Design-bid-build vs. design-build: what’s the difference?

Two McCownGordon associates shaking hands on a construction site

When it comes to project delivery methods, many people confuse design-bid-build and design-build. Though they may sound similar, the two methods are actually quite different. 

At McCownGordon, helping our customers is of the utmost importance. We do anything we can to clear up misconceptions to make the building process as stress free as possible. Read on to learn the difference between design-bid-build vs. design-build delivery methods.  

Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

You may already be familiar with the DBB process, especially if you’re accustomed to construction projects. DBB is a traditional option that is quite straightforward. The owner first hires an architect/engineer to create a design for the project. From there, that design is opened to a bid for contractors. Most owners choose a contractor with the lowest bid to complete the project in the most frugal way. 

This method doesn’t allow for much collaboration, since the architect and future construction contractor work as separate entities. After the design is complete, the architect typically doesn’t come in contact with whoever builds the project. That means there may be unforeseeable problems that increase the cost of the project. 

Owners with simple projects may benefit from the DBB process, especially if they have a decent knowledge of design and construction. 

Design-Build (DB)

Design-build is another common project delivery method, but instead of bidding after design creation, the owner hires a company to create the design and implement the construction process. The design-builder may handle the design in-house or they may select a design partner with the right expertise to lead this part of the process. As a result, the ability to collaborate is one of the major differences between design-bid-build vs. design-build. 

With Design-Build, a construction manager, trade partners and architects work together for a common goal without worrying about communication constraints. Plus, with the development of a guaranteed maximum price early on, there’s a reduced likelihood of pricing changes throughout the process. 

Why to use Design-Build – Hear it from the owner

Learn more about design-bid-build vs. design-bid methods at McCownGordon Construction

At McCownGordon, our team of builders and engineers maintain a customer-focused mentality, allowing us to outperform even your highest expectations. Dedicated to promoting integrity, performance and relationships, it’s our people and values that truly make the difference. 

Our customers aren’t simply another project; they’re an extension of our team and community. Together, we don’t just build—we bring creative visions to life. From first thought to final nail, we deliver quality work to ensure our builds stand above the rest. 

We have three regional offices around the Midwest—Kansas City, Manhattan and Wichita. Call us at 888-304-4929 or use our free online quote tool to start building today. 

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