Collaboration is key in design-build—Learn how the right technology makes it happen

Gordon Marx, Product Marketing Director | September 24, 2021

As construction projects become increasingly complex amid demand for compressed delivery time, the popularity of the design-build continues to increase in both the public and private sectors.

Design-build is a project delivery method where there is only one contract between the owner and a design-build entity. The design-builder is responsible for the design and construction of the project, with design and construction often occurring simultaneously.

There is growing recognition that design-build significantly outperforms other project delivery methods in terms of cost performance, speed of delivery, and the need for rework.

Because of razor-thin margins, design-build relies on close collaboration, particularly between the design and delivery/construction teams. Constant communication, alignment, and immediate access to accurate, real-time information is key to bringing teams together for successful collaboration.

Challenges for design-build projects

While design-build projects have distinct advantages, there are significant challenges that must be overcome to successfully manage this approach.

For one, lines of responsibility can blur once a project is underway. Effective communication tools are crucial to avoid disputes, finger-pointing, and potential legal squabbles.

Rapid-fire decision-making to manage tight timelines also is crucial. Design-build demands close collaboration since all parties must act in unison.

Without it, disconnects arise between the design and delivery teams, diminishing collaboration and potentially bringing confusion or mistakes that can lead to delays and cost overruns.

For successful design-build projects, all project teams must be aligned and working with the right information. Too often, though, participants elect to use their own systems rather than participating in the central project system.

That leads to multiple data stores, a lack of cooperation, growing distrust, wasted time, and poor productivity.

Learn how Oracle Aconex drives ultimate collaboration to power design-build success.

Maximizing design-build efficiency

Even as the use of project management solutions has grown, outdated communication practices and inefficient process management remain obstacles to success, as do laborious manual updates that create mountains of paperwork. Since design-build requires a high level of structure, collaboration and transparency, these projects can encounter substantial hurdles accessing crucial data without a solution that easily connects the entire design-build team.

On top of this, most project systems don’t encourage collaboration and therefore don’t address key challenges in design-build. Indeed, most systems are not suited for the structure and requirements of design-build projects.

The solution is a single, easy-to-use platform that the entire design-build team can trust and use for collaboration—one that provides a single source of truth throughout the life of the project.

Connecting the entire design-build team

Oracle Aconex is the hand-in-glove fit for design-build projects. A construction document management platform that easily connects all project team members, processes, and data for ultimate collaboration, Oracle Aconex helps all stakeholders move ahead with cohesive certainty.

Even in a progressive design-build strategy, badly managed collaboration will result in multiple data silos building up over the course of a project, creating rising barriers to project success. Oracle Aconex effortlessly unites all project team members in a single platform and drives collaboration around their common goals.

Key aspects of Oracle Aconex include

  • A unique data ownership model. Each project organization owns and controls their own data, with the assurance that no other party can modify or restrict their access. This model helps build trust, which drives greater platform adoption. Collaboration happens smoothly across the entire design-build team, particularly between design and construction.
  • A single data repository. There’s no opportunity for silos to develop. Trust and adoption drive the use of a single platform across the entire project. Design and delivery teams easily collaborate; there’s no guesswork as to where a document is stored, or which data is most current. Information flows freely between all project participants, creating a complete record on one platform.
  • Unalterable audit trail. Oracle Aconex effectively tracks and captures every project decision creating a complete and unalterable project record. Nothing can be deleted from the platform, edited, or altered after the fact. This remarkable capability ensures accountability across the project, minimizes disputes, and also contributes to trust, helping drive adoption.
  • One-stop-shop approach. The highly flexible process management engine facilitates virtually any form- or document-based process, with specific modules to manage model coordination, cost management, and jobsite processes.

Design reviews can be problematic, requiring input across many teams and many revision cycles. Oracle Aconex connects the design and delivery teams, providing the visibility and control to effectively manage this critical process.

The Oracle Aconex data ownership model facilitates open collaboration between all the teams involved in the design review process, driving alignment and preventing mistakes. Process automation, standardization, and ball-in-court tracking ensure all design queries and changes are easily communicated for complete process transparency and accountability.

The strength of a core document management function

Secure document management is vital to every organization. So is driving accountability and minimizing disputes.

Managing documents, drawings, and models without limits promotes teamwork, enhances collaboration, while the advanced workflow engine streamlines process and approval cycles. Oracle Aconex eliminates inefficiency with a simple, single repository encompassing an entire project.

The real difference, and the huge value, is how Oracle Aconex quickly and easily stores and accesses those documents. You have a single document register, creating a single source of project truth.

With Oracle Aconex there’s one record with immediate and transparent access to document revisions. Strict version protocols assure that you always work with the latest information, and previous versions are not deleted.

Deliver design-build on time and under budget

By overlapping construction and design, project teams can deliver a timely build that makes aggressive schedules and cost targets possible. You’ll still have a design team, a construction team, specialty subcontractors, materials vendors, and all the same quality standards as you would in other methods.

Oracle Aconex helps teams realize the benefits of design-build projects and easily mitigate the challenges they present.

Make your design-build projects run like a well-oiled machine. Connect your design and delivery teams from the start―and fast forward to ultimate collaboration with Oracle Aconex.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data; empower better decision-making; and synchronize activities across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.