How To Design-Build Anything
Re:Build Optimation operates in a number of sophisticated and fast-paced industries, designing and building advanced manufacturing processes for our clients. Optimation is a experienced partner for our new and upgrading manufacturing clients due to the successful use of Design-Build project delivery methods.
Across Re:Build Optimation, there is support for 9 Manufacturing Markets/Industries:
- Automotive / Aerospace
- Consumer Products and Manufacturing
- Food and Beverage
- Glass and Ceramics
- Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals
- Oil and Gas
- Renewable Energy
With so many different industries and technological innovations happening in each industry, Re:Build Optimation services clients through an efficient project delivery process organized by a structured Design-Build methodology. New clients who request the latest manufacturing technology capabilities and legacy clients interested in retrofitting facilities to be competitive in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven economy, choose Optimation to meet their needs on their budget. Design-Build is the best project delivery method that meets Optimation’s commitment to re-shoring American manufacturing.
Design-Build improves project completion time, increases safety, and minimizes project-owner and Design-Build team risk. D-B enables greater on-site agility and innovation with any project in any industry. An authority on D-B, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), officially structures best practices of D-B project management. They claim the main advantage of Design-Build methodology is that D-B project delivery reduces overall project delivery time. The efficiency in conception-to-completion reduces costs by enabling D-B teams more tools for early collaboration and communication between all parties of a Design-Build project.
Design-Build is not an entirely new concept. But it is growing in popularity as the preferred method for project delivery in major US construction project orders. Research shows that from 2002 through 2016, the USDOT increased its partnerships with Design-Build projects from 140 in 2002 to over 1,300 projects by 2016. Cost savings measured D-B successes in DOT projects and under schedule completion statistics. Success with Design-Build-led infrastructure projects led to an increase of 600% in new and completed Design-build projects by 2016 since 2002. According to DBIA research, Design-Build projects can reach 102% faster project completion rates than D-B-B projects. D-B efficiency is due to D-B contracts’ administration strategies that facilitate tight collaboration with all stakeholders in a Design-Build project.
At Re:Build Optimation, Design-Build project management has delivered for our teams and clients. The process of Design-Build consolidates the project from the beginning into a tight network of teams that coordinate responsibilities. Design-Build projects with Re:Build Optimation can lead our team partnerships and create simplified tools to communicate progress with our clients effectively.
Re:Build Manufacturing and Optimation Technology Inc. merged in October of 2021. American manufacturing is trending towards “re-shoring” American-owned manufacturing industries. D-B accelerates project delivery of re-shoring projects. Re:Build Optimation’s partners under Re:Build Manufacturing, integrate new technologies into conventional manufacturing businesses for clients investing in American-based production. Design-Build sets clear strategies for tight collaboration between teams on a D-B project. The Design-Build project management approach allows greater collaboration throughout a project, minimizing risk to the Design-Build team and the original project owner.
How Does Design-Build work at Re:Build Optimation
Image sourced from a report published by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the Design-Build process (far right) is visually simplified and compared to other existing project delivery methods.
Design-Build unifies a D-B team with the project owner for collaborative and innovative solutions to flow more freely between partnered companies. The Design-Builder assumes responsibility for the project delivery. From a unified position, design consultants and specialty trades work closely with the D-B and share accountability for their roles. D-B can quickly implement design innovations at different stages of a project. Administration strategies and communication help all teams coordinate closely with a Design-Builder to assure quality and timeliness on project delivery. Systems designed around openness and accountability in Design-Build project management benefits customers on any D-B project.
Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B) was the choice for project delivery during the early industrial revolutions. D-B-B adhered to standardization and more time was allotted to bid on design contracts. Design bidding precludes contractors from the design procurement limiting available knowledge at the early phase of a D-B-B project. An opportunistic bidding process in D-B-B creates an adversarial lowest-bidder environment that favors project owner profitability ahead of design-completion feasibility. Design-to-completion for D-B-B projects leads to cutting corners motivated to save costs upfront. The “hard bid” award phase aims for the “lowest bidder” to contract for project delivery of a design that may not cater to an awarded contractor’s ability to implement a design. With less communication and less shared knowledge between all project stakeholders, any failed communication may lead to extensive delays in the delivery of a project. As the lowest bidder, a construction team in D-B-B may have less time and money to delegate roles and match design quality efficiently. Delays directly impact efficient innovations within a contract’s time restrictions. Time lost on communication for innovation to improve a pre-determined design can interrupt contract deadlines. These delays can cause construction teams to absorb contract extension costs. From a customer perspective, the “hard bid” characteristics of D-B-B project management can lead to unforeseen expenses incurred by a failed design or failed implementation of designs.
Design-Build is a return to form for high-end American manufacturing companies looking to re-shore new facilities or retrofit legacy systems with updated technologies. Design-Build is a masterful approach to project delivery methodology. D-B incorporates accountability practices by unifying communication and delegation within the contracted D-B team. As a unified entity, the Design-Builder team is responsible for contractual obligations established by the customer after reaching a price and design for the project. D-B efficiency strategies remove causes for wasteful disputes and design implementation failures by staying ahead of the scheduled delivery of design elements. Keeping a Design-Build team connected with innovative contract administration strategies from the start of a project is how D-B intends to minimize risk and liability that would incur unnecessary expenses for the Design-Build team members and the customer.
Five D-B contract administration strategies: Alignment, Scope, Design Quality, Construction/Manufacturing Quality, and Construction/Manufacturing Efficiency.
Design-Build project delivery relies on a fluid communication, collaboration, innovation, and accountability at all stages. D-B project management stays ahead of traditional project management pitfalls by acknowledging partnerships and contractual obligations of the Design-Build team ordered by the project owner at earlier stages of project delivery.
At the beginning of project conception, the designer and project owner contact the Design-Build teams for handling project construction. D-B teams begin intentional communication and share knowledge of D-B project goals among team members. Technical relationships form between the D-B firm and specialty trades during alignment. An alignment strategy builds trust between D-B team members and the project owner. Designers openly share information, and team members communicate their roles. For example, Re:Build Manufacturing may have an order from a client who orders a new glass manufacturing facility. Re:Build Manufacturing will identify the design requirements and work with another team of professionals to specialize in different aspects of the final design delivery. Re:Build Optimation Technology joins the D-B team as a partner whose specialized role is implementing the contract’s technical assembly line designs that meet the contract goals. United as one entity known as the Design-Build team, the two teams focus on their roles and actively participate with the client during the project. Unifying Design-Build teams at the beginning of a project is essential in the Design-Build project delivery methodology in creating efficient communication protocols and tools for tighter collaboration. Design-Build alignment strategy is a constant effort between D-B team members in recognizing responsibilities and actively communicating with a project owner at all phases is how alignment works to accelerate D-B projects at the early design phases into construction operations.
At the beginning of a Design-Build alignment strategy, there is a “kickoff meeting.”The kickoff meeting is a characteristic of Design-Build project management. D-B alignment strategy discusses project roles, responsibilities, quality management processes, schedules, and event payment schedules. At the kickoff meeting, project stakeholders formally introduce their roles and recognize any potential for design innovation on the project before major operations begin. In a D-B project, the design procurement phase is more flexible, and final designs may change at any stage throughout a project before closeout. Early team alignment on a system of values, communication protocols, and contractual expectations brings value to the project owner.
A kickoff meeting involves D-B teams, project owners, and stakeholders recognizing their responsibilities. Unifying D-B teams’ understanding of contractual specifications before construction operations have fully begun is how a kickoff meeting brings value early in a project. The meeting sets the D-B team up for the entire project through completion. Alignment sets the tone for collaboration and efficiency to proceed through the entirety of a project. Stakeholders such as community leaders, federal financing agencies, and representatives from specialty agencies participate in a kickoff meeting as well. Kickoff meetings recognize processes for review, QM, and potential innovations D-B teams can address throughout the project. The kickoff meeting and other tools for alignment strategy are further outlined in the National Academy of Sciences Guidebook on Design-Build Delivery.
From a clear alignment strategy, a clear scope strategy emerges. Project managers now informed of contractual obligations and design limitations of contractual responsibilities begin to organize team roles. Scope strategy establishes a schedule that D-B team members reference their functions during construction. D-B teams share information and plan their roles to form a clear scope strategy. Responsible D-B teams will announce early any schedule or design conflicts. Early knowledge of design and early communication of design innovation allows a fluid innovation process on a D-B project. D-B contracts accelerate delivery when innovation becomes a necessary course of action to meet contractual obligations and those innovations are delivered with far less disruption due to active participation among D-B teams.
After design procurement, a clear scope strategy ensures miscommunications are clarified and enables close collaboration between D-B teams before setbacks may affect project delivery. The fast-paced nature of D-B helps save operational costs by saving time, and scope strategy accelerates collaboration to allow an efficient process for necessary design innovation. During and after a design procurement, D-B teams may find discrepancies with their assigned roles. A scope strategy gives the D-B teams the tools they need to articulate their positions and define their contractual obligations to meet design goals and comply with any limitations of the contract.
On a hypothetical D-B project, construction company (X) and manufacturing company (Y) may each partner with the same millwright company (Z) for different needs on the same project ordered by the same client. On a D-B contract, a construction company (X) and a manufacturing company (Y) will be partnered on a D-B project to form a D-B team with the millwright company (Z). Enter D-B team XYZ. Their task is to deliver a new factory for a client (A). X and Y consult their different roles with a millwright company (Z) who will collaborate with X and Y on their responsibilities for the project. The three teams will all meet with the client (A) to identify project orders, communicate their roles, identify inspection terms to meet quality expectations, and coordinate construction schedules. Team member X will collaborate differently with team member Z and team member Y will have a different relationship with team member Z during the project, but with open communication between all teams, they can unify as one entity to better serve the client on the project delivery by coordinating roles in advance using a base of shared knowledge and scope. The communication of role, risk, and schedule facilitates collaboration and fast-tracks early innovation on designs when necessary. Scope strategies minimize risk to all team members working on the D-B project.
Scope strategy increases efficiency between the Design-Build team and specialized agencies to accelerate project delivery. Communication protocol for the Design-Build teams is shared between all stakeholders to assure project quality and allow innovation where it is necessary to meet deadlines. There is less time to re-delegate positions when all teams know their roles. Miscommunications can lead to missed objectives under project orders. Good scope strategy unifies the D-B teams to operate faster with common knowledge of project goals.
Design Quality Strategy
Strategies created early, alignment, and scope strategies allow time and space for Design Quality Strategy. D-B project management ensures design quality while construction is in progress. Rules for the D-B teams’ active participation in quality control inspection reflect quality goals and obligations set in a D-B contract. Having inspection rules and unifying D-B teams to share design quality responsibilities makes the quality control process more consistent and more time-efficient. Actively observing quality standards allows D-B to deliver high-quality projects faster than other project delivery methods. D-B projects can move quickly because of a unified D-B team’s communication of quality standards. This strategy allows uninhibited innovation to reach high quality and performance standards. “D-B projects are typically procured with 20-30 percent of the design complete.” There is a flexible approach to D-B projects that other delivery processes do not allow. Flexibility for D-B team innovation during the construction phase creates room for D-B teams to improve on a proposed design. D-B projects can move faster due to the reduced time to communicate when and where innovations are necessary on proposed designs.
With design quality information shared and roles expressed early in a project, D-B teams understand design limitations earlier. Innovation allows a D-B project to complete processes and improve designs, leading to greater satisfaction and increased value on investment.
Construction Quality Strategy
D-B contractual specifications promote construction quality during project delivery. Design-Build contracting gives D-B teams, project owners, and specialized agencies opportunities to add new and innovative inspection techniques to ensure construction quality. Since D-B involves open information sharing, there is time to establish construction methods and means at the earliest stages of D-B projects. D-B teams will know how to assure quality in the finished product. Roles for QA and QC can be redirected and confirmed between the D-B team of contractors and the design team itself at any stage. Early implementation of QA/QC methods allows for the most efficient construction quality standards.
Construction Efficiency Strategy
For a Design-Build project to maximize benefits for all parties, efficiency strategy is a key to consolidating the entire project with cost-saving measures and implementing innovative designs on the D-B project. The fast pace of D-B creates opportunities for time and cost savings on sophisticated projects due to the implementation of efficient construction operations. Clear project goals and scope set at the beginning of a construction project during the design procurement allow D-B teams access to the vital information before primary operations begin. A clear understanding of the goals and means of construction and the intentional partnerships to meet these aims acted on at the beginning is a vital part of construction efficiency strategy. The D-B firm can adapt to the design by planning earlier than a traditional D-B-B strategy.
On D-B project delivery for highway projects, construction efficiency strategies would communicate project deadlines and planned operations and identify a stage where construction is complete. Construction efficiency strategy ensures that the closeout and payments schedules are appropriately aligned to minimize miscommunication at the end of project delivery. There is a more precise understanding between the project owner and the D-B firm responsible for coordinating the official closeout. Costs savings and design quality control roles are understood and communicated from the beginning to the end of a D-B project.
Design-Build: an iterative project management process keeping innovation, quality, and budget top of mind
The five overarching strategies for D-B contract administration are interconnected and used by D-B contract administrators to maximize the benefits of the D-B project delivery method. Although each strategy serves different objectives, the key to implementing D-B is tight collaboration early in a D-B project. The focus on clear communication and cooperation between stakeholders, project owners, and the D-B firm reduces the friction between teams and consolidates responsibilities within the D-B firm. Each of the five D-B contract administration strategies works in harmony through an interconnected framework. These strategies create a shared knowledge of project goals and clearly outline the D-B teams’ collaborative roles.
The earlier these D-B administration strategies work, the more time for information to be shared. When teams are knowledgeable about the project before significant operations begin, less time delegating and re-delegating responsibilities cause profitability through efficiency. Teams know who is responsible for their role in a design. That shared understanding makes the D-B project delivery a fast-paced system with the in-built capacity to innovate on designs to strengthen the quality of the end product.
Design-Build can positively impact any number of industries. D-B has helped us in our mission to re-shore America’s industrial capacity. With the growing trends worldwide and strains on globalized supply chains, re-shoring an American-owned industrial economy will help propel America’s economy into the latest technological revolution. At Re: Build Optimation, the complex processes of designing and implementing customers’ orders enhance with Design-Build. At Re: Build Optimation, we implement sophisticated automation systems for new American-made manufacturers to compete in their markets. With Design-Build project delivery, clients are at the forefront of their projects. They remain involved throughout the project delivery to ensure the highest quality and benefits upon project delivery.
To learn more about the impacts of Design-Build, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) publishes regular infographics and regular reports that detail the progression of D-B in the US.
Sources for Design-Build research:
Defining What is Design-Build:
- DBIA web article https://dbia.org/what-is-design-build/
- DBIA Rocky Mtn Region web article: https://www.dbiarockymountain.org/what_is_design_build.php
- DBIA video (YouTube link): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPNM8288AZg
- MyFDOT What is Progressive Design-Build video (YouTube link): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLFnc4XD7sQ
- National Academy of Sciences Guidebook to Design-Build Vol. 1: http://nap.edu/25686
Defining Progress reports on D-B
- DBIA and FMI podcast: Design-Build 2021 report summary https://soundcloud.com/dbia/new-year-new-opportunities-for-design-build-teams?
- A Survey of State DOTs success with D-B: https://dbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Transportation-Research-Report-Survey-State-DOTs.pdf
- DBIA 2018 report on D-B performance 1998-2018: https://dbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Cost_Performance_Research-CII_Pankow2018.pdf
- D-B Data Sourcebook: https://dbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/DBIA-Data-Sourcebook-2021.pdf
- DBIA and FMI projections for D-B growth Market Research report 2016-2025 and predictions: https://dbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/FMI-DB-Market-Research-2021_2025.pdf