Design-Build – What it Really Means

Design-Build - What it Really Means

So would you choose a two-legged stool over a three-legged one?

Okay, maybe that’s a silly question. But figuratively speaking, two-legged stools are awfully prevalent in the design-build realm these days.

There’s a common misconception out there that “design-build” equates to contractors that handle all design work in-house with staff designers or architects. Not so. While this inflexible model works for some projects, it’s poorly suited for others and can serve clients pretty badly.

Why? Because it reduces the three-legged stool of project development – client, designer and builder – to two. The result? Lack of balance.

Don’t get me wrong;

the problem is not inherent to design-build. It’s with the warping of what the term really means.

“Design-build” actually refers to a project development strategy in which one entity brings architect, contractor and client together to foster collaboration. Done right, it’s a streamlined process that facilitates timely, meaningful input by all three “legs of the stool” resulting, ultimately, in a stronger final product.

Put another way, it’s about setting the conditions for effective advocacies. For a project to meet its full potential and really shine, it requires healthy, empowered advocacies from all three realms of project development:

The Designer:

Advocates for the way a project’s spaces work and interact with one another, its volumetrics, and its aesthetics.

 The Builder:

Advocates for safety, efficiency, cost containment, and longevity of the building envelope.

 The Client:

Advocates for their needs now and in the future, financial realities, and for all the ways they want the building to serve them.

A good project development process brings all three of these advocacies around one table to work together, advocate for what is important to them, grapple for joint solutions, and ultimately craft a plan that is greater than the sum of its parts. We’re …

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Home Builder Questions to Ask – Top Five

Home Builder Questions to Ask - Top Five

When you hire a home builder, you want to make sure you find someone who will build your dream home. When you decide to hire a builder, you have to ask various questions to make sure the builder will build a house that you can like. So, what are the top five home builders questions that you should ask to keep your home building experience from becoming a nightmare?

1. Are you insured and bound?

This is very important because you want to make sure that if there is a problem with building a house, you are protected. If someone is injured, the builder needs to be insured so you can make sure you are not responsible for the injury. Also, having someone insured and bound shows you that they are more legitimate, which is important with home builders.

2. How was your crew experience?

If the build crew is inexperienced, the work will be seen in your home. You want to make sure your house is built to your specifications and that means having an experienced crew. So, if the home builder has some unskilled workers, the quality will be seen. Make sure that the crew is experienced and you have to find that the quality of the work has improved.

3. Can I see your reference?

This is what you want to get from builders because it allows you to talk to former builder clients, as well as to see the home projects they have been working on. Seeing what builders have done in the past shows you how they will do in the future on your project.

4. What is your policy on change?

If there will be changes to the work plan, you want the builder to let you know in advance. If there will be …

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