Third party design professionals can be selected based on their knowledge and expertise for the particular project. One size does not fit all.
- Knowledge- although a contractor may have extensive knowledge, third-party design professionals bring added experiences from other projects and knowledge that benefits the entire team.
- Objectivity- part of the role of a third-party design professional is to bring objectivity to the project. The checks and balances of a good design-build team matches design with constructability and cost.
- Synergy– the benefit that results when a team works together to achieve something better than they could individually, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Third-party design professionals provide a critical third leg in the design-build process.