What is Design-Build?
Design-Build is a delivery method where the owner contracts with one entity for both design and construction as a single point responsibility.
Carl A. Nelson & Company (CANCO) has been a design-build construction contractor since the early 1970s, and today, the delivery method accounts for 40 percent of our annual revenue, on average. Approximately 85 percent of our design-build construction projects are for repeat clients who appreciate our process and our client focus, as well as our track record of delivering projects on-time and within budget.
In the role of design-builder on a project, we contract with and supervise the efforts of the design team, as well as any subcontractors. Working collaboratively with firms selected to be part of the design-build team, Carl A. Nelson & Company will provide pre-construction services — including establishment of budget, value engineering, code review and scheduling, among other tasks — throughout the design phase. This approach frequently allows construction to begin on a fast-track basis, before design is complete. An example of this fast-track approach is found at Great River Health, during construction of medical office buildings adjacent to Great River Medical Center.
The single point of contact for the Owner means most design and construction issues are able to be addressed and resolved by the Design-Build team, allowing the Owner to focus on its core business. The Design-Build delivery method is considered ideal for large, complex projects that require significant design and construction coordination, and/or a quick turnaround from conception to completion.
Benefits of Design-Build
The selection of a project delivery method can have a significant impact on the success of a project and as such has been the subject of multiple research projects with statistically significant results. One of the better studies out of Penn State University looked at 351 projects across a range of project types and locations. A summary of the results is seen in the table below, and correlates to our experience.
Based on the research, design-build is usually the best delivery method, which explains why it has been the fastest-growing delivery method for the last 25 years, even though not all organizations are allowed to use this delivery method.
Who can use Design-Build?
Private owners; Public owners (limited; rules vary by state)
Hiring a Design-Builder
One design-build procurement approach is to solicit design-build proposals off nothing more than a project idea or business need. Proposals are evaluated primarily on a qualification basis including the fee proposal. The contract would be a cost plus a fee type with a guaranteed maximum price to be established after design, sometimes in phases if fast tracking is necessary to achieve the project objectives. Typically, for work not being self-performed by the design-builder, specialty subcontractors would be solicited through a bidding process managed by the design-builder and approved by the Owner. Another design-build procurement method is to employ a third-party consultant, usually not the design-builder, to develop bridging documents which would include a preliminary space program and at least schematic plans in enough detail to solicit fixed price bids to complete the detailed design and construct the facility.
Considering Design-Build? Ask these five questions to make sure you hire the right contractor for your project.
With the Design-Build construction delivery method, we also are able to perform much of the work with our own trained construction craftsmen.
Design-Build project examples
Scroll down for more projects. Click the images for more details.
Designed. Built. Done!
Read more about Carl A. Nelson & Company's approach to design-build projects in our Fall 2019 wibi newsletter. Click the cover image to visit the e-edition, or read the cover story here.
Design-Build project examples
Highlighted below are several of Carl A. Nelson & Company's projects in the role of design-builder. Visit the Project Portfolio for additional examples of our work.
Experience (is) the Carl A. Nelson & Company difference. Learn more today
Let Carl A. Nelson & Company apply its extensive design-build history and track record of success to your next project. Fill out the form below, or contact Jamie Stanley in our Cedar Falls, Iowa, office at (319) 754-8415.