When you start to plan on having your new Chiropractic office space constructed or remodeled, the last thing you want to do is call a contractor to come in, start describing to them what you want to do with your space, and then expect them to give you a valid price.  An accurate price can only come from a really clear set of design directive documents. Two common ways of accomplishing this are the “design-bid-build” and the “design-build” processes. Read more to see how these processes can save you time and money when building your next office.

Design-Bid-Build Construction Process

The “design-bid-build” construction process has been used for much of the 20th century. In this long-established construction method, the designer and contractor work separately. The owner starts their work with the designer to create a complete design. They then send this design out to different contractors to bid. The winning contractor is then in charge of construction, with the designer being responsible for design quality and the owner responsible for managing the process.

The positive aspect of this traditional process is that if you do have a clearly defined and complete set of design plans, you can get a very competitive and qualified price known as a “hard bid”. This clear set of design drawings also will create a check and balance and a clear set of expectations that the contractor is to meet; although, this does require more documentation and thus costs, and is a slower process.   Also, since the contractor is not involved until the design is 100% completed, there can be missed opportunities for value engineering.

The biggest challenge of this process is this same check and balance can create a “he-said-she-said” situation. It can lead to errors and miscommunication since the contractor and designer are not working in sync from the start. And if the contractor bid the project very tightly, any discrepancies can potentially create added expense and stress. This is best alleviated by continued communication, a clearly set values by the owner, and adding budget contingencies from the beginning.

Design-Build Construction Process

Chiropractic Office ConstructionThe “design-build” process is an integrated approach and it is an emerging project delivery system. The contractor, owner, and designer work as a team from the start of the process. This allows the owner to select a contractor based on their skill set and qualifications versus solely upon price. The contractor’s early involvement leverages their experience and allows for more accurate estimating on time and budget. The team approach reduces miscommunication and therefore reduces change orders and errors, which can reduce the cost of the project. Although it can be perceived to cost more than a hard bid would, it has been documented extensively that the true cost in dollars, time and circumstances is typically less.

The most negative point of the emerging design-build industry is that it is often a construction company that is claiming they are design-build, but are only using design as a lost leader to get the construction project. Because the design is not a profit center, it is very much secondary, the input between the design team with the owner is very limited, and the design suffers. It is important if you choose design-build that you make sure you understand what the extent of the services you are getting with the team.

With the right team, the design-build process can be a great choice for a new Chiropractic office. The project can be performed much faster. On site changes can be more easily expressed, considered, and incorporated into the scope with this process. Renovating an office benefits from this process as well, since the contractor can communicate site conditions and help the designer plan around them.

CrossFields performs both construction and full architectural and interior design. The team consists of both experienced contractors and designers. We are uniquely positioned to offer our clients all the benefits of design-build construction, and/or provide the traditional method of design-bid-build when this is the best course of action. We can assist you through making that decision and in the entire process of building your new Chiropractic office, from planning, designing, constructing, furnishing and managing all aspects of the project. Contact us today and see how CrossFields can help you.

Scott Boldt

For 30 years Scott has been directly involved with all aspects of commercial development that has encompassed a variety of disciplines, required to create, locate, finance and consult quality well planned facilities. It wasn’t until he became involved with the Chiropractic and Holistic community that he began to develop a passion and understand that the typical medical model was a reactive approach vs. the Chiropractic offering was a preventative measure to ensure long term health. This coupled with the passion and energy he had seen from the up and coming Chiropractors gave him an excitement and interest to make our Chiropractic clients successful.