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What is Design and Build all about?

Key Differences between Traditional Contract vs Design and Build Contract

Traditional Contract

aka Design-Bid-Build Contract

Design and Build Contract

Key Person : Architect

Developer / Owner engages the Architect to come up with the overall concept and design. The Architect undertakes the responsibility for tendering, contract administration, quality control.

Design : Definitely Impressive

Architects are trained experts who will provide you insights to give your place / house the 'wow' factor. 

Price : Uncertain 

Upon the design conceptualisation and planning phase, the construction cost remains a mystery and sometimes the cost may exceed budget.

Time : Slower

The main contractor builds according to drawings provided by the Architect. However more than often not, the drawings differs to on-site conditions. When issues arise on-site, the main contractor has to inform the Architect and the Architect has to take instructions from the Developer / Owner which impedes the construction progress. 

Key Person : Builder

Developer / Owner engages the Builder who will be responsible for both the design and construction of the project. This eliminates the need for multiple parties and reduces the risk of miscommunication or conflicts between designers and builders. It streamlines the decision-making process and ensures a cohesive approach throughout the project.

Design : Practical & Functional

With more building and on-site experience, Builders are more practical people and the design tends to gear more towards practicality & functionality aspects.

Price : Known

With a design and build approach, Developer / Owner will be able to know the cost estimation early on and be able to do value engineering, and efficient project planning.


Design modifications can be made proactively to align with budgetary constraints, reducing the likelihood of costly change orders during construction. Additionally, the integration of design and construction phases results in shorter project timelines, as construction can commence while design development is still ongoing.


Hence upon engagement of the Builder, the construction cost is more or less fixed.

(unless you decide to change things along the way)

Time: Faster

By entrusting both the design and construction to a single entity, the project management process becomes more streamlined. In a design and build approach, the design and construction teams are experienced in working together, allowing for seamless coordination and integration of project activities.


Both the Builder and Developer / Owner work together with a direct and open communication channel. Any instructions or issues are dealt with almost instantly and this 2-way channel streamlined the construction flow enabling a more efficient build progress.

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