Design and build (also known as D&B) is a procurement process that speeds up the overall relocation or refurbishment programme, delivering a more time efficient and cost effective office design.
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 and furniture specialist etc. You directly set and manage the design and the budget parameters. D&B on the other hand offers clients a turnkey solution with design, specification, consultancy, project management and construction services all under one roof.
Projects that are procured through a traditional process have a tendency towards escalating 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.
Procuring a project through a D&B model 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.
Another benefit of D&B is that it also de-risks the process for clients at a time when financial caution is the watchword. It delivers 100% cost certainty as the client and contractor share the risk. It also creates a single point of contact and accountability – i.e. the contractor is responsible for the entire project.
With competition for space expected to continue to rise, we predict more and more companies to turn to D&B for their office fit out or refurbishment. When they do experience this route, they will not only see that they can fit out their office interior much faster, they will also see the high-quality finishes that are achievable and select this route in the future as a result.
Interestingly, sizeable, more specialist and complex projects would historically have only been an option for traditional design, procurement and delivery, where separate consultants and architectural consultancies are used. With the maturing of D&B though, it’s capable of so much more and we’re now working on more projects of 50,000-70,000 sq ft.
We also expect to see D&B being used more to improve second-hand stock by landlords, as well as tenants. It allows for the speedy refurbishment of new or empty space, ultimately resulting in bringing more property to the saturated commercial 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.
In short, D&B lends itself well to roll-outs and standardisation, which may benefit landlords further and enable them to capitalise on a strong market. With a positive perception and increasing demands, D&B has positioned itself firmly on the office fit out and design map for small to large projects.