Design-Build Construction – The Best Kept Secret for Modern Day Buildings

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Sticking with traditional methods in any industry doesn’t always create the best outcome, and the building industry is no exception. Design-Build construction, when compared to Design-Bid-Build construction, is the perfect example of how an updated and streamlined process can outperform a traditional one.

It comes as no surprise that business owners and developers all over the world are quickly realizing the value and benefits of the Design-Build Method.

Read on to discover the important facts about this method so you too can enjoy its advantages.

What is Design-Build Construction?

Design-Build construction has been around for a while, but only recently has its popularity grown as more and more people are realizing the value of having the skills of an architect, engineer, and contractor all available from only one company.

In short, when you use the Design-Build construction method to build a structure, you will have a single source to communicate with. This source partners with you, the owner, during the design process and will then handle the construction of the building.

This streamlines the building process so you won’t need to find another company to step in and take over the construction once the planning is done.

It all begins with conceptual planning and selecting a Design-Build company. Once selected, you will enter into a single contract with the Design-Builder to provide both design and construction services.

What immediately follows are preliminary designs and cost estimates. You will work together to establish the final design and obtain permits, at which point you can immediately progress into construction.

No contractor bidding is involved between the designing and construction stages and various processes (final designs, permits, etc.) can happen simultaneously thanks to one company handling every aspect of your project.

A Few Benefits You’re (Almost Certainly) Missing Out On

Time and Financial Benefits

From a financial point of view, there’s no reason not to consider Design-Build construction for your next project. The main benefit is that it’s possible to confirm cost estimates much earlier in the process, making it easier to determine and manage your budget.

And because the design and construction members of a Design-Build construction project are connected, you’ll get the added benefit of their teamwork and cooperation to evaluate the best design, materials, and construction techniques for your budget. This is also a great way to save project time because you’re cutting out the contractor bidding process.

In a traditional Design-Bid-Build process this can take up a lot of time, especially if rebidding is necessary with any last-minute design changes or if a bid comes in over budget.

Another delay in the Design-Bid-Build process is obtaining permits, which can only be secured after the bidding process. In the case of Design-Build, obtaining permits can happen while the final designs are confirmed because the contractors are a part of the team. This saves valuable time, helping projects to be completed earlier and potentially save even more money because there’s less chance of price increases on certain materials.

Better Workflow

As a general rule, when more parties are involved with a project, there’s more chance for conflict or disagreements. This can hamper the workflow if an owner requests a change mid-project, for example.

With the Design-Build method, the owner only needs to communicate with one individual who will ensure the change gets worked into the plans and that the construction team takes care of it. This is much more efficient than first talking to the design team, getting the change approved, and then engaging with the construction team to take care of it.

Easier Coordination

As an owner you’ll only have one point of contact with the Design-Build construction team, streamlining communication and preventing misunderstandings. Owners who are monitoring progress will only need to contact one individual to request feedback.

If any adjustments are necessary, it only takes communication with a single person to make them happen instead of making sure multiple contacts are kept up to date. It’s your contact person’s responsibility to manage both design and construction issues, making it easier on you, the owner, throughout the process.

Improved Design and Structures

A project created through the design-build process can actually be of higher quality compared to the traditional method, purely because of the power of synergy. A quality Design-Build team will know each other, build on each other’s strengths, and collaborate to result in more innovative ideas that can be built into the project.

In the Design-Build situation, the design team will know what the construction team is capable of. This empowers the design team to optimize the building’s potential instead of possibly holding back because they doubt what another construction company will be able to deliver.

Risk Management is Easier

Any project will have risks, but when an owner only has to work with one company rather than two, that risk is cut in half. There’s only one company responsible for the project being completed, instead of multiple parties that could each cause delays or problems.

An owner also won’t run the risk of disputes between the planners, architects or engineers, and building contractors. In Design-Bid-Build construction, the owner could be caught between the various parties, causing legal issues and wasting time. The liability is far lower with a Design-Build process.

Success Stories Leveraging The Design-Build Method

To ensure the best outcomes for building projects, Grassmere uses the tried and tested Three-Phase Process which includes:

  • Investigating your site and providing preliminary designs
  • Determining final drawings and giving an estimate for construction
  • Commencing construction to be completed in full and on time

In addition to the 30 years of experience, this process is what makes Grassmere such a respected Design-Build construction firm., We ensure clients get quality workmanship, expert advice, and the best results, every single time. But we don’t expect you to just take our word for it. Actions speak louder than words, so here are just a handful of success stories using our Design-Build process:

  • A new dealership for Attrell Hyundai. This 20,000 sf project was built using a Butler pre-engineered building. When the dealership’s shop and showroom needed to be expanded and updated to align with Hyundai’s new branding, we were able to easily expand and customize the building to work with the all-glass façade and conventional building materials. Using the Design-Build method we streamlined the coordination amongst all the stakeholders and consultants while achieving the aggressive construction schedule.
  • For Eichenberg Chrysler we also constructed a pre-engineered building. This 19,800 sf structure involved working with the client for multiple years on design development, budgets, and cost analysis. This added time meant the ideal design had to be revised in order to suit their new growth. Once the design was set, an aggressive schedule was put in place for construction and the project was delivered on time as promised.
  • TLC Landscaping needed a facade redesign and roof retrofit to two 30+ year old pre-engineered buildings. They were able to renovate and reinforce existing structures while maintaining access to the facility for customers and employees thanks to the coordination and ease from working with only one company to get the job done.

Design-Bid Build vs Design-Build

Design-Bid Build


  • You may prefer using an architect, engineer and builder of your choice
  • Less overlap of activities can give more clarity of the project’s progress


  • Costs are fluid
  • Project takes longer
  • Difficult to communicate with all project players and keeping parties updated



  • Project completed in a shorter time frame
  • Cost-saving and budgeting will be easier
  • Easier coordination for the owner
  • Changes can be implemented easier
  • Fewer liability risks


  • Some may prefer the bidding process

Grassmere is your market leader for any Design-Build construction project. We have a range of construction services to offer that are relevant to all sectors including industrial, commercial, and institutional. From planning to building or simply providing metal reroofing, we do it all.

Let’s Discuss Your Project. Request a Consultation Today!


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