J Sound Services, a Solotech Company, follows the AIA (American Institute of Architects) design-build method for project delivery. With this method of delivery - we minimize risk for the project Owner as we are a single point of responsibility for the project. While at the same time we deliver our projects more cost-effectively, efficiently and in a more timely manner. The following describes the process and phases of the design-build method.
Project Planning: Establish the functional and operational requirements of the audio visual system(s)
Schematic Design: Develop initial design specifications and preliminary cost estimates
Design Development: Develop floor plans, elevations, sections, typical details, preliminary schedules, and updated cost estimates for construction and installation
Construction Documents: Generate final project design documentation, construction schedules, updated cost estimates, value engineering and identify any design creep items
Installation/Construction: Execute and deploy the project design. Test and commission audio visual, acoustics, and control system(s) with Owner
Post-Construction: Follow up to ensure system(s) are still performing according to the functional and operational requirements established during programming
Everybody is on the same team: We’re all in this together and we all have the same goal –to arrive at a successful project that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations for their project. When challenges are encountered on a project (and there are always challenges), pointing fingers is not an option, everyone rolls up their sleeves and works on solutions.
Total accountability: One entity is accountable for everything –including how the end result looks, how much it costs and the timeline of completion. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, there tends to be much more attention given to pricing and scheduling in the design phase. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for us to hear from people that “their remodel cost twice as much as the consultant said it would” –such a scenario is entirely unacceptable in the design-build world. Design-build focuses on results, not excuses.
Continuity: A design-build firm is involved from start to finish, which adds an inherent efficiency. The chance for things to fall through the cracks is greatly diminished.
Expertise: Design-build firms are experts in both fields, design and installation methods and techniques.
Professional guides: A design-build firm will guide the client throughout the process, to the best possible outcome. Design-build refines a system from beginning to end and manages the chaos into orderly steps.
Involvement: Design-build operates under the assumption that the client actually wants to be an active participant in the design and construction of their project. We’ve found that such an involvement is inspiring and gives people a lasting sense of pride with the completed project.
Collaboration: Design-build cuts out the big egos so common in the design industry. In design-build the client retains total control over the project and the team is there to empower them.
The best kind of communication is open, honest and often: Design-build is transparent because we want clients to understand the process and to know what’s going on. The best partnerships work, not because people say what everyone wants to hear, but because they say what everyone needs to hear. Through clear communication the budget is defined early on and it becomes the agreement for the entire project.
Time is of the essence: Design and construction involves managing hundreds of timelines that need to coordinate in lockstep. Design-build creates opportunities for clients to sit with big decisions, ask questions, and consider their options. Anything the team can do to avoid taking steps backwards is going to lead to better, faster and more cost-effective results. The design-build system is highly adaptive and responsive in the field. Big decisions can be revisited during construction without change orders or additional fees. The conventional story is that if you make changes it will cost you money – not necessarily so in design-build.
Cost savings: As a design-build firm, our project costs can be distributed across the entire project. This allows us to discount the design phase of a project or contribute portions of our design fees back toward the projects total cost. This can reduce the clients up front costs and save the client money in the end.