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What One Factor Influences Construction Costs the Most?

Posted by Kathy Pigg | Nov 13, 2018 9:55:00 AM

There are many factors that influence the cost of construction. Some are obvious: land acquisition, permits and construction costs. Then there are the future costs or life-cycle costs to consider: maintenance, repair, replacement—the cost of keeping the facility and its systems up and running.

One of the most effective ways to control construction costs is to establish early involvement on behalf of the owner AND the contractor. This may seem obvious, but under the traditional method of construction delivery, the owner commissions an architect or engineer to prepare drawings and specifications, then separately selects a contractor by negotiation or competitive bidding at a later stage in the project’s development.

This can present a number of problems for the owner

Can the design be built for the budget and within the desired timeframe? If the project needs to go back to the drawing board, how much time will be lost? What if the architect and contractor disagree? How many contracts need to be managed by the owner?

In contrast, the most effective way to achieve early contractor involvement is by employing the design-build project delivery method. Design-build construction streamlines project delivery through a single contract between the owner and the design-build team, creating an environment of collaboration and teamwork between the designers and construction team. 

[Learn more about design-build with this free guide]

In addition, pre-construction services provided by the general contractor, such as feasibility studies, financing options, site selection and logistics, conceptual planning, budgeting, value engineering and scheduling provide an opportunity for collaboration and help determine the viability, and ultimate success, of a project—well before the shovels hit the ground.

Design-Build Delivery | Brindley Construction | Pulaski, Tennessee

Early Decisions Make All the Difference

As illustrated in the Cost Influence Curve pictured here, decisions made early in the conceptual planning and design phases have a dominant influence on the cost and completion time of the project. It quickly becomes evident that the owner holds the key to controlling project construction costs because all decisions made at the onset of a project have far greater influence on costs than those made at later stages. In addition, design and construction decisions made early-on will influence on-going life-cycle costs.

When the owner works with a single team under one contract, it is far easier to balance his or her facility needs and budget with the design, materials, systems and construction processes required to maximize the owner’s revenues. 

When you work with Brindley Construction from the beginning, our integrated approach of pre-construction, construction and close-out services come together to create a successful project—one that is faster, safer, comes in on budget and schedule, and has fewer change orders.

View some of our design-build projects here>>>

Learn how Brindley can save you time and money on your next project | Design-build eBook | Brindley Construction

Topics: Design-Build

Written by Kathy Pigg

Executive Vice President and Director of Marketing
Kathy began her career as a project assistant with Brindley Construction, LLC. She moved up through the ranks becoming a project manager and took charge of all multi-family construction. As Executive Vice President she manages the warranty program for our clients and is vital in the every day management of each project. With years of practical experience and her continuing quest for knowledge, she strives to serve the clients of Brindley Construction in a professional and sincere manner. Kathy is a Giles County native and has lived and worked here her entire life.

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