Learn more about what it means to "Design-Build"
Consider a design-build approach to achieve cost and time efficiencies in your recognition display project

The development and delivery of a recognition project involves many entities making the path confusing.  A design-build approach streamlines the process, minimizing cost and maximizing efficiencies.  This approach typically applies to a construction project, however it directly translates to recognition displays.

The recognition design concept often becomes a marketing tool for the foundation development team.  The design concept brings the various needs of multiple shareholders together.  The visual expression enhances the development team’s connection with prospective donors.

The Design-Build Approach is a team working together from start to finish with purposeful collaboration.  A design-build approach is a method to deliver a project which the design and construction services are performed by a single entity.  It is one of the oldest forms of construction procedure.  One entity holds single source responsibility and contractual risk.   Oftentimes, architects and interior designers make up the team in a consultative format.

Proponents of the design-build approach believe it saves time and money for the owner, while providing the opportunity to achieve innovation of the final product.  Design-build brings value engineering into the design process at the onset of a project

Design-build brings all members of a project team together early in the process to identify and address issues of cost, schedule, and constructability.  Proponents suggest as a result, design-build alleviates conflict between parties and reduces owner risk for design errors.

The cost and schedule reduction and decreased litigation associated with design-build project delivery have been demonstrated repeatedly.  Researchers on Selecting Project Delivery Systems by Victor Sanvido and Mark Knochar of Pennsylvania State University found that design-build projects are delivered 33.5% faster than projects that are designed and built under separate contracts (design-bid-build).  The research also showed that design-build projects are constructed 12% faster and have a unit cost that is 6.1% lower than design-bid-build projects.

The converse of a Design-Build approach is a Design-Bid-Build Approach.   To some, a design-bid-build approach offers a formal purchasing format at various development stages of a project.  Stages may include concept design, fabrication and installation – each require on-going management.  With multiple points of development and purchasing requirements, a design-bid-build approach tends to extend the timeline from concept to completion.

Pre-Planning Questions

When considering your path for the development and delivery of a recognition project – regardless of the approach – consider the following questions:

Who is solely responsible to pull all entities together?

Who is responsible for meeting the expectations of the donors?

  • How are the donor’s expectation of their gifts reflected in the display?
  • Who is the final decision maker regarding the design when tasked with meeting donor expectations?
  • Is this clearly defined in a written scope of the project?
  • Does a development/foundation representative ‘sign off’ on the concept?

At what stage of construction does the process of communication begin – between foundation and architect?

Who is the point of contact when something isn’t quite right?

  • Have you ever felt like the concept/final display misrepresents the donor’s expectation? How is that addressed?
  • Who is responsible to oversee design through fabrication?
  • What is the process to ensure the design concept is developed into a physical piece that meets the approval of all parties (architect/designer/owner)?

When is the budget determined?

  • Who determines the budget?
  • Who approves the final budget of the recognition project?
  • How are architect/designer fees addressed? Are they itemized or part of a package?
  • Does your budget include architect/designer fees?

When determining the recognition investment to gift ratio, do you factor in architect/designer fees?

Is the team (architect/designer/foundation) open to recommendations from fabricator to ensure production quality, budget and other parameters?

What is the timeline?

  • Who determines the timeline?
  • Multiple entities (architect/designer, fabricator, foundation, project manager, IT, financial/purchasing) required advanced planning and add significantly to the overall timeline.
  • Are there clearly defined timelines from design development, client review, fabricator review/engineering, final acceptance of concept, quote of concept, approval of concept/pricing, and timeline/production time?

Do you have a clear understanding of the physical and financial needs to update the display, if required?

Our experience has found a Design-Build approach delivers your project on time and within budget.