Your Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Design Build Contractor

greater comfort newport ky design build

When People Say “Design/Build,” What Are They Referring To?

Design build is the name given to a project in which the design and construction parts of the project are done by a single group. That’s why you typically hear someone say “a design builder” or even “a design build contractor.” In previous year, sometimes the design and the construction part of this process was completely separate or done with completely separate firms.

Knowing it’s just the term given to the specific structure of how a project is completed, there are several phases to be familiar with:

  1. Selecting your design build contractor
  2. Assessing the project from a construction and design perspective
  3. Design
  4. Construction
  5. Post-construction and project hand-off (1)

How Design-Build Has Changed in Popularity

In the past ten years—and especially in the last five—this way of delivering projects was used by about 40 percent of non-residential construction projects. That number was one that increased about 10 percent from five years prior, suggesting that design-build projects for non-residential entities is trending upward (2).

The same study showed that 80 percent of all military construction projects are done with this method of delivery (2). Design build is also used in residential, industrial and manufacturing settings, laboratories, healthcare and beyond (3).

Design Build HVAC Contractors: What To Know

There are many available offerings in the heating and air conditioning industry. However, only a select few will offer you efficiencies when it comes to designing, engineering and installing your HVAC system. When it comes to heating and cooling installation, maintenance and repair, we offer the right team, reliability, experience, expertise and competitive pricing.

If you’re selecting a design build HVAC contractor, be sure to figure out or look into the following:

  • Experience in similar projects – design and construction-wise
  • Expertise in the area; ask them about the areas that interest you/are important to you in this regard
  • The anticipated team you’ll be working with
  • How they indicate they’ll be communicating with you
  • Their ability to stay on-time and on-budget
  • Any online reviews
  • Any references for both phases of the project
  • Their approach to pricing on a project – negotiated, estimated fee, etc.

Why Design/Build?

One of the most common reasons why people use the engineering and drawing team at Greater Comfort is because we collaborate on every step of the project. Because it’s one team that’s responsible for delivering the outcome, there are less setbacks and you know you are still going to get quality workmanship.

In general, these are the 5 main reasons many people find that HVAC design/build is a fit for their project:

  1. You may be able to see time savings and/or cost savings by having one single entity working on your project
  2. Less likelihood for disputes or problems during project “hand offs”
  3. Better alignment across objectives, goals and any “challenges” that may exist with the project
  4. A better understanding between all involved on ways to maximize energy efficiency with the project
  5. Improved and simplified communication (3)

Knowing just how important communication is for any kind of design and construction project, that last point is powerful. Although not in every project, sometimes there is also up-front decisions made on the planning which can mean greater cost savings because construction-related expenses are locked in (3).

What Are the Other Benefits of Design Build Projects?

According to Pennsylvania State University, College of Engineering, design build delivery can reduce costs by more than 6 percent, on average, when compared with traditional project delivery methods. What’s just as important to know is that it saves time by delivering the project in as much as one third less time, the same research shows. Last, when asked a year after their project was completed using design/build, customers had at least a 10 percent higher satisfaction rate when using design-build versus traditional methods to complete their projects (2).

Greater Comfort for Your Design/Build Services

Whether it is residential, commercial or institutional, let us know if you are interested in learning more about the projects we’ve completed using a design build delivery system. If you want to know more about how design build can save you money, time and help you to maintain better control over your desired project, give us a call today 859-491-4915. 



Read the Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning blog for energy savings tips and HVAC industry updates.