Teamwork is Key to Exceeding Project Expectations

 

By Calin Riley

When beginning a construction project, controlling costs is always a top priority. Too often, however, project owners limit their ability to manage costs by separating the design process from construction. Design/build projects, on the other hand, link the two together at the start.

This process ensures that the contractor is able to provide input to the architect on critical decisions that will determine a project’s efficiency. Including the contractor in this process ensures that the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems meet and do not exceed the owner’s requirements, which can cause unnecessary additional fees. Integrating the contractor into the team early on can also ensure that the latest energy efficient products are installed, which will contribute to the overall lifespan of the building and control recurring costs far past project completion. By determining these specifics up-front and investing in the proper equipment and technology, project owners are decreasing the possibility of having to make these changes later – which will likely be much more expensive further down the road.

When the designer and the contractor form a team early on, they are also able to foster a relationship that maximizes both trust and communication. Effective communication leads to long-term success in almost everything, so why would a project delivery system be any different?

Establishing these communication channels from the beginning also saves the owner time and money in the long run because they allow for open dialogue, thoughts and ideas to flow between teams. In addition, when a project owner is comfortable with the team as a whole, they can avoid potential for shoddy workmanship that could result from a lowest bidder platform. While the bid may be low up front, the hidden costs and time delays that can result from lack of teamwork between the designer and builder will likely skyrocket. Implementing this project delivery system will also reduce change orders on an owner’s next project. It is best to consider and select these two professionals as a team rather than as separate providers.

The concept of design/build is not only related to money. It is related to the overall efficiency of a project from design through construction completion. By enabling the designer and contractor to join forces from day one, the project owner is creating a stronger opportunity for long-term success.

Calin Riley is the director of business development and a project manager for Riley Contracting Group, Inc., a team-oriented general contractor building relationships throughout central North Carolina for more than 25 years.

Have an idea for a guest blog for Construction Today? Contact alan.dorich@phoenixmediacorp.com or jim.harris@phoenixmediacorp.com.

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