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We approach a fit-out or refurbishment in a relatively undiscovered way. It's known as Design and Build in the construction industry. It saves time, minimizes risk and reduces hassle - and it's more likely to deliver on time and to budget. All in all, it represents better value for your money.
Design and Build is about letting one company take care of everything. Literally everything. From planning permission to interior design to construction to move-in. Dealing with just the one contractor brings immediate and ongoing benefits - and it does so because almost all the work is done in-house with one integrated team.
For a start, time is saved on negotiating contracts. There's just the one agreement to sign, instead of maybe a dozen, and it covers the whole job, not one small piece of it. And there's a single point of contact throughout the project, who will assume total responsibility from beginning to end and will oversee everything for you.
Because the designer and the builder actually talk to one another, and work together from the outset, the Design and Build approach offers firm guarantees.
The design you sign off is the design you get. The cost you tell the finance director is the actual final cost. So there's more certainty and less risk. Contractually the client gets more protection this way, too.
Perhaps most significantly, a unique aspect of Design and Build – parallel working – helps bring forward the completion date of a project. Why? Because in the traditional approach, the designer and contractors are individual runners in a relay race, who must pass on the baton before the next one can start. But a Design and Build contractor can manage tasks so that many of them run in parallel – helping the project stick to a critical path. So nearly everybody can be running at the same time, making the whole exercise a lot quicker.
Another point in favour of Design and Build is the contractor’s ability to address, in a more cohesive way, the legislative, health and safety, technological and environmental matters that affect modern workplaces. After all, the end result has to be practical and compliant, as well as elegant. What’s more, with around one-fifth of all projects having a major defect, however they are developed, it's important that the Design and Build contractor is around to put problems right - and they can often absorb the extra cost of doing so, too. Compare this to the traditional approach, where the client is usually left to pick up the pieces.
Unsure about the quality of design? It comes down to the talent and experience of the individual designers working on the project. A Design and Build firm is just as likely to employ these skilled individuals as an architectural practice. Don’t assume one type of firm is better than any other. Make sure you check references and ask to see examples of work carried out before deciding who you’re going to get better results from.
So how do you know if the Design and Build approach is the right one for you? Well, if there's a specific designer or contractor you really want to work with, or if you’re prepared to pay additional professional fees (for surveyors, architects, project managers, IT consultants, mechanical and electrical services consultants, planning supervisors and others), then Design and Build isn't for you. But on the other hand, if you're happy to work with one partner, want less hassle, and want guarantees on time and budget, it almost certainly is.
A testimony to the quality of service available from a Design and Build partner is the type of clients that have chosen to transform their offices by this approach through us. Companies for which design values are paramount to their brand have all opted for Space Matters.