In a traditional design/bid/build project delivery the architect hires the engineers and the engineering drawings are part of the bid package. With smaller tenant finish projects we are now seeing a scenario where the engineering drawings are being provided design/build by the contractor. The contractor is providing a price for the project based on the architectural drawings and their guess on what the mechanical and electrical requirements are. this is more common in TI because the engineering is limited to MEP. These are generally the implications of design/build engineering:
- It can go faster because it moves the design time for MEP into the construction phase.
- There may be cost savings on the engineering fees when they are bundled with the install
- The contractor will attempt to pick their most cost effective solution
- The biggest con is that contractors are pricing a guess and the bids are not easily comparable
- You may be getting a price for the cheapest system rather than the right system
- If the systems require changes to the architecture you’ll face additional services
- Some jurisdictions will not allow it
I think that both delivery methods have their place, you just need to make sure that you’re picking a delivery method that is in line with your priorities.