Break from the Project Grind

Posted on March 28, 2011


Owners with big budgets and facilities staffs tend to build more often than most.  They have the benefit of honing their project management to deliver their needs right on target. Smaller hospitals usually do not have those resources—big budgets, frequent projects, facilities staff. Those who have to do much with little might enjoy a break from the usual project grind. Integrated Design-Build (IDB) provides this relief.

IDB is a vacation from typical project headaches. The team hired is unified with a single voice to communicate and coordinate with from the owner’s side. Unlike traditional design-bid-build architects, engineers, project managers and contractors pointing fingers, passing blame and writing letters to create paper trails, Haskell is a family where no dirty laundry gets aired for the client to cringe and tell everyone to ‘play nice’.

The contentiousness and ugliness that undermines trust in most builders is taken care of in-house. This creates value in several ways: 

1) Eliminating the need for watchdogs (construction managers, project management consultants, etc.) in your project process.  Pocket that money—or put it back into your project to buy another floor of med/surg rooms. One guaranteed maximium price (GMP) ensures you get what is on the construction documents, just like any other job, and unless scope is changed by the owner, no change orders for missed scope because your GMP covers both design and construction.  It is Haskell’s job to catch the coordination and scope gaps—that’s why you choose IDB.

2) Eliminating much of the legal risk.  As I wrote in a previous post about the contractual differences and benefits of IDB, legal risk is severly reduced. Scope definition all falls under the IDB team. No one at Haskell can claim a time delay due to information not being transmitted. All those threatening letters seeking to compel action or else, gone.

3) Eliminating the issue of ‘not my problem’. Responsibility is built into the project because everyone is in the same company. In IDB, there is no escape from accountability, which is great for the owner. In addition, the liklihood for disputes leading to litigation is significantly reduced, mainly to those between the design-builder and its subcontractors—because you can’t sue yourself!

If you feel your last design-bid-build project or two or five did not feel as rewarding as it should have, maybe you need a vacation.

Mixing things up might just be what your organization needs to improve results.