Jigsaw Solutions

Is BIM needed for Design-Build?

Design Build construction models have become more mainstream as a result of the perceived view that it creates a more collaborative environment.  Proponents say that Design-Build allows for collaboration by all stakeholders from the outset of a project.  It improves communication to the point that the need for change orders during the course of a job is greatly reduced, says ConstructionDIVE.com.  This is a result of the failure of the Design-Bid-Build delivery method.  As another article states:

“design-bid-build doesn’t work” and is fraught with “delays, overruns and change orders,” she said.  “You’re paying a designer to design something you may or may not be able to bid,” Dal Gallo said. There’s no way to come up with firm costs until the project is put out to bid, and when those numbers come back, the owner is either stuck with the lowest responsible bidder or has to pay the architect to go back to the drawing board. “It’s a vicious cycle,” she said.

To reap the full benefits of Design-Build, BIM (Building Information Modeling) still needs to be a large part of the process.  The individual trade contractors still need to work with the General Contractor to deliver a coordinated design to realize the benefits of Design-Build from the design process through the construction effort resulting in the savings mentioned above.  BIM coordination is the missing piece to the puzzle that some Design-Build teams have chosen to leave out.

Although the BIM process may not need to be as intensive when the contractors have been included throughout design, it is still valuable to the coordination of all trades, resulting in a more streamlined construction schedule.

Inspiration for this post from ConstructionDIVE.com
“Orange County, CA issues $1.2B design-build highway contract”