Better quality
The same Construction Industry Institute research that found design-build to be better at cost control than other project delivery systems studied, also showed the method to produce faster and higher quality results. By studying such quantifiable variables as start-up difficulty, call backs, operation and maintenance costs, and owner satisfaction, the institute found that “design-build overall scored higher than its counterparts,” which included design-bid-build and construction management at risk.

The difference lies in where the responsibility for quality control is placed.  In design-build, the design-builder is the single guarantor of quality and, therefore, is highly motivated to ensure that everyone, from the architects to the subcontractors, produces quality work, free from error. By contrast, in the design-bid-build approach, the owner bears the responsibility to ensure that the architectural documents are free from error and relies on the architect to assist in making this guarantee to the contractor. Quality control mechanisms become reactive rather than proactive and include restrictive contractual language, audit and inspection and, occasionally, the legal system.

Cutler Associates works closely with the owner in the planning phase to gain a thorough understanding of the building standards and quality expectations for the project. Then we communicate that directive throughout the team, across disciplines. Strategic use of in-house expertise and prequalification of trades ensures that our team will be capable of producing the desired results. Interdisciplinary peer review at regular intervals allows the team to critique the work from various perspectives and further focus on the quality goals. We encourage subcontractors to call to our attention potential problems or deviations; then we work with them toward proactive resolution. In a design-build project, Cutler is the sole guarantor of a quality operating facility and we base our reputation on fulfilling that responsibility.

For independent comparative information about Design-build, Construction Management and Design-Bid-Build, click here for information about a research study undertaken by the Construction Industry Institute (see publication number RS133-1).