Design-Build is all about communication, efficiency and finding ways to reduce cost through proper planning and follow through.



Design Build and Design Bid Build are two very different construction delivery methods used in today’s society.

Design Build and Design Bid Build construction are differentiated in the sections below, highlighting key components that compare and contrast each method. 



▶︎ Joint Venture between General Contractor and Designer

Design Builders have both parties within the same entity           
making it much easier for the owner throughout project

▶︎ One Point of Contact

The owner will only have to contact the design builder
for any project questions or concerns.

▶︎ Fastest Delivery Method

Simply eliminating the bidding process saves a significant
amount of time. Site preparation can begin prior to the finalization
of all building details.

▶︎ Least Risky to the Owner

Only one entity is held accountable if problems occur thus,
eliminating owner liability for design and construction issues.

▶︎ Most Cost Effective

Design builders have access to most recent construction costs
so designs are created with the most cost-effective materials
and methods.

▶︎ Integrated Services

Combining both design and construction services eliminates conflicts that arise in most areas of project development. All parties are on the same page allowing fast track schedules and on time delivery. 

▶︎ Construction Can Begin While Design Process is Still Being Developed

With this method, construction and design services over lap to enable a faster delivery while allowing the owner to make any last-minute changes before the design is finalized.

▶︎ One Contract

Instead of having a contract with the architect and one with the general contractor, the owner will only have one contract with the design builder eliminating risk on his behalf.


▶︎ Separate Entities for Each the Design and Construction Part of the Project

The owner has to seek out each company separately. The architect and general contractor have no connection until the plans are placed up for bids. 

▶︎ Goes Through a Design, Biding and Construction Phase

Because design and construction are not integrated in this method, it takes a lot more time for the project to be completed from start to finish. Each phase is implemented separately and cannot start until the previous has been completed; unlike design build where the phases overlap each other to ensure a quick delivery.

▶︎ Design Team Does not Have Access to Construction Costs

Likely cost increases occur during the design phase because designers do not have access to construction costs. This could cause project delays if the construction documents must be recreated to reduce costs.

▶︎ Construction Cannot Start Until Designs are Finalized

Until plans are finalized construction will not be allowed to begin.
This adds more time onto the over all development of the project.

▶︎ Increased Risk to the Owner

With Design-Bid-Build the owner usually has liability for design and construction in your contract with the general contractor.

▶︎ Multiple Points of Contact

Owner serves as mediator for any design and construction issues that occur for each party.

▶︎ Multiple Contracts

Contracts between the designer and general contractor are separate of which the owner now has liability for anything the goes wrong.



In the construction industry, RSMeans data is synonymous with detailed costs. It has been for decades. Robert Snow Means was a Civil Engineer who kept meticulous construction costs in a series of leather-bound books he made at his kitchen table. By the early 1940s, his peers were so impressed by his tracking of equipment, material and labor costs they began offering to buy his homemade “cost books.”

Today, RSMeans data is offered by Gordian. The database contains over 85,000 line items and cost engineers spend more than 22,000 hours researching and validating the costs every year. The cost information is still available in books but is also accessible via CD and a dynamic estimating software.