Understanding the Relationship Between Design and Construction

Whether erecting a building or a major bridge, design and construction go hand in hand. The design and construction phases of a major project may appear to be two separate phases in a facility’s life cycle, but they’re actually interconnected. In fact, an owner tends to end up with a better facility when the design and construction are coordinated. Here’s what you should know.

Improving Design

During design, a team consisting of architects or engineers and drafters develop the plans or blueprints that a contractor will use to build the facility. It is important that these plans are accurate and complete, lacking any errors or omissions to be discovered during construction. Architects and engineers use their understanding of structural concepts to develop the various elements according to building codes or design criteria. The best plans take into account constructability. Construction knowledge incorporated into the design often anticipates and addresses field issues in advance which can save time and money.

Improving Construction

Once the plans are complete and approved, the project can enter into the construction phase. The contractor will review the plans and specifications to come up with an overall cost to build. During construction, the design firm, such as engineering consultants McLean VA may be contracted to offer review and oversight services. As the project is built, they will answer questions or requests for information that the contractor has about the drawings. These designers will also review submittals such as building materials or other items to make sure that it meets the specifications. If onsite conditions differ from what the plans indicate, the engineers can recommend an alternate approach that meets the original design intent.

When the design phase considers constructability, you tend to end up with plans that are more buildable. When the engineers or architects are around for construction, they can help resolve field issues with solutions that leverage their knowledge and experience. Overall, the owner ends up with a better designed and built facility with added value in cost and time savings.

Author: Mabel Austin