The vast majority of construction projects undertaken nowadays are still done according to the “design-bid-build” model, although an increasing number are shifting over to the “design build” model. Interestingly enough, design-bid-build is often “traditional” construction, when the truth is actually the opposite. The origins of design build construction can be traced to the ancient construction model wherein a single artisan is responsible for every aspect of building the structure. And that is precisely what design build construction involves: a single construction firm tasked with the responsibility of designing, constructing, and then delivering the completed structure.
In the design-bid-build model, the building owner first commissions a design team to draw up a set of plans for the intended structure. After getting the approval of the building owner, the plans are then presented to a few different construction teams, each of which makes a bid for the contract. The company that is eventually chosen (based on the bid and various other factors such as track record and previous working relationships) will be tasked with the actual construction of the building.
In contrast, design build construction involves assigning a single company to both the design and the construction–and indeed every aspect–of the project. The company may be selected from a number of different bidders, or may be contracted by way of a referral. Design build companies may employ an architect in house and they usually have a team of subcontractors they regularly work with on construction projects.
The primary benefit of going with design build construction instead of design-bid-build is the simplicity of managing the project. Because you only have a single entity (the representative of the design build firm) to deal with, it will be a lot easier for you to communicate your needs and to stay updated. This generally results in a smoother and more efficient construction process, which will definitely pay off in terms of ensuring quality, and possibly even reducing costs.