Design & Build (D&B), jargoned in all generosity as Integrated Project Delivery/Turnkey/ALBD (Architect-led Design- Build), has been aggressively gaining momentum in the Indian market. It is a solution whereby the entire responsibility from conception to close-out of a project lies with one entity – The Build Architect. This is executed under one contract with a unified workflow, and on a singular accountability basis. This model is attracting popularity globally due to the benefits of one-single team managing the entire project lifecycle over multiple entities coordinating at different stages in a traditional Design-Bid-Build model. Architects, designers, engineers and the construction team, along with the client, endeavour from day zero to plan the assignment as a team to meet the design intent with absolute adherence to quality, cost and time.
An interesting aspect to D&B is also an unparalleled level of transparency from a very nascent stage that allows for well-reasoned conceptualisation, pre-construction and, eventually, construction. It also helps eliminate process-level obstacles, duplication of work and redundant costs, optimises timelines and, most importantly, plan an often ignored part – MEP – at the pre-construction stage as well. Therefore, in the case of D&B, communication is much more streamlined to avoid coordination glitches, redundancy and conflict of interest that are concerning in case of traditional design assignments.
However, the success of a D&B project greatly depends upon a well-planned design, translating into a justifiably well-executed design. D&B is a win-win proposition across all subjects of the value-chain. The global fiscal deficit has fostered the acceptability for single-window solutions. The market needs together demand for a much greater degree of accountability for every investment made, as opposed to a market which was highly liquid. The industry has also been mulling over the outcome in terms of quality delivered through D&B assignments, and the market today has only a handful of established players that are willing to step up to shoulder that responsibility. Time, quality and investment being key parameters, D&B is positioned ideally for the experienced and the well-networked to execute projects par excellence.
D&B as a solution, if executed well, is also known to reduce the project turn-around-time by nearly 30% as opposed to a traditional design exercise. This is impacted by the expertise of the design firm to design and procure in parallel, hastening the project initiation time. From our experience at DSP Design, having delivered over a few million square feet of D&B projects, this eventually saves the client time which equates to nearly four weeks of real estate renting cost.
Risk under D&B is greatly mitigated, given the onus on the design firm to single-handedly account for any cost over runs, time delays and ensure delivery by documented guarantee on product makes, costs, timelines and post-handover services.
Over the last five years, DSP Design has successfully delivered over 1,000+ design build projects for Fortune 500 companies, with an average project size being 2,50,000sq-ft, effectively enhancing people and organisation performance.
The million dollar question, however, is how this service is perceived. What are the underlying expectations of firms who engage such services? Is D&B a corner-cut solution to designing spaces, or a comprehensive bespoke design solution?

Author :

The Soapbox is an opportunity for our advisory board members to express their opinion on an important industry issue. This month, Yatin Patel shares his insights on the increasingly popular Design & Build trend that places complete responsibility for the execution of a project on the ‘build architect’

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