The construction industry is severely behind the times in terms of productivity, according to a recent article at While every industry has its challenges, the productivity issue in construction is really the result of a combative approach in which designers and builders work independently and clash as opposed to collaborating with the best interest of the owner in mind.

Another problem arising out of this approach to construction is the way in which contracts are written. They are set up in such a way that individual performance is typically held in higher regard than the big picture and final outcome of the project. This leads to several problems, including lack of synergy, miscommunication and project cost overruns to name a few.

male engineers construction foreman managers outdoors at building site with blueprints

Ultimately, collaboration is the key to productivity and the traditional project delivery approach to construction fails to foster constant collaboration between designers and builders.

The problem is clear, as is the solution. While the construction industry may be reluctant to change, several companies and owners are seeking better options. One method that alleviates all these problems is the design-build project delivery system.

This method of construction brings designers and builders together through a single contract, creating one team of designers and builders working together as opposed to two teams of separate builders and designers working individually.

One of the main advantages is that everyone involved in the project works as a team and the design, procurement, and initial construction can commence well in advance of the final design. This, in turn, shortens the completion time.

Two construction workers shaking hands deal is finished concept

In an industry desperately looking to improve productivity, the design-build method is really the answer. There are reduced costs as a single contract allows contractors to make cost-saving decisions together and eliminate the errors that result from poor communication.

Eliminating these errors and disruptions also allows for reduced client risk and timely delivery. Overall, all of the disruptions caused by design issues are alleviated as contractors are working with designers from the very start.

Aside from collaboration, simplicity is also important. A single contract also makes things much easier for owners, as they don’t have to settle disputes between designers and builders or deal with them blaming each other for issues or cost over-runs.

The combative nature of the construction industry is certainly hurting productivity levels. We might compare it to the software industry where developers have specific skills much like the different sides of construction, but they work together and are in constant collaboration in an effort to meet the all important end goal.

This is the type of the collaboration the construction industry needs, and thanks to the design-build approach, it’s an option that is available to the informed owner.

To learn more about how to improve your next construction project, contact our Design team today.