If you are in the early stages of considering your options for the commercial construction of your business or enterprise, then you may appreciate the insight that we at Peoples Construction are able to provide on the reality of what the traditional Design-Bid process looks like, in terms of common issues and expenses that can catch less informed owners by surprise.
We believe in arming our clients with the full scope of options and information from the beginning, and therefore offer the following information out of a commitment to transparency – not as a slight against architects and design firms who provide valuable, required skills and expertise for many construction projects. Peoples Constructions enjoys longstanding relationships with many such firms with which we collaborate on a regular basis in cases in which our client’s needs best align with the Design-Bid approach.
However, it is important to understand that there is an alternative option gaining momentum in our industry. It is an option much better suited to many commercial construction projects, in terms of time and cost efficiency. For a detailed outline of points to consider in evaluating which approach may be best for your business, read this.
Here at Peoples Construction, we are often asked to explain exactly how the timeline and expense disparity can be so great between the Design-Bid and Design-Build approaches. We have found that one of the best representations of the difference between the approaches is the specification book – or as contractors have been known to call it, “The Dreaded Spec Book.”
Most Design-Bid projects have a specification book, also called “specs,” that supplements the plans for the project. Architects create these specifications to specify building materials, products, performance aspects, and installation techniques in more detail than shown on the plans.
While the intentions are good, in reality, these specs are often created with word processing software that is edited on a project by project basis. When items are inserted in specs for specialized project, they often remain in specs that are later revised and used for another project. This happens over and over, with the specs growing and growing over time. This can add unnecessary costs to construction projects. At Peoples Construction, we do not have a spec book that gets edited for every project.
In addition, in the traditional Design-Bid approach, in which specs are created without the input of construction expertise, it is not uncommon for specs to include design specifications that are more complicated or less efficient – meaning expensive – than necessary, from the perspective of an experienced builder.
To illustrate this point, a quick look at our last four projects coming from the Design-Bid approach shows an average spec book size of more than 500 pages. That’s a lot of paperwork, line items, and spec requirements that you will be paying your construction firm to track and manage throughout the process. These things can be significantly reduced when the design and construction plans are managed together right from the start – from scratch, custom-tailored exactly to your project’s needs!
For instance, due to the segmented nature of the Design-Bid process, spec books often contain requirements that help ensure that the construction of the project meets the expectations of the original design team. These specifications don’t have anything to do with the actual construction of the building. One such requirement is for the contractor to submit samples of every product used on the project. These samples are called submittals.
We recently saw a study of 20 commercial projects with an average size of $6 Million that found the specs required an average of 419 submittals. In fact, there is even software available to help contractors exchange, review, and archive submittals, as this is a large, time-consuming task. When you take on the expense of a Design-Bid project, it is fair for you to understand that a portion of your end cost is going toward the management of this portion of the Design-Bid process, which is significantly reduced with the Design-Build approach.
Our experience in the construction industry here at Peoples Construction has shown us time and time again that the Design-Build approach to commercial construction can bring significant savings and benefit to a vast number of clients. However, every build is different, and we take pride in helping owners identify the right approach for their needs. Reach out to us today, and we’d be happy to help set you on the right path.
– Jeff Peoples
President, Peoples Construction
Peoples Construction is a general contractor that does commercial projects mainly in the Jackson Mississippi metro area. We are a 50 year, third generation company that specializes in medium sized projects built with the Design Build delivery method. With this method, Peoples Construction can work with a client from the very beginning, taking their ideas and give them a finished product with the execution of only one contract for all facets of the design and the construction. This is the quickest and most cost effective way to build a new commercial building.
We serve the central Mississippi region and beyond, including Jackson, Ridgeland, Gluckstadt, Flowood, Pearl, Brandon, Richland, Florence, Byram, Clinton, Madison, Hinds County, Madison County & Rankin County.
JACKSON MISSISSIPPI 3913 Underwood Drive, Flowood, MS 39232