Design-build isn’t a new concept. In fact, you can trace its roots back to ancient times and the concept of the Master Builder. The Master Builder was a person who could, and often did, do it all—from design to construction. Over time, the roles of architects, engineers and contractors were separated, but the original concept of the Master Builder was never forgotten.

The design-build process owes much to the idea of the Master Builder. Design-build is simply having one entity or person be in charge of both the design of the project and the construction.

In other construction methods, the owner of the project will hire a designer and a builder, taking on both the liability and the responsibility for solving any issues that arise between the two. Design-build eliminates that tension by leaving both roles up to the same company or person.

The Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) describes it like this: “Design-build is intended to be a highly collaborative, fully integrated process that is built on trust, mutual respect, teamwork, innovation and creative problem solving. Design-build unleashes the power of team to deliver projects faster, better and for optimum cost—best value for the money, time and effort invested. Owners find that when design-build is done right, their level of engagement with the entire team is more meaningful than is experienced with other delivery methods.”

This tried-and-true method can be a great way to keep the phases of design and construction in tandem while saving costs and headaches. Here are four benefits the design-build process can bring to your project:

Shortens the schedule

Projects on a tight timeline are often perfect for the design-build process. Consolidating both sides of the construction process under one company eliminates the need to bid out the construction process. This shortens the construction schedule because time is not lost waiting for and selecting bids.

While it isn’t perfect for every construction project, design-build can keep a project on schedule when time is of the essence.


Streamlines the construction process

Implementing design-build allows designing to be done in phases, which means a faster start to your project. Designers can complete the building design and shell without causing delays for the contractor, and contractors can begin preparing the site for construction instead of waiting for the entire set of designs.

This approach can help quickly move a project through the design and construction stages with work being completed on both sides of the project at the same time.


Lowers costs

With a single company managing contractors and purchasing materials, projects can be designed – and kept – to a specified budget. One study shows design-build projects saw lower unit cost and less cost growth than projects using other construction methods. The streamlined construction process provided by design-build allows better management of expenses.


Reduces errors

In other construction methods, the owner of a project turns a completed design over to the contractor with the understanding that the plans contain enough information for the contractor to bid and build the project. Often, this isn’t the case, leading to tension between the designer and contractor that must be mediated by the project owner. In the design-build process, any issues with the design or construction can be resolved without the need for a go-between because both sides of the project are being handled by the same company, reducing lost time, extra expense and frustration for everyone.


Design-build is growing

The many benefits of design-build make it the preferred construction method for many. According to the DBIA, nearly half of all the construction projects in the U.S. are now using design-build, proving that while many things have changed since ancient times, the need for a Master Builder has not.


Founded in 2013, Streamline General Contractors partners with multifamily, senior living, hospitality, light industrial and retail clients in urban and rural areas. Through solid relationships and trusted processes Streamline has established with clients and subs, we complete your projects on time and on budget, exceeding your expectations.