What are the risks of a design-bid-build process

It can be nerve-wracking for clients to delegate such a large amount of responsibility to a single company. Because of this, the design-bid-build process usually appeals to owners with more time and expertise to oversee aspects of the project themselves.

Design-bid-build is also seen as a way to ensure competitiveness amongst construction bidders, with design plans being put out for fixed-price bids from construction firms.

Whilst there certainly are considerations to bear in mind, there are risks involved in the design-build process too. These can include:

Communication breakdown

Design-Bid-Build can result in a disconnect between architects, designers, construction teams, and homeowners. Construction teams can sometimes stray away from design documentation with cut corners to save costs, or a loss of design detail if timelines are running tight.

Fixing and communicating on these issues can often result in increased construction costs, schedule delays, and even litigation.

Increased client risks

Design-bid-build can encourage designers and constructors to work more as individual units, rather than two essential sides of one project.

For example, construction contractors will only bid on what is contained in design documentation. If key details have been left out or incorrectly communicated, this can result in financial disputes and costly changes to both designs and builds. And, unfortunately, these risks ultimately lie with the owner.

At Letter Four, as experts in design-build, we work tirelessly to ensure these issues don’t occur. With the design-build process, we close the gaps and make sure that projects are delivered exactly to design specifications, on time, and on budget.

We are flexible to your needs

Design-bid-build is also possible with Letter Four. We can design the project (offering Architecture services only) before bidding on the construction aspects of the build alongside other providers. In this scenario, designs are produced first with full budgeting taking place at a later stage. Whilst this does not carry the additional benefits of cost savings, budget checks, and shorter timeframes — it does allow flexibility for owners to design their construction project, their way.

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