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    This approach uses win-win solutions, including those having the best balance of cost, function, efficiency, maintainability, and delivery for a particular project.

    In today’s competitive construction market, there are almost as many project delivery methodologies as projects. But tailoring your choice to the individual project’s specifications and circumstances will help ensure success. Key factors dictating a particular type of delivery method include budget, time restraints, risk, and level of quality.

    The method of choice for many owners is the Design/Build approach, which has become more popular in the last 10 years. Whether you’re a consulting engineer or contractor, you should become familiar with the process and find out what it takes to achieve results.

    Here’s what you need for a successful Design/Build project. * A well defined and explicit scope of work; * A specific range of responsibility for each team member and criteria for measurement; * A knowledgeable owner who can make quick, sound decisions; * Experienced, competent team members, and * A cohesive team with members fully committed to the common needs and goals set by the owner.

    The crux of success is bringing the right team together to negotiate a win-win plan as well as addressing goals and needs of all team members to ultimately satisfy the owner. Of course, the right team with the right goals and a cooperative/knowledgeable owner spells success for almost any delivery method.

    The two most significant factors involved in successfully implementing a Design/Build approach all come back to timeliness. The project moves rapidly, and you must make decisions quickly. Most construction people agree the longer a project takes, the lower the probability involved companies will make a profit. And achieving a good profit margin is central to the good health of your business.

    The Design/Build team leader is the single source of responsibility for the owner and is normally the member who is financially and legally capable of entering a contract and guaranteeing completion of the work. Most often, it’s the general contractor-the firm having the necessary balance sheet and bonding capacity. But, it can be the architect, engineer, or an outside party.

    The Design/Build methodology can give the owner better control of time and budget, but quality can suffer if the goals of the owner, design team, and contractor are not balanced properly.

    The Design/Build team requires a good initial scope/program of detailed needs and expectations from the owner. If you don’t fully define this scope of needs and expectations up-front, you may end up with a final product that doesn’t meet the goals of the owner. Note: When the Design/Build concept is used and the architect is part of the design team, the client is the owner.