WHY DESIGN /BUILD?
February 5, 2003
An ever growing number of marina owners and developers have discovered the benefits of using design/build contracting to build or rebuild their marinas. Just like conventional on-shore construction, this contracting method is fast becoming the choice amongst successful marina developers and here’s why. Experienced design/build marina companies have developed significant working relationships with a large number of engineers, architects and other consultants with extensive expertise in marina design and operations.
This group of consultants is able to provide expertise in all aspects of marina design and in a wide variety of geographical locations. The perfect team is composed of outside consultants rather than in-house staff because: It provides the contractor and the owner with third party generated designs and opinions, eliminating conflict of interest between what’s good for the contractor and what’s good for the owner. It provides independent professional liability insurance for both the owner and the contractor. It allows the design function to be a variable cost keeping the contractor’s pricing more competitive and appropriately assessing design costs to the respective project.
The third party design/build approach provides the greatest value to the marina owner. Once a project team is in place, the marina company coordinates all activities to insure a timely and efficient project design. This process results in substantial benefits and cost savings to customers due to the familiarity that exists between the marina company and its pool of consultants. Initial soft costs are lower due to the streamlined design process. The resulting project design is more efficient creating more economic value. Overall project completion time is reduced. Overall risk to the owner is reduced by single source responsibility. Lower project soft costs result from several factors.
The consultants used by the marina company are intimately familiar with their manufacturing and construction procedures, quality assurance programs and purchasing abilities. This allows them to get “straight to the meat” of the engineering issues without having to worry about the myriad of issues that would be required for a typical bid type design. The marina company can take a few pages of design information and turn it into a full set of shop drawings, which after review, can be stamped and used to obtain building permits. What could traditionally require an engineer hours of work to produce in specifications and many other details, are already established with the marina company.
Issues such as quality and types of materials, production tolerances, assembly methodologies, ASTM standards, testing requirements and other key design concerns are already established. A huge library of previously designed components from years of previous projects can be incorporated into projects with little effort, however, at the same time third party professionals are overseeing the project as a whole to insure all site specific issues requiring new design are taken into consideration. Lower project hard costs are realized due to the familiarity of the marina company’s manufacturing and construction capability by these consultants. Proprietary formwork, equipment and plant capabilities are all taken into account during the design process. Without this, many designs generate sizes and methodologies based on the result of calculations or other means, without knowledge of existing forms, jigs and other manufacturing efficiencies. This can result in the contractor having to put additional costs in the project that do not create value for the owner.
Overall project completion time is reduced because the required design time is shortened significantly by the streamlined engineering process described above. Additionally, time can be saved due to familiarity with key schedule issues such as long lead time components which can be determined early in the design phase for early approvals and ordering, sequencing engineering to match manufacturing and construction processes and the ability to phase the project so partial occupancy can be achieved, if possible. A reduction in risk to the owner also occurs because the marina company has sole source responsibility for the project.
Conflicts between design, manufacture and construction are minimized if not eliminated. The coordination of the multitude of disciplines and systems required for today’s sophisticated state of the art marina is removed from the owner’s area of responsibility. The competitiveness of design/build pricing can be verified if the marina company has a long history and is continually successful with design and construction projects. As with any major purchase, check references, visit project sites and talk to other MOAA members that have worked with the marina contractor.
Today, the design/build contracting approach is the method of choice for the vast majority of non-municipal customers as well as a growing number of municipal customers. January 3, 2003 Written by: Everett Babbitt, President Phillip A. Greenman, Executive Vice President Bellingham Marine Industries PO Box 8 Bellingham, WA 98227 Phone: 1-800-733-5679 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bellingham-marine.com
Bellingham Marine designs, manufactures and installs Unifloat floating dock systems, Unideck fresh water systems and Unistack dry storage buildings.
Contact Bellingham Marine, P.O. Box 8, Bellingham, WA 98227. www.bellingham-marine.com. Unifloat, Unideck and Unistack are registered trademarks of Bellingham Marine.