Known as "design/build" or "turnkey," single-responsibility contracting is a system of contracting under which one entity performs both architectural/engineering design and the actual construction work.
In the "traditional" contracting approach, the owner commissions an architect or engineer to prepare drawings and specifications, and separately selects a construction contractor or construction manager either by negotiations or competitive bidding.
The single-responsibility team is closely involved in producing a product, which meets the owner's needs rather than merely acting as professional advisors to the owner. The owner deals with a unified design/build team working together on his behalf.
Single-source design and production of industrial and consumer products, both large and small, have long been the standard throughout our economy. Now, quite understandably, design/build has moved to the forefront of the construction industry.
Early Knowledge of Costs
The design/build team, working closely with the client, accurately conceptualizes the completed project at an early stage. Continuous and concurrent estimating during the development of design results in knowledge of firm, overall cost far sooner than was traditionally possible. This process also allows for early decision-making, which has the greatest impact on cost in an informed, cost-based environment.
Design and construction are telescoped, bidding periods and redesign time are eliminated, and long-delivery components are identified and ordered early in the design process. Therefore, total design build time is significantly reduced, which translates into earlier utilization of the completed facility.
Because the contractor is responsible for both design and construction, cost overruns resulting from design error or faulty coordination are the responsibility of the contractor, not the owner. The owner pays only for scope changes that he initiates.