Design & construct vs design & tender

Design & Construct vs Design & Tender

Are you looking to relocate your business and fitout your new office, new workplace or medical centre and you’re wondering which way to go about it? There are two routes to market that you can take. One option is design and construct, and the other one is design and tender.

The design and construct model is slightly different. When we work with you, we prepare the design in conjunction with the brief, meanwhile consulting with our build team to ensure there are no ‘oh whoops’ moments when the project progresses to build stage. The design team are in contact with the estimators, the building surveyor, sometimes with town planning & engineers to make sure it is designed cost effectively and compliantly.

These people are all working together on your project, making sure that when prepare our best proposal for your project, all the costs are known at the start and you won’t have any nasty surprise extras throughout the project. Our contracts in the D&C model are fixed lump sum, helping you to secure accurate finance.

When we present the designs to you for your new workplace, you’ll see multiple designs and the matching costs to achieve the proposed end result as a fixed lump sum contract. All those numbers are backed up with historical costings from every project we complete and are set in stone, except in the case of something like a high-rise building where we can’t use our own fire engineers and must use the nominated group. Or a complex air-conditioning system that needs to be tapped into as part of the base built.

From the second meeting we create a very detailed concept design as well as provide you with matching lump sum pricing, which includes all aspects of the project such as construction, design, permits and furniture allowances.

The quotation at that point is a commercial in confidence document in which all the costings are shared with the client, but the actual design is retained until formal engagement.

The downside for the client can be when they really need a copy of the design in order to get approval from an international CFO or remote shareholders. In this case, we can provide early release of the designs at the cost of whatever the hours are on the architectural software clock.

The second route to market is a design & tender approach. To do this, you need a lot of documentation, such as permit set of plans which includes air conditioning design, electrical design, structural implications, ceilings etc. Once you have this pack of documentation, you can then send this to three or four builders or workplace interior firms, which provide you with costings to review and make a decision based on price.

The advantages of the design and construct model is you can typically have a number of design options which have a lot of science behind them, coupled with very clear indication of costings within one week.

When using the design & tender model, the design must be fully fleshed out and all documentation prepared for all the engineering, hydraulics, sprinklers, and every other aspect of the project and only then can it go out to tender. The build teams now need to then send it out to their suppliers for quotes, and this process can push your timeline out weeks and weeks.

To get to the same point in design & construct in max three weeks, in design & tender it could be three, four, five months before you have a final design and solid costings.

If you are concerned about timing, and you want to get a really vested team where all players are very keen to make sure this project goes ahead, the design & construct model is better.

The naysayers will say that people just do what they like and strip out quality, but a reliable team won’t cheat on the air-conditioning, they’ll be there to optimize it for you.

We’d love to help if you’re considering doing this and show you how you can save time and money in the long run. We help you get to the pointy end and to move in faster, rather than the long-winded way of designing first, then putting out to tender.

If you’re thinking of growing your business, or taking your team culture to the next level, improving customer service and ultimately increasing ROI for you, we’d love to have this discussion with you. Please give us a call!

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