August 29, 2018 / By Adrienne Ruebusch, Vice President

Better together: Why owners get more value when contractors and architects collaborate

When you’re on a tight schedule, you wouldn’t set out for an unfamiliar destination without first consulting a GPS or a map.

Yet that’s what many owners do when they construct a new facility using the design-bid-build model. In this situation, owners hire an architect, complete the design drawings, and then go out to bid for a contractor. In the process, they lose out on valuable guidance early on in the project, when errors and oversights are far easier – and less expensive – to correct.

But when owners engage the general contractor at the same time as the architect, they gain a team that is invested in their success from the start. With a collaborative model, owners have the right resources in place to guide them before they set off on a new project. Everyone understands the desired destination and works together to get there.

Benefits of the collaborative approach

Scope, schedule, and budget are the foundations for every construction project. In a design-bid-build model, all three are typically set before the contractor gets involved. As a result, expectations on paper do not always match reality in the field.

But with a collaborative approach, the architect and contractor team up to ensure all three are in harmony. This benefits the owner in several ways:

Finding the right firm

Adopting a collaborative approach largely takes a price-based selection of the contractor off the table. Instead, owners need to use a different set of criteria for selecting their construction partner. In this case, due diligence should lean heavily on references, financial stability, and culture. Owners should ensure that the contractor:

For many owners, taking on a major construction project might be their largest expenditure of the year – or even the decade. Setting up a collaborative relationship between the architect and contractor will deliver a higher return by plotting out the best, most efficient, and least risky route ahead of time. In this way, owners will put themselves on the best path forward to a new facility.

Ready to launch a new project? Contact Adrienne Ruebusch at 513.774.8400.