Anton Kalafati is the owner of B-Side Construction in San Francisco. In the following article, Mr. Kalafati discusses design-build construction, how it works, and the benefits of this particular design model.
Although average construction times have improved in recent years, it still takes around seven months to build a family home and 6 months to complete a commercial construction project. With that in mind, imagine an approach that eliminates inefficiencies and provides start-to-finish design and construction services. What you’re imagining is design-build construction.
Design-build construction certainly isn’t new but it’s quickly becoming a driving force in modern commercial and residential builds. In today’s post, Anton Kalafati breaks down how design-build construction works and explains its many benefits. Anton Kalafati also dives into where it’s being applied and how it’s revolutionizing modern construction practices.
Defining Design-Build Construction
In a traditional design-bid-build model, project design and construction phases are completed one at a time by different contractors. The project owner first reaches out to an architect or engineering firm to create construction plans and, once the plans are complete, the owner solicits bids from general contractors and awards the project to the lowest bidder says Anton Kalafati.
With design-build construction, a single entity – typically a general contractor – manages both the design and construction phases. This way, rather than outsourcing to multiple contractors, the project owner can rely on a single team to complete the build from scratch, including the design and build.
This integrated approach offers many benefits, which Anton Kalafati discusses in more detail below.
How Design-Build Construction Works
The first step in design-build construction is to select a design-build firm. The firm will then assemble a team of architects, engineers, and construction professionals to work on your project. Once the team is in place, the firm will develop a project scope and schedule. Anton Kalafati says that the project scope outlines the work that needs to be done and the schedule details when each task will be completed.
Once the project scope and schedule are finalized, the team will begin working on the design. The design phase typically takes four to six weeks, but it can take longer for larger or more complex projects says Anton Kalafati. After the design is complete, the firm will develop a construction plan. The construction plan details the materials, equipment, and labor that will be required to complete the project.
Once the construction plan is complete, the firm will begin construction. The construction phase typically takes another four to six months, but it can take longer for larger or more complex projects.
The Benefits of Design-Build Construction
There are many benefits to design-build construction, according to Anton Kalafati but the three most important are as follows:
1. Shortened Project Timelines: One of the biggest benefits of design-build construction is that it can shorten project timelines. Because the design and construction phases are completed by the same entity, there is no need to go through an intensive bidding process, which can take weeks or even months to complete. Instead, the design-build team can jump straight into construction.
2. Reduced Project Costs: Another big benefit of design-build construction is that it can reduce project costs. Because the design and construction phases are completed by the same entity, there’s no risk of losing money in a drawn-out bidding process. Additionally, cutting project timelines can save the project owner money on both the design and construction phases of the project.
3. Improved Project Quality: A third big benefit of design-build construction is that it can improve project quality. Because the design and construction phases are completed by the same entity, the team can work together to ensure that the project is completed to the highest possible standards. This can result in a better-built project that is more likely to meet the needs of the project owner.
For these reasons, many large-scale projects are turning to design-build construction teams to oversee and complete their builds. Thanks to greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness, design-build project fulfillment is becoming the preferred approach to construction says Anton Kalafati.
Applying Design-Build Construction
Design-build construction is being applied to both commercial and residential construction projects. In the commercial sector, design-build construction is being used to build office buildings, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. In the residential sector, design-build construction is being used to build single-family homes, multi-family homes, and even custom homes.
Anton Kalafati says that design-build construction is also being used in the public sector. In recent years, many state and local governments have turned to design-build construction to build schools, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.
Final Thoughts on Design-Build Construction
The future of design-build construction is bright. As more and more project owners realize the many benefits of this approach, design-build construction will likely continue to grow in popularity. By 2025, the Design-Build Institute of America predicts that the design-build market will double in size and continue to grow in popularity around the world.