Design-bid-build project delivery makes the contractor's bid (price) the key criterion for selection. Selection based on price requires that each competitor bid on the same scope and requirements. The architect prepares the drawings and specifications with no trade or contractor input, the underlying assumption being that this process results in the best plans. Contractors then bid based solely on plans and specifications. Bidders assume that the design accurately represents the owner's building requirements.
Both assumptions are significantly flawed. The owner and architect make key decisions at the beginning based on a limited understanding of construction issues. The construction team possesses deep industry knowledge and understanding of critical project risks that the owner and architect may not consider.
Conversely, the construction team must rapidly assimilate complex design information in developing its bid. Important details and nuances are lost in the effort. The team is further handicapped as communicating via documents is not as effective as interactive conversations. And the bid deadline provides the bidders a few weeks to comprehend and price components that took months to design.
Integrated Project Delivery changes everything. The key design and construction players are brought together at the beginning of design. They define and solve design issues collaboratively. This process provides maximum insight as the architect creates the design. The construction team obtains a much deeper understanding of the design. Waste is eliminated, quality improved, schedules are expedited, and profits enhanced.
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