The advantages of a design and build approach.

In a previous blog, we outlined the defining features of a design and build approach to projects and some of the reasons why Claremont advocates it. But how can we be sure that design and build is so much better than other methods? Well, the simple answer is that we can’t in every case.

Each project is different and the right methods must always be applied depending on the objectives and circumstances of a particular client. What we do know is that when design and build is right for a specific project, it can provide substantial, quantifiable and irrefutable benefits, not least of which is a great place to work.

Rather than having a series of designers and contractors completing their part of a project before handing it over for the next stage, the design and build contractor can successfully manage tasks to run in parallel to help the project stick to a critical path. Instead of a team of runners passing a baton to each other in relay, nearly everybody can be running at the same time. That is where the time savings come in over traditional methods.

The research by RICS into the speed of design and build projects is unequivocal. The construction speed of an average design and build project is some 46 per cent quicker than an alternative procurement method.


Again, according to the 2010 RICS research, design and build projects are typically around 15 per cent cheaper than projects using traditional methods. In large part, this can be attributed to the greater use of in-house resource from the contractor, shorter project times and simpler contractual arrangements.

The other good news is that this saving is not significantly influenced by any detail specified in the brief so you can be fairly sure that what you get will be exactly what you are expecting at the lowest possible cost. And the other good news is that it typically won’t go over budget. According to the Chartered Institute of Building around 76 per cent of design and build projects based on a minimal design statement are completed to budget or below.

End results.

Speaking more subjectively, in the majority of cases, design and build will deliver better results than traditional methods, notably in terms of cost and speed to complete. But it also offers exceptional designs and end results when you work with the right partner.

Of course, there is no guarantee that any procurement process will provide you with a better design than any other so the outcome of any project is entirely down to the skill and experience of the people working on it. This is what makes a project come alive and this should be the most important factor for you when deciding the company with whom you want to work.

To find out more, download our whitepaper “Design and build; simply better results”, which lays out the business case for design and build, explains the process in more detail and will help you reach a decision about the best approach for your project:



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