Less Risk + the Right People Collaborating + Competitive Bids + Early Starts
Most people envision a big box store when using the term “one-stop shopping”, and I’d bet that they would never think of a commercial contractor, instead. However, a design/build contractor provides one-stop shopping for architectural plans and construction services (and everything in between), also known as Single Source Responsibility (SSR).
There are several key items to making any construction project successful and those include a collaborative team, detailed/accurate plans, competitive bids, and adequate time to provide a quality project. By using a design/build contractor as SSR, an owner gets an architect, contractor, and estimator as a package deal on their team by placing one phone call and that team takes on the full risk of providing an owner’s vision within budget and on time. The architect meets with the owner to determine the scope and creates preliminary (Phase I) drawings. The contractor collaborates with the architect to review the plans for construction applications and makes suggestions to streamline the building phase. The estimator then establishes a rough estimate providing a budget for the owner to take to his financing company early in the process.
Alternatively, with the design/bid/build (or general construction) method of construction, the building owner takes on 100% of the risk, works with their selected architect to provide 100% complete drawings to the contractor who then bids it out without an opportunity for constructability review, and then the owner can only get an estimated budget just prior to construction. This method has been the standard since the beginning of the industry and has provided sufficient results, however, if there are going to be problems during construction, or over spending, it’s much more likely to happen with the design/bid/build method.
Wolgast uses architectural firms with licensed architects who work with our construction team to get a constructability review prior to bidding. Constructability review is partially (along with open communication) what allows us to take on the risk of guaranteeing budget and delivery date, as well as starting construction early when needed.
Speaking of starting early, since the SSR team is already familiar with the plans, they can get permits, order materials, prepare the site, and basically start the project before the plans are finalized, which can result in the project being completed months earlier than a design/bid/build project. SSR is A.K.A. a third name, Fast-Track Construction.
SSR has an additional perk that not everyone realizes, and that is the multiple bid process. Many times owners feel that they are better off with the traditional means of construction, so they can get competitive bids, however the SSR method includes getting the multiple bids for subcontractor trade categories from qualified contractors. Furthermore, the SSR will have collected a wide variety of bids for each trade, so the holder of the bids will see who all the low bidders are for each category, rather than design/bid/build, which has several general contractors collecting a few bids from subs in the market. With SSR, owners are going to get great quality at a great price resulting in the best value!