September 11th by Joseph Migadde
Design Build refers to a form of construction contract and relationship between developer / client / owner and contractor, where the contractors design the project that they will build as opposed to bidding on ready plans/ designs provided by the client. It is ideal for those who would like to build within budget as soon as possible.
At the design phase, the design-build firm employs a back and forth process between designing and costing to make sure the design meets the pre-determined budget. The design-build professionals are best placed to give advice on the feasibility of the budget for the proposed project even before design has started. After a complete set of plans, cost estimates and construction time schedules according to the parameters agreed upon have been presented to the client, building approval can be sought from building authorities and construction can commence as soon as it is granted.
The developer/client must do their due diligence on the design-build firm before committing to the contract. An easy way to do this would be to ask to view examples of design-build projects that this firm has brought to life. Talk to past clients and obtain as much information about the firm as you can.
Alternatively, hire a design/ architectural firm to design and draw plans for you. Hire a Quantity Surveyor to produce Bills of Quantities that shall form a cost framework and bidding form for the bidding process. Then invite bids on these plans from a pre-selected list of contractors. Do this before applying for building approval just in case your cost estimates reveal that the project cost is way beyond your budget, necessitating a re-design (you would have to forfeit any money you have paid for the building plan approval).