What Is The Design And Build Procurement Route

What Is The Design And Build Procurement Route

Design and build is a term that explains a procurement route in which a company is hired to design and construct a client’s project. The traditional procurement route would see a client hire consultants to design the project’s development and then hire a contractor to build the project based on the client’s wants and needs. The design and build method makes the design and construction sides of the project work together in a singular contractual entity.

By being able to be involved in the entire process, owners can make sure that their goals will be met and that their wishes will be achieved. So what is the design and build procurement route, and what are the advantages? Read on to find out. Design and build projects can differ depending on the degree of the contractor’s design responsibility and how much design is required in the employer’s initial expectations. However, the contractor’s level of design responsibility and input is more on design and build projects than a traditional contract with a contractor’s designed part of the project.

Employers will have to allow a sufficient amount of time for the contractors to prepare the employer’s requirements. The employer will typically be expected to hire a consultant to facilitate this. They will also have to allow time for the contractor to prepare their proposal and price breakdown. Therefore, the proposal must match all of the employer’s requirements before any contract is signed.

  • Clients who are unsure or unable to find consultants or in-house technical departments may design and build attractive procurement contracts. Likewise, the clients also understand that due to the fact that the design and build contractor is accountable for design and construction, inclusive of quality, the client will, therefore, see an advantage from the lower costs of third-party inspectorates and contract administration.
  • Due to the fact that design and construction are combined, and the personnel from both sides of the project are working with each other for the same goal. They find it easier to improve the Design and Build capability of the client’s project. They can assess other materials and methods for the project. Innovation and productivity should always lead to cost savings. If all the innovation occurs during the design development stage, both the design and build contractor and the client see benefits for the cost savings at this stage of a project.
  • If the client can have the agreed design stay the same throughout the project without deciding to change it at any point, the designer can be quite positive that the total cost of construction will stay the same. Although it is possible that the designer will need some design changes during the project, it should then be possible for the contractor to provide a point by point explanation and illustration of exactly how any such changes will affect overall costs.

The design and build procurement route has many advantages that allow the full client scope of creativity whilst being as involved and informed about the project as they wish to be. By having the designers and the contractors working together, the client will be able to make one call to the design and build a company, and both sides will be involved with the other side’s part of the project.

Where Do You Start When Designing a New Home

Let’s just get this out there: architects and designers have really weird jobs. As an architect, I will spend part of my day running spreadsheets, crunching numbers, and diving into the complexities of codes. Then, like magic, I go off on a vision quest to start finding inspiration for a new design. It is also incredibly exciting. I know of so many architects who work well into their golden years because this work can be so much damn fun! There’s always a new challenge and always a new problem to solve.

The biggest challenge, I find, is figuring out where to start when designing a new home. So what do I look at? Below is a summary of what I look for when designing a new home from the ground up. (A remodel is a different beast, although it has many similarities).

Things To Look For When Designing A New Home

What are the zoning and building code restrictions? The fun design work doesn’t start until I’ve identified all of the restrictions in place on your lot during the Pre-Design phase. I’ll look at where the zoning will allow the house to be built on the lot, how high it can be, and any environmentally critical areas on the property. We have a project with a bald eagle’s nest nearby (one of several types of environmentally critical areas), and I can’t tell you how complicated that makes things. It’s really important to be aware of these types of challenges from the start. (By the way, you’ll often hear environmentally critical areas referred to by the acronym ECA.)

  • What’s the budget? We maintain an extensive database of past projects and what they cost. We’ll work with the client to identify different scenarios based on size and design complexity to help determine the desired construction budget. While it’s a bit of an educated guess at this point, it helps set the tone for how big and complicated the house should or should not be.
  • Does the client have any particular aesthetic goals? Sometimes, a client will want a contemporary or traditional home. Other times they are flexible about style or unsure. This doesn’t entirely change my thoughts on the initial design, but it helps get the gears moving.
  • Where’s the sun? We will do a solar study to determine where the house should sit and the shady conditions we have to deal with (or take advantage of, as the case may be). The example below shows which parts of the property will be in the sun or shade at different key points of the year, the direction of the prevailing winds, their speed, and the typical air temperature. Even if you aren’t designing a super sustainable house, being aware of these types of details about your location (and designing for them) will pay off when you move in and start experiencing what it’s like to live there.
  • We are designing a new home: where to start. Solar and wind study example. – Board & Vellum
  • What are the sustainability goals? We are now working on a new passive house with deep sustainability goals and another one where it isn’t a stated goal, but they’re open to ideas. Each one helps set initial thinking for the house, how thick the walls should be (especially on tight urban lots where this can matter a lot), and what roof forms I should consider if we’re trying to integrate solar panels. (Frustratingly, for instance, shed roofs work best when they are high on the south side to let light into the interior. Unfortunately, this, unfortunately, conflicts with where solar panels want to sit. So, we have to make a call early on about the priorities.)
  • What are the neighbours up to? How private is the lot, and where are the adjacent homes? I’ll also look at the style of the adjacent homes and discuss with the clients the value of neighbourhood sensitivity. Seattle has many homes with contemporary designs, so this is becoming less of an issue, but we’ll still want to discuss how to make this home blend in, OR how to make it stand out especially.
  • What are my goals for this project? Now, this is a bit of a secret. Every architect I know has a collection of ideas rattling around in their head that they’ve thought of or seen over the years. We are just looking for the right site and project to try them out on. I can’t force an idea on a site, but it is exciting to find a match between an idea in my head and a site.

Once this is all collected, then I can start design. We typically start with a meeting with the team to review all of the above parameters, and we then start to assess the “rules” of the site. You’d be surprised how often the above parameters can quickly determine where a house should be on the property.

I’ll then take these findings, go off into my office, and start sketching, dreaming, tweaking, and throwing the ideas out. It is organic, and there’s no way to predict how long it will take. Sometimes, an idea comes fast, and other times I have to work through a bunch of bad ideas to get to the good ones. It is fun, frustrating, and like nothing else in the world.

Top 10 Tips for Home Design

With so much to think about when designing a new home, it’s no surprise self-builders can get overwhelmed. It’s easy to overlook key elements that could make a significant impact on the finished property. Below I highlight ten things to remember when designing your home.

Budget Beyond The Construction Work

Your design will be dictated considerably by your finances. While most people realise that they need to factor in the cost of the building work, it’s easy to forget about the other aspects that need to be accounted for on top of this.

Quite a lot of money has to be spent on things that seem minor on their own but collectively can tot up to thousands of pounds.

The price of some elements can be fairly accurately predicted – such as planning fees and sewer connection charges – others have to be estimated.

Reduce Noise

The soundscape is often overlooked in house plans. As a result, unwanted noise is a common problem, not least because of all the gadgets we now have for our entertainment.

The layout of the house also plays a key role in reducing disturbance. For example, children are noisy, so look into how to distance their bedrooms from others. You can try, for example, bathrooms or built-in wardrobes in-between the rooms.

Sound travels more easily to rooms below, which means a second floor or attic space is not always a good place for the loudest family members.

With open-plan living becoming commonplace, don’t forget to factor in a snug or living room isolated from the main areas of activity. This will provide an oasis of calm for quieter activities such as reading or homework.

Storage Solutions

A major gripe from owners of new homes is often the lack of storage space. Unfortunately, in the early stages of a design, it’s easy to underestimate how many possessions you own or are going to acquire in the future.

This is one reason why most garages are rarely filled with cars. Instead, you are likely to find bikes, gym equipment, unwanted Christmas presents and other debris.

Lots of storage space can be incorporated at little extra cost or loss of floor area, but you’ll need to plan this at the beginning of the design process.

Built-in storage can extend the full height of rooms and become a design feature, making it more efficient than free-standing chests of drawers and wardrobes.

Home Maintenance

Sooner or later, every element of the construction of a house will need maintenance. Predicting your home’s upkeep should influence how materials and fittings are integrated into the design.

Roof tiles and bricks will last for many decades without attention, but other materials require work more frequently. For instance, plastic fascias and barge boards are popular but have to be redecorated regularly atop a tall ladder.

An open roof over a stairwell with skylights and a centrepiece chandelier looks dramatic; however, it also presents a challenge for whoever has to change the light bulbs or clean the glass.

Self-cleaning glazing and cables that allow the light fitting to be hooked across to the landing will solve these problems. Still, redecoration may require scaffolding and is, therefore, a specialist job.

Unblocking gutters is another difficult chore, especially for high-level valleys between pitched roofs. A lot of effort can be spared by putting roof windows in the attic, which will allow you to reach out safely with a rake.

Future-proofing The Home

If you’re planning to live in your self built home for decades to come, the layout needs to have built-in flexibility so it can evolve with you and your family.

Plan for increases in the size of your family, whether that’s more children, young adults boomeranging back home after college or older relatives moving in.

Consider getting planning approval for an extension to be constructed at a later date; you could put in foundations and capped-off drainage connections ready to be used.

The Finish Might Not Be Perfect

Many self-builders have a natural desire for their house to be as perfect as possible. However, people have different interpretations of what a high-quality finish means, which can be a problem if what the client is really after is a pristine result.

Using natural materials with simple finishes can add interesting features to a building, particularly timber left unpainted on the outside or oiled with a clear finish on the inside. But if you put two pieces of the same wood from the same batch next to each other, they don’t usually look identical and will weather differently, too.

I once had a client who was ready to send back a whole batch of oak skirting because each section had a slightly different shade and grain pattern from the next, rather than the uniform colour he was expecting. He wanted a transparent finish and had forgotten that nature is inherently irregular. It can be easy to lose perspective.

Windows And Heat Transfer

Having plenty of natural illumination pour inside through large expanses of glazing is a nice feature, hence the popularity of bifolds, sliding doors and double-height windows – plus, these units can create an attractive modern aesthetic.

A glazing unit’s effect on thermal comfort depends on its orientation in relation to the sun; when this is badly positioned, then a room can become unpleasantly hot, so be careful with the design.

The easiest way to avoid this problem is to work out how the sun passes over the plot and arrange the glazing in a way that will help to reduce the solar gain when it’s not wanted.

If sizeable windows have to face towards the south (where the sun’s warmth is strongest), some elements can be built to reduce heat gain effects.

Incorporate large overhangs overhead, for instance, or brise soleils, which are horizontal screens with slats angled to let some daylight through as well as providing shade.

Artificial Lighting

Once nighttime has fallen, there are all sorts of possibilities to shape and change the character of your home with carefully considered lights. Plus, a single space may need to be put to many different uses, each enhanced by changing the artificial illumination.

A good example is a kitchen-dining-living room because it’s often the hub of the home. It will be used for grabbing breakfast in the morning, cooking and chatting with friends during the day and later on as a space for homework, a shared family meal or time in front of the television.

There should be different ways of lighting the space to suit each of these activities. When building from scratch, it’s very easy to hide cables in the walls and fit programmable lighting controls if planned.

Plan Furniture Arrangement

It’s rare for house plans to show any more than blank rectangles indicating rooms’ location, shape, and size. Sometimes the house contents are only considered once the property is actually built.

More helpful designers will include standard furniture symbols on their drawings, but these are only diagrammatic and bear little relation to what you own or are looking to buy.

The risk of your furniture not fitting in with the design of the rooms is quite high unless you’ve considered this from the start, especially if you want large open-plan spaces.

Many self-builders want to keep family heirlooms, such as a dining table or chest of drawers, which must be accommodated. If the furniture is an unusual shape or size, it can have a major effect on the arrangement of other items and the room’s proportions.

Unlike modern furniture designed to be disassembled to get through a standard door opening or up a cramped staircase, period pieces may prove difficult to move around the house.

Homes Get Messy

The well-known architect of a much-admired house recently admitted that his property had never properly been lived in. He used the home to promote his practice and felt it would have been spoiled if his family lived there.

This tells us that it’s important to remember that the process of living involves mess and clutter, even for the most streamlined of personalities.

We need to recognise that the unnaturally tidy homes seen in magazines and on architectural websites are misleading. A well-designed building should be strong enough to shine through the stresses, strains and abuse that happen when it’s being enjoyed as a home.

Scroll to Top