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Conflicts Between Architects and Contractors
Traditionally there has been a lot of conflicts between architects and contractors on the issue of change orders. Which method you think has the most potential to reduce these conflicts and adversarial relationship?
In my opinion, none of the methods have an advantage that will neutralize or reduce conflicts because the owner’s interests are truly the fulcrum during conflict in the traditional “design-bid-build method”, and in contrast to the Design-Build method, the General Contractor has more influence and control over change orders given that the owner isn’t as involved.
In the traditional “design-bid-build method”, and from personal experience, payment is contingent upon satisfactory work, the architect can reject work on the owner’s behalf, and if in the event change orders occur, conflict will not benefit the contractor’s interests.
However, with the “design-build” method, since the General Contractor is the fulcrum that can sway in the interest of client or the architect, conflict will not benefit the architect. The other proviso to this method doesn’t require a complete of construction methods, only requires the general contractor’s approval to cut the check, and change order are executed at the GC’s discretion without the required checks-and-balances.
- Why can’t a Design-Bid-Build project be fast-tracked as compare to Design-Bid?
“Design-Bid-Build” can’t be fast tracked because a complete set of construction documents are required from every vested design consultant, the owner is heavily involved in this delivery method, construction schedules, costs and contingencies are calculated ahead of time. Additionally, the architect can reject work on the owner’s behalf, and influence if the General Contractor is paid.
With the Design-build method, the General Contractor executes the contract and orchestrates services with design professionals that will work according to the GC’s calendar and conditions, a full set of construction documents are not required to begin construction, the general contractor is the checks-and-balance process for the entire project, and can terminate the role of a design consultant if it cannot meet the established calendar for delivery.
- Why is the pre-bid conference is important?
The pre-bid conference is important for the following reasons:
- It clarifies any confusion or concerns potential general contractors may have pertaining to the project.
- For public projects, it adds a layer of honesty and accountability for taxpayer interest.
- It “weeds” out the professionals from the amateurs.
- And it may pronounce deficiencies the architect and owner may have left out that can be addressed through an addendum