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The design-build construction project delivery model has emerged as a formidable approach to development. With its ability to streamline the design and building process, increase collaboration, and deliver projects on time and within budget, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of contractors are turning to this integrated approach. In fact, design-build projects now represent up to 47% of construction spending in 11 non-residential construction segments – demonstrating a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% throughout the 2021-2025 forecast period. That means design-build projects will reach over $400 billion in value by 2025.
In a market as large as the global construction industry, it makes sense that the benefits offered by an improvement in how we build can be significant. In the case of the design-build model, why should owners, developers, architects and general contractors consider adopting this method? And how can today’s technology facilitate it to its full potential?
The design/build method is a powerful approach, offering project completion rates (on average) 102% faster than traditional design-bid-build. When backed by recent innovations in Artificial Intelligence and generative construction (proven to offer an additional 17% average reduction in project duration, with average cost savings of 12% to 14% for equipment and labor, respectively), the benefits of adoption become tremendous.
Currently, there is widespread adoption in the public and institutional markets with steadily growing interest from the private sector. Integration of the design-build process with AI-driven tools for generative construction and optioneering may revolutionize the construction of projects with major impact.
One of the key advantages of the design-build model is its ability to streamline the building process – from start to finish. Traditionally, the design and construction phases have been handled by separate entities, resulting in a fragmented approach (which often leads to miscommunication, delays, and costly project overruns).
However, under the design-build model, architects, engineers, and contractors work collaboratively from the project’s inception, fostering improved communication under a proactively-shared vision. By involving all stakeholders from the outset, the model promotes open lines of communication, fosters a spirit of teamwork, and enables collective decision-making. Architects and engineers can work alongside project contractors, sharing their expertise and insights throughout the entire project lifecycle. Because feedback can be shared and discussed openly by all parties, adjustments to the design can be made as needed – without lengthy revision or delay. This collaborative approach empowers stakeholders – and leads to enhanced problem-solving and innovation – as different perspectives come together to proactively address challenges to constructability.
The integrated nature of design-build supports concurrent design and construction activities, minimizing time-to-completion. Finalization of design documents is not required prior to groundbreaking efforts; basic site preparation and construction can begin as the details of a design are still under consideration.
This not only eliminates unnecessary delays, it enables a more flexible approach to challenges which may arise during the construction process. The iterative feedback loop between the design and construction teams enables rapid adjustments to environmental conditions, material shortages, or other potential delays – allowing the project to move forward smoothly.
Design-build also addresses the plaguing issue of cost overruns. This often stems from miscommunication or unforeseen challenges during the construction phase. By adopting the design-build model, contractors can mitigate these risks and achieve greater cost control. Close collaboration between architects, engineers, and contractors ensures that construction costs and budget constraints are transparent – from initiation to project completion.
By breaking down silos and creating a cohesive team, the design-build model minimizes conflicts, reduces change orders, and ensures a more efficient construction process.
AI Enhances Design-Build
Today’s construction technologies – especially artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions for generative construction and construction optioneering – offer powerful tools that complement design-build project delivery, making it even more effective and allowing for the project team to meet or exceed cost, timeline and quality goals.
AI-driven tools for generative construction can support precise and accurate scheduling, sequencing optimization, and effective allocation of labor and resources while allowing project stakeholders to visualize and simulate millions of options and scenarios relevant to the construction process. These powerful projections can reveal potential bottlenecks and delays before they occur, allowing stakeholders to mitigate risk, optimize resource allocation, and circumvent pathways or events with negative impact to the project timeline.
With ALICE Technologies, our advanced AI and optimization algorithms provide developers and builders with the tools they need to optimize scheduling and resource allocation, visualize construction processes in real-time, and proactively identify potential challenges and bottlenecks before they occur.
By leveraging AI capabilities, project stakeholders can usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in the construction industry – confidently embracing the design-build model, with an eye to building a better future.