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Working with a Design/Build Firm

by Rick Reynolds

Whether one is an architect working with a client—or a client working with an architect—or a client looking to streamline the design/build process, there are distinct advantages to realizing projects with a Montage design/build firm.

Consider the following:

  • Architects deserve to have their designs faithfully realized, on-budget and on-time. And since their clients’ satisfaction with the process and the final product will ultimately reflect on their firms, the craftsmanship, health benefits, and energy performance of the buildings need to be as world class as their designs.
  • Next, for clients working with their own distinguished architects and looking to hire their own builders, beauty, quality, health, performance, durability, and on-budget/on-time deliverability are of paramount importance as well. And they too want to ensure their construction projects are seamlessly executed between the design firm and the build firm.
  • Lastly, clients, overwhelmed by the many moving parts of the design/build process, may look to streamline the process by having their architect, engineer, designer, drafter, and craftsmen/women all in-house. Here too, a seamless, integrated approach can help ensure end-to-end control of their projects.

Well, all three of the above are our people! For over four decades, we at Bensonwood have worked effectively with all three. And, in addition to the capabilities listed above, the common denominator on all fronts is predictability. After all, we all have come to expect predictable quality in our cars, appliances, and electronics, and have every right to expect the same world-class technology in our most important, longer-term investments.

So while it may seem counterintuitive, in all three scenarios above, synergies are amplified, potential problems are designed away (instead of baked into the cake), and unwelcome surprises are all but eliminated. And contrary to what some may think, there is no wasteful overlap of services. Our team of designers and engineers strive to realize the architectural intent while, at the same time, translating the structure into our cutting edge, 21st century Montage build system.

It is precisely because we must build all designs—whether originating in-house or out-of-house—that Bensonwood has deep experience accurately estimating costs and delivery time. Indeed, every project we build refreshes our database of current building costs, helping us to refine budgeting throughout the ever-evolving design process. Imagine having 40-50% of your building costs fixed and total costs known to within 1-2 % by the end of the design phase. Additionally, empirical, real-time reporting throughout the build phase assures your project remains on budget.

Beyond these budgeting metrics, imagine knowing that the new home, commercial structure or public building will be completed in a third the time it would take more conventional (stick-built) construction. With parallel processing and concurrent production, fabrication of highly finished assemblies occurs simultaneously with site work, and without the damage and delays caused by weather.

So while we don’t claim to be all things to all people, all three described above can rest assured that, at the end of the day, the best testament to their vision and design lies in the building’s enduring performance, integrity, and relevance.