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Insights | 25th Apr 2024

How to Be a Great Design-Build Partner

With Senior Project Manager Colby Stodden

In a design-build delivery method, the team is key. The partnership between contractor and architect is the foundation for the benefits and advantages design-build offers. Both teams will operate as one for the duration, so matching project philosophies, culture, and experience is paramount. As the general contractor, it is Haselden’s responsibility to ensure the team and project are set up for success by building an environment of trust, transparency, and collaboration.

Flexibility 

To get the best design documents for the budget, flexibility on the general contractor’s side is crucial. Designing the project as a team reduces value engineering and allows for more intentional choices, but to reap these benefits contractors have to let the designers be designers. This means the general contractor must be an expert in the client’s vision and budget as well as what is feasible for construction. With these elements in mind, we can create freedom for the architects to design amazing spaces for the client that meet the project requirements. Setting expectations early on for communication, constructability reviews, and real time estimates ensures each partner has the freedom to work, understands what is expected and when.

Real Time Information 

During the design phase, the general contractor should provide key information to the owner and architect such as cost differences, different construction options, and alternative materials. The Haselden Construction team takes care to produce the most accurate numbers possible so clients can trust they’ll hold through construction. Armed with this knowledge, owners are then able to determine where to allocate more of their budget to meet the project’s final goals, giving them confidence in the design-build. Providing this information in real time speeds the decision-making process, allowing the team to come to the best design in less time.

Efficiency 

Speed to market is a huge benefit of design-build, and when the team is dialed in, it results in faster projects from design through final opening. Our teams work with the architect to identify long lead items or difficult procurement challenges early on in design so we can order those items and have them onsite. Depending on the design, construction can begin as other parts of design are finalized. All teams are in constant communication with each other to ensure that the work in place is correct and ready for the next phase of design. We eliminate silos allowing all team members – owner, architect, and general contractor – to know exactly what stage the project is at and the next steps to final completion.

As the design-build manager, Haselden’s goal is always to provide the confidence and transparency for our owners to focus on what they do best – from taking care of patients to teaching students. If you have any questions on our approach to design-build or want to discuss a design-build delivery project, do not hesitate to reach out.

 

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