What is the Architect Led Design Build Principle?

Architect-led design build is a streamlined, less stressful and more efficient method of designing and building a home when compared to the traditional approach used today known as “design-bid-build”.

Design-bid-build separates the process and requires the property owner to have contact and contracts, with multiple vendors over a longer period of time. This complex web of relationships is ultimately the root of the problems that arise. Let’s examine the process used by clients who want to build a custom home. First they hire an architect to design the home. Then they receive and accept multiple bids from builders or contractors to bring their home design to life. Next they choose and hire a builder who will hopefully build the home as drawn, as bid, and on schedule – which too often does not happen. There are simply too many opportunities in the process for problems to arise, which most often results in build projects going over budget and taking longer than scheduled.

Architect led building takes a more comprehensive approach that integrates all three processes into one, with a single point of contact – a design-build contractor, or simply put; an architect who builds homes. The design build contractor will draw your dream home, estimate the cost as your home is designed and then build it for you. This process reduces risk for the client and often eliminates the headaches, time and some of the cost involved with hiring multiple vendors. It also reduces the delivery schedule by overlapping the design and budget phases, putting you in your new home faster. A design build contractor is responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault.

Design–build is often referred to as the “master builder” approach, because it’s one of the oldest forms of the home construction process. The design–build method where the same person designs and builds a home is reportedly over four thousand years old. Whereas the “traditional approach” of home building; having a separate architect and builder, is actually a very recent concept, primarily being used only in the last century.


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