Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS DESIGN-BUILD?

Design-build is a construction delivery system where a single source is responsible for design, construction and warranty, including:

  • Architecture and all engineering drawings
  • Pricing at the preliminary drawing phase, or in some cases, after seeing the site civil drawings
  • All management and construction through project completion
  • As-built drawings and a comprehensive Owner’s Manual containing subcontractor and supplier list, warranty and maintenance information and finish schedules

HOW LONG HAS UNIT BUILDING SERVICES BEEN USING THE DESIGN-BUILD DELIVERY SYSTEM?

Unit Building Services has been performing design-build construction since its start in 1972. Our passion and experience is brought to every project.

HOW ARE PAYMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES STRUCTURED?

A deposit is required to cover the cost of working drawings. Once construction starts, we invoice at month’s end for work that month. Accordingly, payments are due 10 days from receipt of invoice.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD TIMELINE OR SCHEDULE FOR CONSTRUCTION?

Your project schedule will be determined by the project complexity and the time of year construction starts. A typical schedule would consist of one to two months to complete working drawings; two to six weeks for permit process, and five to eight months for construction.

WHY IS DESIGN-BUILD USUALLY THE MOST EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE WAY OF BUILDING?

  • The planning process consists of a team of owners, construction experts, architects, engineers, facility users, design-build subcontractors, project coordinators, estimators, and schedulers.
  • The process decentralizes decision making, empowering the participants to develop the most cost effective design to satisfy owner requirements.
  • The schedule takes all factors and involved parties into account and so it is both timely and cost efficient.
  • The designers are brought in as part of the team so cost effective proven methods of construction are brought forth in the drawings, the first time.

WHAT KIND OF WARRANTY DO YOU PROVIDE?

On new construction, we provide a 2 year warranty.

IS THERE A COST EFFECTIVE WAY TO APPROACH A “GREEN” BUILDING DESIGN?

Yes, the key with green design is to review how additional upfront costs will reduce future energy consumption costs. We can assist you in green design cost/benefit impact analysis with a typical return on investment calculation or a holistic environmental approach.

WHAT IS THE COST PER SQUARE FOOT OF MY BUILDING?

With Unit your building costs will include the following:

  • Architectural and engineering design (1)
  • + Site work (2)
  • + Building costs (3)
  • = Total cost per square foot (excluding land cost)

The benefit of design-build is that you get a better picture of total cost. In traditional delivery systems, the quoted cost per square foot would include only building costs #3.

HOW DO I KNOW I AM GETTING A COMPETITIVE PRICE WITH THE DESIGN-BUILD DELIVERY SYSTEM?

If you have a detailed scope and preliminary design, you can have three qualified design-build contractors quote the project. If there is a comfort or trust with a particular contractor, you may opt to enter into a cost plus design-build contract. The design-build contractor would be responsible for maintaining a minimum of three bids for each division of work then manage the work with an agreed upon mark-up.

WHAT IS A CHANGE ORDER?

When an owner requests a change to the construction contract, the impacts to the scope, cost and schedule are documented and incorporated into the contract via a change order. Unit prides itself on having very few change orders as a result of the thoroughness of the design-build process. Please ask our customers about their change order experience. There should be no surprises.

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