A Letter to the Editor

The Future of BIM, IPD and Design Build

The cover of the July/August issue of Net Assets displayed a powerful, and for us concerning, headline. In large bold letters, it stated THE END OF DESIGN/BUILD.

We’ve used this method for over 40 years, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future – so for obvious reasons we were eager to read the article! “Construction Disruption” barely addressed the cover headline’s assertion, and in our opinion left readers confused about the differences between the various project delivery methods.

While the design/build delivery method isn’t right for every project, for our clients it’s been a perfect approach. It’s vital institutions have a factual understanding of the options available to them so as to make the right decisions for their specific projects. The costs are too high to make a decision based upon inaccurate information.

We were compelled to write a letter to the editor addressing our concerns. The letter, published in the most recent issue of Net Assets (November/December issue), reads as follows:

In Response to “The End of Design-Build”

To the Editor:

The article “Construction Disruption” (July/August issue, page 12) built the case for an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach and building information modeling (BIM) software, but in the process misrepresented design/build and the essential choices facing business officers on capital projects.

The risks capital projects pose are too high to not have clarity on the different delivery methods, approaches, and tools available. The article incorrectly lumps the design/bid/build and design/build delivery methods together, without regard for their significant differences, and muddles the common traits between the design/build and IPD approaches.

At Stanmar, Inc. a design/build athletic facility specialist for private institutions, we consider design/build an IPD approach. IPD’s core concepts – bringing different parties together at the beginning of a project to reduce low productivity and waste, time overruns, quality issues, and most importantly conflicts between owners, architects and contractors – are the very same provided to schools by the design/build process. More than “arguably a step in the right direction,” design/build shares IPD’s collaborative essence, eliminating the “divergent needs” of contractor and designer.

BIM and project management software are tools…tools that institutions should focus on after deciding which delivery method is best suited for them. To sum up: we were disappointed in “The End of Design/Build” headline displayed on the cover, and believe it missed the mark on what the design/build method does for owners.

Oliver Snider

Vice President, Business Development

Stanmar, Inc.

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