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Design Build

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Our approach to design-build is different than most  A-E firms. We have an
"Architect driven D-B firm". It is a separate firm (for liability reasons) and
is an outgrowth of our A-E firm. We secure the project and then hire the GC and
subs to do only the construction. It reverses the traditional role of the
Contractor and the Architect/Engineer which seems to solve many of the
complaints that I have heard discussed. The design portion is then contracted to
our A-E firm on an hourly basis. The owners typically like our design driven
approach, which is different than most of our competitiors.

We made the decision to go into D-B in 1988 because we saw some jobs going D-B
that we wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to secure unless we could offer
this service.  We have slowly become our A-E firm's best client.

One of the best aspects of our approach is that it gives us the total control
that we need to do a quality project. We hire independent consultants to do
material testing etc.with our people overseeing the construction.

Ethical questions may occur if you find yourself in budget problems (what to cut
out first to minimize your losses), but these are in no way different than the
ethical questions which may arise in Engineering if you took a project for too
little fee. It comes down to the ethics of that person or that firm and making
the right choice.

Jim Kestner
Green Bay, Wisconsin