Blurring the Boundaries
(Why every project is a design-build project (even if you want to call it something else)
One of the many profound impacts of the global pandemic has been the permanent blurring of the boundaries between so many previously siloed aspects of our lives. The boundaries between home and office. Between kitchen and classroom. Between gym and garage.
The borders between traditional architect-driven building projects and design-build projects, (where design and construction services are contracted by a single entity) are no different.
More and more homeowners are following the lead of larger commercial projects and looking for ways to streamline their building process and remove the conflict that can sometimes exist between the vision of the designer and the realities of the people responsible for bringing that vision to life.
That’s why, at MN Builders, we consider every project a design-build project; it’s just a matter of degree on how immersed we are in the design part. Allow us to explain.
The less conflict, the better the outcome.
While the scale and scope of the projects on our calendar vary in any given month, the goal of each one remains the same from the start: to have a successful outcome for all parties involved.
The key to that success, in our experience, has been a lack of conflict. And the key to that lack of conflict? A true spirit of partnership between the client, designer, and builder—one where the builder has a keen eye for design and the designer has a vision grounded in a realistic understanding of how things get built.
It’s this mutual respect and understanding that makes it all work. Yes, we have an amazing team of in-house designers who can take a project from schematic design to finished structure, but we are equally excited about working with outside designers and architects. Just like our being a key subcontractor to other general contractors has made us a better GC, our experience as the design lead in a project makes us a better partner to design firms—because we better understand their unique challenges and processes and work hard to augment their talents with our own.
This versatile tool box of talents at MN Builders further blurs the boundaries between designer and builder, and is one of the reasons we find so many of our projects occupying that fertile middle ground called “design assist”— where, in addition to our stellar building expertise, we undertake additional jobs like drafting, cabinet shop drawing services, and detailing for tricky interior tasks.
The key to that success, in our experience, has been a lack of conflict. And the key to that lack of conflict? A true spirit of partnership between the client, designer, and builder.
It’s all design-build.
Design-build is no longer the cut-and-dry concept it was even two years ago. Don’t trust anyone who says otherwise. There is a new way of building in today’s post-pandemic world and it involves a strong partnership between builders who love design and designers who respect and understand the construction process.
Bring those two parties together, in whatever configuration that works best for you, then take the time in pre-construction to get all the details nailed. The plans. The schedule. The budget. All of that work happens long before the construction begins, and if you have brought the right people together, that spirit of collaboration and partnership will continue long after the construction ends.