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August 5, 2020

Is a 'Design and Build Contract' the right contract to choose?

Can the ‘design and build’ model transform interior fit out projects into commercial reality? We examine the advantages of the design and build model and how to select a best design and build contractor.

Many fit out contractors offer the service of design and build to their clients in which there is both a design and construction phase under one contract in order to deliver a project from A-Z. This contract can also be referred to as a 'Turnkey Solution' contract. These contracts can often save clients both time and money. There are certain aspects to be taken into account however when choosing a design and build contract, let’s look at some of the advantages and how to make the selection process as easy and straight forward as possible.

Advantages of design and build contracts

First off all, since a design and build contract is going to provide a client with two jobs rolled into one it is a more viable procurement model. The entire coordination between design, procurement and construction falls under one single point of contact creating a much more seamless experience for the client. During the delivery period the client suddenly has one single agency to interact with in terms of layouts, specifications, scope of work, payments and deadlines. This can often mean that tight timelines can be achieved more easily, as the design and build contractor is able to commence work faster and overlap the design and construction phases, ultimately reducing the overall project delivery time. The possibility of reducing overall costs is also an advantage for clients as contractors may be able to design at a lower or reduced cost than that of professional design consultants if they are awarded the full turnkey contract.

Is design and build a good option for my project?

A&T Group Interiors have found that the design and build procurement route can work well on the below types of project sectors:

  • Commercial
  • Food & Beverage
  • Residential
  • Hotel & leisure
  • Retail

It is particularly common to see design and build within commercial fit out projects and food & beverage fit out projects where multiple locations are delivered because the model allows for complex projects to be sourced and delivered within a reduced time and cost, which is harder to achieve using a traditional approach.

The key for any project however, is partnering with the right team, from the start, to help get to a project completed successfully and provide the highest satisfaction to the Client.

How to select a best-fit design and build contractor

To select the right design and build contractor it is important to ask questions related to both fields – design and construction. Credibility, competency and trustworthiness are all qualities that you must look for when hiring design and build contractors for an interior design fit out. Usually contractors hired for construction are selected on the basis of the previous jobs they have completed. It is important therefore to check the companies portfolio and to examine in detail past projects of a similar nature and take into account the following factors: 

  • Days taken to complete a project
  • Value of projects previously handled
  • Overall quality and finishing of previously completed projects
  • Typical elements they use or have used in the past
  • What finishing touches they give to a project
  • Trusted clients and partners
  • Client testimonials and feedback

It is always highly recommended to first see, and maybe even visit in person some of the previous projects to ensure that you have a high level of trust in the full services of the design and build contractor you are about to hire.

There is no 'I' in design and build

The design and build model cannot be successful with just one person - the whole team must collaborate with each other to complete a quality project on time and within budget.

In conclusion the design and build model is intended to be a highly collaborative, fully integrated process that can save clients both time and money and is built upon trust, teamwork, shared leadership and creative problem solving.

Our news and blog posts intend to keep our audience up to date with everything A&T. Via this section we strive to deliver information that provides real value to the design and construction industry. If you would like to open a conversation with us, comment or debate – please get in touch with info@atginteriors.com.

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