When it comes to making a success of your office fit-out or refurbishment project, it's critical you select the right method of procurement. There are big differences between traditional procurement and design and build and it pays to understand them from the start of any project.
Traditional procurement vs D&B
In the traditional design, bid and build process the project owner negotiates separately with an architect and a construction company, to design the project and then to engage the lowest bidder for construction.
But with the modern procurement method D&B, the project owner works with one company under a single contract to both design and build the project.
It might seem obvious that D&B offers advantages when it comes to quality and efficient delivery for your next refurbishment or fit-out. By contrast more complex, specialist and sizable projects are an option for traditional procurement where specialist consultants and architects are used.
Comparing procurement methods
When it comes to quality and design, both procurement methods offer equivalent capabilities. But where they really contrast is when it comes to issues of cost, control and risk.
With D&B costs are fixed from the initial phase and there is diminished risk and liability within a smaller team. For owners with fewer resources and less industry expertise, D&B can be a smart solution with a single point of contact guiding you throughout the process.
By contrast, traditional procurement methods have unknown costs until much later in the project and the client retains the risk of their chosen partners non-performance. However, if you prefer to retain control over a project you may be better off negotiating with your own partners.
But where D&B really shines is in the value and speed inherent in the D&B process with value engineering occurring from the very start of the project. Traditional procurement is highly contractural with limited flexibility that can add time to a project when the owner acts as the arbiter for any issues that arise throughout the design and build phases. Changing timelines equal higher costs, whereas D&B is agile and quick to adapt to client-side variations.
In addition, the design and build phases can overlap in the D&B process, producing designs and costs simultaneously and effectively reducing the time to completion by 33%. This reduced project schedule is one of the most attractive benefits of D&B procurement.
Of course, both procurement methods will have their advantages depending on the project under development. For project owners with the time and budget to manage and oversee the traditional method, the degree of control can be more rewarding than the D&B process.
The popularity of D&B
Design and build is an increasingly popular procurement method in the UK. When it comes to building and redesigning workplaces for the future, D&B consistently achieves greater cost certainty and faster delivery. D&B lends itself inherently to standardisation and rollouts with bespoke design and quality results that provide greater opportunities for value engineering.
Whatever the size of your next project, design and build can enable you to capitalise on a strong market.