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It is challenging for business owners to manage commercial construction projects. Owners must communicate and manage contracts with architects, designers and engineers, who oversee the contractual obligations of general contractors, subcontractors and consultants. Often, the owner becomes a mediator, settling disputes about cost-overruns, scheduling and quality of work.
A new paradigm called design build enables an owner to communicate and interact with a single point of contact, the design-builder, who assumes contractual responsibility for all phases of the project. The design build concept inspires innovation, saves time and saves money. Projects finish 33 percent faster and unit costs can be as much as 6 percent lower than traditional design-bid-build contracts.
Design Build Process for Commercial Construction
In a traditional construction management or design-bid-build project, owners contract with several different entities for various phases of a project. The design phase is separate from the build phase. This disparity often leads to delays or unforeseen costs. Using the DB process, all entities are involved from project inception to the post-construction phase.
The DB team evaluates financial parameters as well as current and future needs. The team assesses structural, visual, engineering and architectural needs. For facility improvement projects, the team looks at existing floorplans, mechanical and electrical systems and code and compliance requirements. The team also evaluates site topography and available natural resources that can be incorporated into the design.
Architectural Design Phase
The architectural design phase incorporates all the structural, visual, technological and mechanical elements into the design. The construction team is part of the process. Construction costs are more accurately projected and the need for on-the-ground adjustments during construction are minimized. The design team is responsible for quality assurance throughout the project.
As construction begins, the construction team is already in place with clear mandates about the build. Clear communication between the design and construction team means fewer problems and better ways to solve them. Faster completion times saves money for the owner, who can be up and running without costly delays.
The post-construction review is completed by the DB team. Final drawings, floor plans and operations manuals are provided to owners, who must understand the technological and design aspects of their new project. The DB team provides employee training on safety and use of new equipment. A professional DB team should provide warranties and guarantees for their work.
Heinz Mechanical Industries has provided commercial construction services to businesses in the Portland, Oregon metro area since 1988. We provide design build services for industrial and commercial projects in the greater Portland area.