In a the traditional model of the investment, separate project participants are responsible for the design and construction. This often leads to shifting responsibility when a constructor shows errors in the project, often prepared without concern for the realities of its implementation. The result is that the investor does not know how much it will ultimately cost and when it will be completed.
Offering a design-build contract we’re convinced that the safety of an investment is best ensured through a single point of responsibility of the contractor and an expert care of the design professional. The contract could be tailored to specific investment and may include an independent third party professional advisor to the client at the pre-contract stage.
By contrast, in a design/build contract, the investor enters into a single agreement by which the design/build contractor agrees to perform both the design and construction of the project. The contractor has singular responsibility for both construction and design defects. The owner can recover directly from the contractor for deficiencies in either design or construction of the project, without the need of determining whether a defect was caused by an error in design or construction.
Another feature favorable to the owner is that the contractor is responsible if using defective or inadequate plans prepared by his engineer. Because the owner warrants the sufficiency of the plans in a typical construction contract, he is liable for any increased costs because of defective or inadequate plans. In a design/build contract, the contractor is responsible for design as well as construction and agrees to meet the owner’s performance specifications rather than merely build the structure. Thus, if the plans are inadequately designed, the contractor is then unable to look to the owner for additional compensation.
A third advantage of a design/build contract is that the project can often be completed within a shorter period of time than with the traditional three-party arrangement since the construction can begin before the entire plans and specifications are completed. This time savings results from designing the project in phases so that the contractor can begin work on the initial phase of the project while the later phases are being designed. No corresponding time savings occur in a three-party contractual arrangement because the contractor often does not even bid, much less begin work, until the design professional has finalized the plans.