by Jen Luoni
Within traditional construction, architecture is positioned as the champion for idealistic design versus the pragmatic in-field execution of general contractors due to varying interests. This can leave the client feeling abandoned and solely responsible for overseeing the project through to final completion. However, design build creates a path for realistic synergy, something which, once experienced, leaves clients feeling incorporated into an overall process harmonizing successful design with expedient execution. Getting clients nascent to design build past this perception is a preeminent challenge. Conveying design build’s principles and attributes can be done as follows.
The architectural function within design build is fully supported. A comprehensive execution of ideation, drafting and material selection is supported by a full department of registered architects, designers and drafters. Being located under one roof does not shortchange positions. In fact, this geographic closeness enables the ability to design with an understanding of cost and construction means and methods, which enhances the final product.
Checks and Balances
Design build is a process of counterbalances, whereby the architect and pre-construction project planner act as a ballast against challenges which may prohibit project advancement. The architect focuses on layout and structural design, while the planner provides cost analysis and construction knowledge to tailor architectural efforts. As the project advances, project managers and field staff confirm feasibility of the design’s intent, eliminating potential issues and saving upfront design time.
Doing Right, Not Wrong
Performance-based design doesn’t rely on a drawing specification; it relies on teamwork. All assigned to the project need to understand client goals and the interrelated dynamics between consultants, subcontractors and architects. The end result is greater pride, better productivity, less execution time and clear costs. All parties become one advocate, rather than the architect solely assuming this role.
In a society of increased technicality, Americans seek simplicity in everything from consumer products to services. Architectural design should be no different. Outside of design build, there exists an inherent conflict between architects and general contractors. In design build, that same variance in viewpoints exists, but it doesn’t slow progress; rather, it drives better solutions that maintain integrity from design and cost standpoints. Design build is the epitome of refining operations and streamlining costs. For a successful project, there cannot be one without the other.
Jen Luoni is director of operations – architecture at Dacon Corporation.