Houston Design Build vs. Construction Manager at Risk

Houston design build professionals discussing building plans

Houston design build offers an integrated solution for commercial construction.

Project delivery for your construction project has a huge impact on a building owner’s liability and experience. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right one for your project. A common question we get asked is what the difference is between Houston design build and construction manager at risk. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Differences Between Houston Design Build and Construction Manager at Risk

Design build and construction manager at risk (CMAR) are two options for construction project delivery. They are both commonly used for Houston industrial construction and commercial construction. They are different from the traditional design bid build method because they both encourage collaboration for both design and construction. However, there are key differences that come with pros and cons for each option.

What is Houston Design Build?

Design build is a project delivery method where one team handles every phase of your construction project. There is one contract and the firm takes care of both the design and the construction process based on your input. With Houston design build, one party is liable for basically all aspects of your project. As such, it incentivizes teams to collaborate and work as an integrated team to prevent issues and risks. This often results in faster construction, better quality work, as well as lower costs. 

What is Construction Manager at Risk?

By contrast, CMAR involves two contracts: one between you and your construction manager and one between you and the design firm. While the construction manager may provide some input early in the design process, ultimately the design is up to the engineers and architects you hire. Once complete, the construction manager is responsible for all construction activities. Usually, a construction manager’s main priorities are ensuring the building meets design specs, fits the discussed schedules, and also costs the quoted guaranteed maximum price (GMP) or less. 

Because there’s a gap between the design and construction team, this can lead to risks and liabilities for the building owner. Whereas with Houston design build one team is completely in charge for the whole project, CMAR may increase risks for the property owner because there are two separate contracts and teams that don’t necessarily have to collaborate with one another.

Therefore, unless you want to work with a specific design firm for very particular reasons for Houston commercial construction or industrial construction, Houston design build may be the best option for you compared to construction manager at risk. 

Turnkey Industrial & Commercial Construction from GRA – Gulf Coast Construction

When you need top quality construction services, choose our team at GRA – Gulf Coast Construction. We are an experienced contractor offering turnkey services for all your projects. We specialize in design build construction and offer nearly 25 years in the business. You can trust us for your construction needs. Contact us now to get a free construction consultation with our experts.

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