Lessons Learned on Design/Build
Schmidt Associates summarizes lessons learned after each project to continually improve. The list below summarizes our experience with various design/build projects—acting as either the criteria developer or as a member of the design/build team.
• There can be different levels of scope or criteria development depending on the Owner’s desire for control or the desire to include certain features or products.
• Some clients believe the design/build delivery method is less desirable for more complex or specialized projects.
• The Owner must require a realistic schedule and hold the design/builder accountable for meeting it.
• Owner coordination with third-party contracts before, during, or after design/build construction is difficult and may require additional coordination by the Owner.
• It’s important to use explicit language in criteria documents to avoid gaps in the scope.
• Highlight non-negotiable items in performance specifications to clarify scope (i.e. Energy Star requirements, windows in all offices, VRV with a minimum of 15 zones).
• Use Construction Specific Institute (CSI) code when organizing performance specifications for referencing ease.
• Be clear on who is removing, transporting, and installing Owner-provided products.
• Review project-specific requirements when you review proposals and pay particular attention to required clearances.
• Carefully review all of the design/build responses and document any exceptions prior to signing the design/build contract.
Overall, when planning a design/build project, carefully review all criteria and proactively plan the project. These lessons learned will help your project go more smoothly.