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In the design build construction approach, a client engages in a singular contract that encompasses both architectural design services and the actual construction of the project. This method simplifies the collaboration, communication, and coordination processes. Throughout the entire construction phase, the client interacts with a sole point of contact for inquiries and collaborative input. The contract may involve the client with either the architect or the contractor; notably, there is a growing trend where both the architect and contractor are part of a unified design-build firm, contracted by the owner to execute the project.

The Design Build Construction Process

Design Build Construction
Design Build Construction

The distinguishing feature of the Design Build Construction Project delivery model is its emphasis on collaboration, influencing aspects ranging from project bids and scheduling to the final product’s quality. Below are eight fundamental steps integral to the design-build process.

Site Selection

In the pre-development phase, the owner actively seeks suitable sites for construction. The design-build firm may provide input to identify the optimal location. Subsequently, the owner obtains necessary zoning, conducts a site survey, carries out geotechnical investigations, and undertakes environmental assessments for the chosen property.

Project Conception and Feasibility

As the site selection progresses, the owner begins to conceptualize the project’s scope, budget, and schedule to assess its overall feasibility. Collaborating with design-build teams during project conception allows early involvement of architects and engineers, shaping the project more effectively.

Preliminary Design and Cost Estimation

Owners enlist the expertise of a design-build team to create initial visual representations of the project using building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC). Early collaboration provides Design Build Construction teams with valuable insights into project design, scope, budget, and timeline.

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Selecting the Design Build Construction Team

At this stage, the owner formulates a preliminary request for proposal (RFP) and shares it with selected proposers. Proposers can seek clarification and make qualifications before submitting bids, and the owner finalizes the RFP. Rather than prioritizing the lowest price, the owner looks for proposers offering value in achieving project goals.

Due to the collaborative nature of the relationship between owners and design-build teams, these firms often cultivate strong connections with owners. During the selection process, owners may draw on past experiences to hire teams they are familiar with.

Design Phase

In this phase, the Design Build Construction firm and owner collaborate to develop conceptual designs for the project. These designs are refined enough to establish realistic contract terms, including defining performance requirements, outlining an early schedule and budget, and setting mutual goals.

Design Phase
Design Phase

Contract Finalization

Once the project establishes a definitive scope, schedule, and design, the design-builder and the owner can reach an agreement on the final contract cost.

Construction Phase

Throughout construction, the Design Build Construction team oversees subcontracting, daily management, scheduling, and regularly reports back to the owner. A notable advantage of design-build is the streamlined communication, as the owner has a single point of contact within the design-build team.

Project Closure and Post-Construction Review

During the closure phase, the contractor reviews the project with the owner and provides any necessary documentation. Because all paperwork and documentation are centralized within a single design-build team, the closure process can be faster and more straightforward compared to traditional design-bid-build methods.

Advantages of Design Build Construction

Advantages of Design Build Construction
Advantages of Design Build Construction

The design-build method follows a similar overall structure to the more traditional design-bid-build delivery model, but it allows for substantial owner involvement while minimizing their responsibility and risk. Here’s a comparison of design-build with other common project delivery methods.

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Each delivery method has its pros and cons, and the choice depends on the owner’s preference for involvement, risk tolerance, and experience in construction projects. Nevertheless, the design-build method presents numerous benefits for construction owners.


The close, collaborative nature of the design build construction method fosters strong relationships between owners and design-build teams. This close relationship increases the potential for repeat business for the design-build team. Owners can leverage relationships with design-build teams that provide architects, designers, BIM, and virtual design capabilities in-house, involving them early in the process to inform project conceptualization and feasibility.

Cost & Quality

Enhanced collaboration from the project’s early stages can result in significant budget savings and a more efficient schedule. When architects, engineers, contracting, and owner teams collaborate and share information, resources, and knowledge, each stage is optimized to save time and money. This collaborative approach allows for an effective Value Engineering process to build an optimum quality product.

Risk Mitigation

The comprehensive nature of the design-build contract shifts much of the project’s risk away from the owner to the design-build contractor. Consequently, owners are often better protected against unexpected costs arising from design errors or construction delays.

In the traditional design-bid-build construction delivery model, owners are responsible for collecting bids and entering into contracts with multiple companies. This places the bulk of the responsibility for budgeting and contracting on the owner and may involve a significant role in the design process. With a design-build firm handling a single project contract, the owner retains control over project stipulations and requirements but may have the opportunity to take a more passive role during later stages, providing approvals as the project nears completion. However, this increased reliance on the professionalism and capabilities of the design-builder is a crucial consideration.


The traditional design-bid-build delivery method often created a competitive environment among contractors, fostering a race to assign blame and responsibility. Consequently, there was limited sharing of information between parties. Siloed information resulted in inefficiencies, conflicting opinions, and an adversarial approach to change management.

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In contrast, the design-build method aligns contracting and design specialists on the same team alongside the owner. Defaulting to cooperation, information sharing ensures that recommendations to the owner are cohesive and grounded in the owner’s specifications and budget.


In projects involving multiple parties under separate contracts, changes can cause significant disruptions as each entity tries to transfer responsibility and additional costs to others. The adversarial nature of the change process can lead to delays and increased expenses.

Within the design-build contract framework, where all participants collaborate on the same team, the change process transforms into a collective effort to resolve issues. Each team member can contribute their skills and expertise to implement changes swiftly and without dissent.

Asia Pacific Projects: Your Premier Partner in Project Management

Welcome to APPMVN, where excellence in project management meets innovation. As a leading company specializing in project management services, we pride ourselves on adopting progressive methodologies to ensure the success of your construction projects. Our commitment to transparency and adaptability sets us apart in the dynamic landscape of design build construction.

At APPMVN, we understand the critical role that effective project delivery plays in achieving success. Our approach is inspired by the principles outlined in the design build construction mode. This model emphasizes collaboration, information sharing, and a unified team approach to streamline the construction process.

Explore the possibilities of seamless project execution with APPMVN, where transparency and flexibility are at the core of our project management services. Learn more about our offerings and how we can elevate your construction projects to new heights by visiting:

Please send information or requests that you need to consult for Asia Pacific Projects via:

NGUYEN THI HIEU | Local Relations

Mobile phone: +84 918 331 489


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