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Design-build construction is a process in which an organization undertakes the design and construction of a building. The organization may own the design and construction companies or be a third party hired by the Owner to oversee the project. As the name suggests, all work associated with the building is done by members of the organization, including architects, engineers, and contractors.

The development of design-build construction has increased the quality and accountability of the housing development process from ‘developer to the homeowner.’ The design-build process and construction methods are used in most of the United States and Western Europe.

The Phases involved in Design-Build Process

There are five essential elements of the design-build process:

1. Choosing a team

The Owner carefully considers the team of experts they want to create the project. In most cases, he chooses the most experienced and one who understands the company’s vision and budget. Each such team includes the site developer, project architect, mechanical engineer, and general contractor.

2. Pre-Construction

The team begins to analyze the site, inspect the property and create a detailed project design. A consultation with the Owner often accompanies this analysis to determine all requirements for the project.

3. Design from the Architecture

The architectural design process begins with the architect and team, who create an architectural development plan and generate a series of sketches. The first step in the design planning process is to create a vision statement or roadmap in which the vision of the architect and their client(s) is placed. It also determines appropriate material and colors for interior design and structural, electrical, and plumbing specifications.

4. Construction

The construction begins after the design process is finalized. This phase of the design-build process includes full-time supervision by the architect. They constantly monitor the implementation of the project and make adjustments if necessary. The materials used for the structure are determined according to the architectural specifications, home size, and general design.

5. Post-Construction

This phase begins with the project completion date and the acceptance of the property by the Owner. The design-build team will then undertake to coordinate the design and construction process, submitting reports and bills to the Owner.

Pros of Design-Build Construction

The advantages of design-build construction are as follows.

1. Saves the owner money

The process saves money, partly because the designing and constructing of the building is done by one firm.

2. Saves time on the project

The process usually is faster than the traditional methods of design and bidding, which can take a year or more. Owners can fast-track building plans, budgets, and schedules.

3. Consistent quality

The process ensures that the quality of the building materials and services is consistent throughout the project.

4. Builds community

The process can create more sense of community by having members of the neighborhood participate in the process at different stages if feasible. The involvement of the community in the design and construction phase is especially beneficial when there are unanticipated problems that arise during construction or post-construction maintenance.

5. Safer for the Owner

The process increases the Owner’s safety by having another party responsible for construction. It allows for more oversight and better planning.

6. It is Innovative

Design-build construction allows for new ideas in the field of design. The process provides for combining functions and tasks that have not been combined previously.

7. Flexibility

Design-build construction makes decision-making faster, more flexible, and more fluid. It also provides for changes to be made during construction. Project managers and owners can sometimes cause changes after the building is constructed.


Design build construction is a game-changer in the world of architecture and construction. Its innovative approach streamlines the entire process, from concept to completion, ensuring efficient project management and cost-effective solutions. At T.F. Harper & Associates LP, we take pride in being a leading Austin commercial construction company with extensive experience as Austin general contractors.

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