Design Build Myths


Dispelling the Top 4 Design Build Myths

Design Build is an enhanced project delivery system that allows a single entity, like Decker Electric, to coordinate, manage and undertake the entire electrical construction process. From designing the plans to ensuring everything works on (and after) the project is complete, our skilled team of engineers, project managers and technicians work together to accomplish the one shared goal. Getting the job done right, on time and on budget.

Design Build has now become the most popular delivery method of construction projects across America. Its popularity has mostly taken off since the turn of the 21st century. Despite it having deep roots in our history, it’s recent budding popularity may have people unfamiliar with the process unsure what it is and what problems may be inherent in the Design Build process.


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Myth #1: Design Build is more expensive.

FALSE. The Design Build process is more cost-effective. Designs created by the company who will be carrying out the work helps to ensure plans were originated knowing what will be possible given the project’s budget and timeline. In more traditional methods, sometimes the designer and the contractor are at odds, and not working in coordination as they would in a Design Build scenario. This coordination of people all on the same team can greatly help to reduce conflict and delays.


Myth #2: Owners have no control.

FALSE. The owner of the project can be as involved as they want to be. Initially planning will include timelines and benchmarks to better help keep owners and all involved parties aware. There is a common term in Design Build known as “open book”. This refers to the way the company who is handling the Design Build project creates progress reports or other opportunities for the owner to be kept in the loop of the process, it’s progress. This “open book” allows an owner to provide feedback along the way as well as be aware if there are any changing factors in order to make timely decisions, if needed. Often the specifics to this “open book” arrangement is determined with the contract.


Myth #3: Design Build is only for large construction projects.

FALSE. The Design Build system can be ideal for construction projects of any size. From residential projects all the way to the Pentagon, Design Build is often the preferred delivery system for projects of just about any size. In fact, Design Build has become such a widely accepted and preferred method, 80% of states across the country have given local government entities authority to opt for Design Build on their community’s small local projects. Some recent examples out of Texas show the wide range of projects being done by Design Build: from a 10 million-dollar Canine Training Facility to a 3 million-dollar Shake Shack restaurant.

Decker Electric has been relied upon for Design Build projects of varying sizes. From a $100,000 commercial building here in Wichita to a multi-million-dollar capital improvement to an industrial plant.


Myth #4: The design plans will lack modern & innovative style.

FALSE. While the design plan is created knowing exactly what is needed to make budget, a good designer knows how to accomplish modern design with practical needs.

One of the Design Build projects handled by our experienced Decker Electric team was the batch fermentation upgrades to Green Plains Ethanol Plant in Madison, Illinois. We were successful in providing a design that not only came in under budget but saved the plant weeks of production with an early construction completion.


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Other Design Build Misconceptions

Some think of Design Build as being only one particular method, that all Design Build projects are handled in the same way with the same processes. This isn’t the case. There are a variety of ways that a Design Build project can proceed. For example, who leads a Design Build project can vary from being the developer, an engineer or a construction company. The demands of the specific project best determine which person or entity is in charge.

There is also a concern that choosing to go with a Design Build style is bad news for local construction companies and contractors. Some believe that Design Build will result in larger companies from out-of-state will receive the bid. As a company who’s been doing business in Wichita for more than 40 years, and one that’s been recognized as #1 electrical contractor in the area,  we are proud to be a local company that provides this valuable service to our clients, not just here in Kansas but across the United States.
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Decker Electric has provided Design Build services to companies and individuals across the country for 30 years.

Contact us today to let us get started on delivering the Design Build services you need for your next construction project. Our experienced team makes Decker Electric a premier partner who will exceed your expectations. We are a large team with 14 project managers located in the heart of Wichita, just off Kellogg at the West St. exit.

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