Innovation in construction delivery methodology is clearly trending toward collaborative, teamwork approaches. Design-assist is one such approach that requires taking only a small step away from traditional delivery methods and avoids the leap required by integrated project delivery. Its potential advantages are reduced time and cost for construction, improved constructability and added value.
[A] What Is Design-Assist?
1. Overview. Design-assist is a project delivery method in which the construction team is engaged by the owner to collaborate with the architect or engineer during the design phase. It is intended to reduce the cost and time for construction, improve constructability and add value. Design-assist is part of the recent trend in delivery methods toward teamwork approaches to design and construction.
Under the traditional design-bid-build delivery method, the contractor does not see the plans and specifications until they have been completed by the architect or engineer and are ready for bids. Any suggestions or concerns that the construction team might have with respect to them arise at a point in the process when it might be difficult, very expensive or too late to address them. For example, the curtainwall subcontractor might have an idea for improving the fastening system that could save time and money or the plumbing subcontractor might have a concern with constructability that could result in a change order that will add cost and time to the project.
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