Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build: See the difference with the Design-Build Audio & video Integrations at Sound Planning
Let’s get down to basics. Sound Planning is a Design-Build Integrator committed to planting strong foundations for your upcoming sound system or audio-visual system installation. But what is a ‘Design-Build’? What are the benefits of hiring an ‘Integrator’? The Design-Build method is widely considered to be a great way to disrupt the more traditional Design-Bid-Build method of project planning and completion. Traditionally, when your business, church, or house of worship started planning for a new sound system installation or made arrangements for a video system, your organization would have hired a company to plan, or ‘Design’ the system based on their expertise in sound analysis, acoustics, and current technology. Once the design was finalized, the relationship with the design company would end and a new relationship with a construction contractor would begin. Your organization would then have to go through the process of deciding on a construction contracting company, usually through a bidding process (the ‘Bid’ part of the ‘Design-Bid-Build’ process.) Your chosen construction contracting company would then begin to implement the design or start the ‘Build,’ with different areas of expertise that might challenge or even outright change the initial design that you and your organization had already finalized. For many organizations, the ‘Design-Bid-Build’ approach is not just the standard; it can feel like the only method for project completion. Undertaking this process not only affects your project vision; it can seriously impair your expected timeline.
The Design-Bid-Build Process
Design-Bid-Build Process by Alex Womack
What a nightmare! The often complicated process of hiring two separate companies for the design and the build always causes some differences between the vision and the finished product. It’s all a matter of relative expertise. This is by no means a criticism of companies or firms that specialize in designs or builds! A dedicated design company wants to give you a strong foundation that focuses on solving the technical and practical problems that all systems need to take into consideration. But a company only focused on designing the best possible system for you might not also consider recent changes in the cost of construction supplies; between the design and the implementation, a designer has no way of anticipating sudden shortages of materials, labor, or the day-to-day practicalities of the actual build. If the design is not flexible, a construction contracting company will have to make changes to the design that will account for cost-effectiveness and material availability, but that might not be in line with any analysis or calculations that your design already accounted for. Having to work with two companies can cause additional stress and anxiety in addition to unexpected costs and wasted time. Money is important, but for many churches and houses of worship, their time and effort are even more valuable. So, why not consider the best of both worlds?
The Design-Build Process
Design-Bid-Build Process by Alex Womack
Unlike the ‘Design-Bid-Build’ process, the ‘Design-Build’ process allows for a higher level of flexibility both before and during the ‘Build’ and a streamlined, customizable experience for your church or house of worship. And it is an experience: the Design-Build process relies on Design-Build Integrators like Sound Planning to handle both the ‘Design’ and the ‘Build’ with the expertise of both a traditional design company and a traditional construction contracting company. In terms of project planning and implementation, this means more time focusing on what your organization really needs and less time spent trying to make last-minute and possibly disruptive changes to a pre-established design plan. Relying on one Integrator means that there is seamless communication between the design and the build that makes it easy to pivot when the plan needs to change. The Design-Build process cuts out the necessity to search for a new company to collaborate with when your design is finalized. This is already a great time-saver, but choosing one Design-Build Integrator also means that unexpected delays and issues can be handled quickly, with direct input from you and your organization only when you would like to provide it.