There are several advantages to using a design-build approach to a restoration project. The main benefit is that any discrepancies and questions get worked out between the partners without the typical change-order process. This limits additional client costs from both the engineering firms as well as the contracting firms. If the team works together, there are many ways to keep the project on or under budget. With restoration work, there are many unknowns that get uncovered from buried electrical systems to advanced corrosion. Read More
In a typical hard bid situation, the contractor would make the engineer and owner’s representative aware of the situation and wait for direction on how to proceed. Typically, the additional work and cost involves all parties. In a design-build scenario, the parties work together to determine the most efficient way to handle the work so that additional costs are kept to a minimum and to minimize the impact on the schedule.
We work with several firms that are extremely knowledgeable about restoration work. It is difficult to get most firms to commit to a “not-to-exceed” price, but with the team approach we can limit timeframes, drafting fees, etc., and estimate the project more accurately. For example, if it is established that there are 100 engineering hours for on-site visits, the contractor can help budget the timeframes and make more efficient use of the visits. In a hard bid situation, when we need opinions or direction we submit the situation to the owner representative and wait for a response. The time that is lost by waiting for approvals can be fairly lengthy and increases the costs of the job.
Another advantage to the design-build approach is that efficiencies are realized with the schedule. We can start work with very few details and do not need 100% construction drawings. Also, the entire team is more interested in performing the tasks at hand as any delays affect profitability for everyone involved. The owner gets a guaranteed maximum price, which is more cost effective than any possible hard bid approach. As with any industry, time is money. Additionally, there is always a need for the owner to get their usable space back as soon as possible.
On occasion, we partner with a general contractor. Typically, when the work exceeds 60% of our self-perform scope, the general contractors get better subcontracting numbers particularly in the plumbing, electrical, and fire or sprinkler trades. A general contractor also has an administrative staff to help with efficiencies in scheduling subcontractors and, as a result, keeping the overall project organized.
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