PMI Bangalore Chapter

PM Article: Dynamics of Design & Build Model

Dynamics of Design & Build Model

Revolutionizing the Conventional Construction Philosophy

– Koheli Puri



Huge development projects amidst emerging market economies across the Globe and specifically in India, necessitated rapid completion of Infrastructure Projects. The pace of investments over the last two decades in India has been soaring. In parallel, there has been a tremendous growth in the sheer volume of real estate that has been developed. Offices, malls, schools, hospitals, residences have all been developed to supplement the need of the world’s fastest growing economy and to support the unprecedented increase in population


In India the Technology Industry has lead the growth of the Country followed by Retail, Healthcare, Services, education and logistics. All these economic developments have necessitated the need for development of world class architecture in India to match global standards when it comes to comfort, aesthetics, safety and security.


To manage and deliver such kind of unique and complex projects it was absolutely essential to look for an expertise organization with a thorough body of knowledge.


The Project Management Approach

With the growth of Construction and Infrastructure investments in India several International Property Consultants stepped into India. These firms started demonstrating the importance of Project Management Consultancy (PMC) as an independent service which can bring value to the customer in terms of end-to-end management of all forms of construction. They brought in the best practices, tools, software and expertise from their global experience and deployed them in India.


The delay and cost overruns are the major concerns of infra projects in India. These delays and cost overruns pose significant danger not only to the economic factors related to the project but also to the socio-political aspect as well. So there was a need to manage these projects in a professional way to reduce the shortcomings. This would be possibly only by deploying agencies with expertise and possessing appropriate intellect that can look into the criticalities and mitigate the risks to achieve a successful result.


A well-organized Project Management approach includes adopting various types of tools for effective management like reporting dashboard, round table progress review and conducting of brainstorming sessions, impart training on various field, design – construction interface, regular quality audits, quality diligence & delivery sessions in team.


Unattended Risks

While Construction Project Management’s foothold, in the Indian market was established, it continued to face vast variety of challenges while handling large and complex projects. The appointment of a Project Management Consultant does not immediately solve all problems that are associated with this complex industry.


Project Managers are expected to be empowered to take the best decision in the overall interest of the project. However here, as per the contractual schematics, the role of the Project Manager is effectively reduced due to dependency on contracting agencies, who are appointed by the Stakeholders directly. Though Project Manager is fully aware of any risk or failure that needs to be managed, but nothing can be achieved by direct participation by Project Manager but needs to be tackled through additional costs, which needs to be borne by either the customer or one or more of the contracting parties depending on how it is negotiated.

In construction industry there were many things that are usually outsourced like the design aspect of the projects, various contracting agencies like Civil/ Interior, HVAC, MEP, etc. Too many power centres and failure points shifts the equilibrium, where in the accountability of Project Managers gets reduced, which in turn affects the Project Delivery Model. This lead to delays resulting in lag in the project timeline and consequences are budget overshoot.


Evolution Of Design & Built Method

In one of the Projects we handle, not only the contractors but the same policy was applicable for the consultants who were hired for various packages like Design, MEP, etc. They all were also under the same family tree with stakeholders and thus influenced the decision makers, in enforcing their views having cost impact, hence Project Manager was not able to exercise much control. This led to further confusions during the project cycle and the game of shifting monkey would come into play to hide the mistakes that happened during the course.


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To resolve this problem it was decided to blend the design, Project Management and implementation team under one umbrella to provide right empowerment and accountability to the Project Manager.


This resulted in Stakeholders and Project Managers to put their thinking hats & explore way to consolidate the power centers, create the right balance and equilibrium and design a well-insulated least defect probability project Delivery model to build a faster and a better tomorrow.


Administering of Design and Built (D&B) Method – Industry Changing Dynamics

Administering of this D&B model has changed many industry dynamics and emerged out as more futuristic approach. This D&B agency has the sole responsibility of taking the project from scratch, appointing the SMEs/the consultants, managing the design, for developing the BOQ and other tender specification, getting the same approved from clients. Then progressing with procurement, then appoint contracting agencies, wherein D&B agency have freedom to choose based on their working relationship and trust with various contracting agencies to manage & supervise the onsite work, thus complete the work.


D&B method is administered in two ways – Lump sum cost contract or Items rate contract also termed as Open Book approach for greater transparency and improved trust level to clients.


Advantages Of Design And Built Method

This unique project Delivery model was found to have several advantages over Traditional Project delivery Model – e.g. –


It immediately shifts the liability of Design Defects from the system – as the moment the facility is not performing as per required desired Design parameters the D&B Agencies responsibility is to rectify it at their own risk and cost, e.g. if the Facility is designed to produce 350 lux level and achieved lux level is 250, its D&B agencies sole responsibility to provide the agreed Lux level – thus ensuring clients risk mitigation in terms of compromising of requirements and Cost overrun.


So in nutshell the Project Managers achieved the following services to the clients –


• Insulation to Exposure of Price Escalation to clients

• Design Defects risk mitigated

• Single point of accountability to client for project delivery as per design intent and quality till handing over and one year of defect liability period

• Easy mode of payment disbursements for clients thus avoiding multiple transactions

• One year support for all operational issues as a part of defect liability

This will result into happy & contented clients, shorten the delivery time and enables Project Managers to take up more and more challenges, increases the capabilities and expertise, to deliver more Projects to cater the economic growth.


In this D&B approach it is observed that there is minimal risk, maximum transparency and vision of how a job can be completed in an optimum budget. This dynamic nature of this D&B approach is new and promising which can make it an everlasting force to solve various problems encountered in this industry.