The design/build approach to construction replaces the traditional method of awarding separate contracts for design and for construction. On a design/build job the contractor and architect/engineer are allied and work together, first submitting preliminary design solutions to the owner, then offering to build the approved design for a lump-sum, cost-plus or guaranteed-maximum contract amount. The contractual responsibility to the owner for full performance on all phases of the project is borne by the design/build contractor.
The major advantages of a design/build approach are reduced costs and faster project completion. Only one owner decision is required to initiate the project and this decision is made at an early stage. Time is also saved because construction can begin before the design is completed. It is a great advantage in any undertaking to have all responsibility centered in one place. Design/build offers this single point of accountability. Communication is simplified too. Chances for misunderstandings are reduced when the designer and builder are working together as a team.