Whether you are relocating or refurbishing, you’ll need someone to implement the design and construction of the overall project. This is everything you need to know about design & build and traditional procurement, including how the delivery methods differ and the benefits of each.
Selecting the right method of procurement is essential to achieving an end result that matches your organisation’s requirements. Before beginning your office fit out or refurbishment project, it is essential to gain a clear understanding of the key differences between design and build and traditional procurement.
Traditional delivery involves appointing an architectural practice or design consultancy as well as an interior designer, project manager, cost consultant, mechanical and electrical consultant(s), IT consultant, furniture specialist and all the other specialists involved in delivering the project. The client directly sets and manages the design and the budget parameters.
The traditional procurement process has three stages: design, bid and build. In this process, the project owner negotiates separately with an architect (or interior design) practice and construction contractor. Firstly, the project owner hires a design firm to deliver complete design documents. The company then requests bids from contractors to perform the work defined in the tender documents and awards the tender to the lowest bidder.
Design and build offers clients a turnkey solution with design, specification, consultancy, project management and construction services all under one roof. Design and build (also known as D&B) is a procurement process that speeds up your relocation or refurbishment programme, delivering a more time efficient and cost effective design solution. Using this modern procurement method, the project owner hires a single company to perform both the design and construction under a single contract.
Traditional procurement vs design & build: Which one is better? Both methods of project delivery will have merit for different types of business and project requirements.
Projects delivered using a traditional process tend to experience escalated budgets, as anything outside the tender specification is chargeable. Delivery times can also be uncertain and are usually longer, as variations to the tender specification will automatically trigger extensions to the programme.
Delivering a project using design and build is more time efficient and cost effective. Industry research shows that as much as 85% of interior fit out projects with a value of less than £5,000,000 are procured via this model. With a positive perception and increasing demands, design and build has positioned itself firmly on the office fit out and design map for small to large projects.
|Design and Build
|Construction costs initially unknown - cost certainty achieved later
|Construction cost realised and fixed from initial design phase
|Owner retains control over design and construction
|Requires less owner expertise and resources
|Design and construction are sequential, typically resulting in longer schedules
|Construction can overlap design completion reducing project schedule
|Client retains the risk of consultant/contractor non-performance
|Diminished risk and liability with single, unified team
|Owner acts as arbiter for the design and construction issues that occur for each company
|Single point of contact throughout project
|Value engineering occurs when contractor awarded
|Value engineering occurs at outset of project
|Very contractual with limited flexibility of client-side variations. Can add time to project, will change timelines and program, incurring greater costs
|Agile and quick to amend client-side variations. Designs and costs produced simultaneous
In the past, larger specialist projects have only been an option for traditional procurement, where separate consultants and architectural consultancies are used.
However, design and build has evolved to suit these more complex projects. Design and build is now a common and competitive delivery method for projects of 70,000 sq ft and higher: we’re currently delivering the UK’s largest design and build project at One Portsoken Street – over 230,000 sq ft of office space due for completion in 2021.
Project owners who have the budget to manage and oversee the process might be more suited to the traditional approach, especially if they are willing to accept the risks of unforeseen costs and extended schedules.
The design and build approach is becoming increasingly popular in the UK market for building new workplaces and redesigning existing ones, namely due to its ability to consistently achieve:
• Greater cost certainty
• Single point of responsibility for project owners
• Bespoke design and high-quality results
• Greater opportunity for value engineering
• Faster delivery
Design and build provides a high-quality finish with an efficient delivery. With competition for space continuously rising, more and more companies are choosing design and build for their office fit out or refurbishment.
Both landlords and tenants use design and build to improve second-hand stock. It allows for the speedy refurbishment of new or empty space, ultimately resulting in bringing more property to the saturated commercial market. It also lends itself well to roll-outs and standardisation, further benefitting landlords by enabling them to capitalise on a strong market. With D&B projects taking an average of 5-12 weeks from start to finish, that’s more space to meet market demands more quickly.
Another benefit of design and build is that it de-risks the procurement process for clients at a time when financial caution is crucial. D&B delivers 100% cost certainty as the client and contractor share the risk. It also creates a single point of contact and accountability as the contractor is responsible for the entire project.
When deciding whether to take the design and build or traditional approach, it’s useful to evaluate the similarities and differences of each. We’ve compiled the key attributes of each procurement method in the table below.
We lead you through each step of the fit out process, outlining industry terminology, considering cost and timescale, and demonstrating the benefits of design and build throughout this complex journey.download now