I am working on a project to put up a 20,000 square foot office building. We will be selecting the design team tonight. As it happens, we have an option of two approaches.
The standard approach is to hire an architect to design the building and prepare bid specifications. The project is then bid to a general contractor to construct. The other method that we can use is the construction manager approach. We select a firm or team to provide both design and project management services. Once the specifications are prepared, the construction manager acts as a sort of general contractor, and each of the subcontracts are bid rather than the entire project.
Design-Bid is more familiar, and assumes that the best price is obtained by a general contractor putting pressure on subs to assemble a competitive bid. The construction manager approach (design-build) adds a construction manager fee, but assumes that there is no mark-up on subcontractor bids and no general contractor profit, resulting in a lower cost. It also has the appeal of having a full-time advocate and project superintendent on-site during the construction process.
What does the Throbbing Brain think? Anyone have any experience with these approaches?