Tips For How Design-Build Can Fast-Track Your Next Construction Project

Fast-Track Your Next Construction Project with Design-Build

Check out the audio below to get helpful tips that can fast-track your next construction project. Get all the tricks of the trade that you should know. We hope you enjoy!

Audio Transcript

I'm Matt Williams, president of Metrolina Builders. Thanks for tuning in, as I share some tips for how design-build can fast-track your next construction project, you know, you have a building need either. You've outgrown your current space and you're looking to expand, or you've identified real estate as an investment priority for your financial goals.

It might just be an idea of revision right now, and you're not sure where to start. Or you're well on your way, but you've realized there are a lot of steps to the process with each one, having significant impacts on the viability of the success of the project or better yet. You've done this before.

You've been involved in a complex development project and, you know, firsthand about the challenges, the risk, the headaches, and the inefficiencies. And you're looking for a better way. You've seen how difficult it is to identify each piece of the puzzle independently. From the real estate brokers, land surveyors, geotechnical engineers, the architect, and then the contractor, you know, how time consuming and inefficient it is to move through each step in a traditional linear approach from real estate procurement planning, design permitting, and then finally construction.

When it comes to selecting the real estate. There's so many questions. Is it the right piece of land? Is it zoned for my use and if not, can it. And how long will it take to rezone? Is it the right size for my building needs today or better yet in the future or the purchase price looks like a good deal, but will it be more expensive to develop this site than another because of topography utilities, soil conditions.

And then when it comes to designing the building, is this the right design? Will it look and function the way I needed to, but more importantly, have I seen all the options and landed on the best design that's efficient and cost-effective have I seen all the costs associated with each design decision and options so I can prioritize how my budget is spent or do I fully understand the entire project cost before I commit to any purchases or designs?

And lastly, have I found the contractors that can deliver on cost schedule and quality, because I've always heard people say, you can't get all three. If you've managed to make it that far and found all the important pieces and players, you might ask yourself, have I assembled all of the right people from my team that can make this vision a reality and deliver on my functional aesthetic and economic needs?

Are they as excited about my vision as I am? And how can I hold them all accountable to deliver and produce at the level I need to finish this on time. It's a lot of work, a lot of choices and a lot of time. And we all know that in real estate time kills deals. I'm certain you've asked yourself all these questions and more, cause this is one of the biggest investments you're going to make.

But despite all these challenges, hurdles questions, how would it feel to finish your project and then be able to stand back, look at it and say, we did it. I now have a building that looks and functions exactly as I envisioned. And we did it within our budget. We did it on time without delay and without having to sacrifice quality.

And as a matter of fact, we did it with an incredible team, made up of the best people who work together and with my best interest at heart, through each step of the process. You find yourself saying this incredibly complex process turned out better than I could have imagined and my vision is realized.

That's what we'd like to hear from our clients. That's why we do what we do and the way that we do it. And that's why the same clients come back to build with us on future projects. You'll hear this project delivery method referred to as a design build process. Where we partner with you very early in the life of the project and using our 50 years of experience guide you through the highest and best use of your land, your money and your time developing the new building is a complex process, but it doesn't have to be difficult.

It doesn't have to consume your every waking moment and bog you down from doing everything else that you have to do. It doesn't have to put all the work on you to find the right people, coordinate and facilitate the timing and lineup all the work based on timelines and dependencies. It doesn't have to be a linear approach that takes longer than it should and keeps you in the dark on your total costs until months into the process.

When you've already committed to a piece of land or even paid for a full set of drawings or better yet you find yourself having to go back to the drawing board and redesign. After you find out that the project's over budget. Costing both time and money to redesign your project. And at what other costs, considering that you're delaying opening your building and potentially losing revenue as a result of that delay.

Unfortunately, I've seen that happen too many times. Over the years, we had a lawyer in Charlotte who wanted to build a new three story office building right in the heart of Charlotte. He had a specific vision for the building, like something straight off the campus of the university of Virginia. He hired an architect that assembled a beautiful design and produce a full set of drawings that the client brought to us.

Unfortunately, once we priced what was on these drawings, it was nearly a million dollars over his budget. We worked for weeks to try and pick apart pieces here and there to bring the budget back in line. But in the end, the only path to move the needle as significantly as he needed was to toss the drawings out and start from scratch.

That's a difficult conversation to have after someone's spent over a hundred thousand dollars on a set of drawings and they can't use them, but in the end, we're able to absorb the cost of the original design, spend the money on an entirely new design and deliver the same square footage and same colonial.

Look at that building that he originally envisioned within the, but he can't help, but wonder what else? All that time cost him and how things could have been different. If he started with design build in the first place. This is where collaborative, success-driven, fast-track, single source provider approach comes into play.

This is design build. We're going to spend a few minutes talking about design build and how it can benefit you and your project and why it's become the preferred project delivery method, not just for our clients, but for projects across the country. This has been the way my company has approached projects before design build was even a formally recognized term.

But fast forward to today, nearly half of all construction projects in the U S were contracted as design build last year, representing over $1.2 trillion in construction spending over the last three years. It makes your life as the owner easier, gives you peace of mind that your investment is maximized.

So I'd like to give you four tips for why to choose design build as the project delivery method for your next project.

First tip for what it's uses on bill is how it can simplify your life through single source accountability, rather than you seeking out all the different players. Consultants architects, engineers, and contractors, and then contracting each one independently, working out on their own islands.

If you choose the right design builder, they become your single port point of contact your quarterback responsible for procuring and managing all of these different consultants under them and holding them all accountable to produce. You can still focus on the project, but you don't have to sacrifice all of your time to do it.

You have the choices to how much time you commit to every detail of the project versus staying at a high level and still having the capacity to focus on your day job or your next project. My second tip for why design build is the interactive collaboration. Once the design builder assembles a team, this team under their umbrella, you truly have the most collaborative team assembled.

With all the relevant players at the table at the right time, working together in a collaborative approach, all sharing the understanding of your project goals. You don't have anyone working on an island or in their own bubble, and that everyone understands the full demands goals of the project and can work collaboratively to analyze and evaluate all of the options to solve your project needs.

Although not mentioned previously, our approach to design build also includes us engaging key subcontractors during the design process to get their critical input and collaboration with the architects and engineers before the final design is committed to this is the true spirit of design build and puts all of the right pieces in place with you only having to manage a single entity or a single contract.

Tip for why design build is to gain control of your costs. 20 years in the business, or Metro is 50 years for that matter number of times, we've been handed a set of plans for a project that's supposedly ready to go, but after assembling pricing, find out that the price far exceeds the owner's budget, whether it's our price or any other contractor for that matter is shocking.

At that point, the owner's forced to slam on the brakes. Backup and make significant changes to their design all while delaying the start of the project and the completion of the project. It happens far too often. It might be one of the biggest reasons that the traditional method of design then bid then build is broken.

This process of identifying cost savings is also called value engineering. But why do this at the end of the design phase? When you have to spend money and time to go back and redesign these changes in ideas and design build we're value engineering. As we go before Penn has put to paper and before a full set of drawings are developed.

Oftentimes many of these value engineering ideas are great ideas, but not able to be captured because the ripple effect of implementing them after full design is complete. It's too cumbersome. Or the full value of the cost savings idea is not realized because it's offset by additional costs to redesign the building or better yet.

An owner gets to the end of the design process and everything they asked for from the architect is there except they can't afford to build. What's been designed. Architects are great at what they do, designing fantastic buildings, but they're not cost experts. They may know what a similar building costs from a previous project, but today with construction costs, so volatile, you have to have your finger on the pulse and know the impact of every design decision early.

And the way to do that is to have the contractor involved early. A contractor, that's able to put a price tag on every important design decision or option when presented to you. So you can make informed and educated decisions. Too many times. I've heard a client say I never would have told the architect to do that.

If I had known it costs that much. This is where the collaborative design build approach with all the players at the table gives you much more control over the decision-making process related to your project design, but more importantly, how to prioritize your budget spend. We're able to keep the budget at the forefront of every design decision and know in a real-time manner, if any design options or decisions or putting that budget in jeopardy.

Furthermore, we do periodic budget checks at various stages of design to ensure the final drawings will hit that budget. Now, I don't want any of this to sound like a knock on architects by any means they're essential to the project and important members of the team. The knock here is for any process that isolates key team members from each other.

In fact, most architects you talked to today, embrace and even promote this collaborative design build approach. My last tip for why you want to fast track your project by using design build is time. We've talked about how the design build process is more efficient through its collaborative approach and how that benefits the overall budget.

But it also is a huge benefit in time savings because we fixed the broken linear approach and made the process more efficient. You're able to get to market faster and start generating revenue sooner. That's a tough one to assign value to what the benefit is clearly there. In fact, according to the design build Institute of America design build projects deliver on average about 36% faster than the traditional design than bid, than build process.

But even on the back end construction schedule, there's nearly 4% less scheduled slide during construction. Because all the players have been involved during design vetting out the best path forward and scrubbing out potential conflicts in the drawings ahead of time. Before construction starts in real estate, time kills all deals and construction time cost dollars design build is your way to offset all of those negative risks associated with Tom in closing, developing real estate and construction project is a complex process, but you don't have to make it more difficult than it needs to be.

There's a way to realize your vision in a more efficient and collaborative manner with a single source quarterback for your project to manage all the heavy lifting for you in a way that generates the most value for you and your team that way is designed built in. I highly suggest you give a strong consideration for your next project.

And by the way, if you already have your favorite architect, you don't have to kick them to the curb. Most architects now recognize the value and embrace the design build process. You can still realize all of these benefits by pairing your architect with a good design builder at the early stages of your project.

A good design builder shouldn't balk at being asked to work with your architect so long as everyone truly respects the process and checks their egos at the door, knowing that all decisions made are for the benefit of you and your project. If you have any questions about design build or anything else, I can explain, feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Thanks for tuning in.