Why Design-Build? - One procurement. One contract. Streamlined Project Coordination. Faster Delivery.


The SDA consistently uses a Design-Build approach for the delivery of many new school facilities. This delivery method allows the SDA to utilize a single contract for both design and construction services. The Design-Build team, comprised of a contractor and design professional, provide a sole point of contact, allowing for simplified project coordination and communication. The Design-Build approach also allows for some design and construction activities to proceed concurrently through phased advancement.


How Design-Build at SDA Works


Before the SDA engages a Design-Builder, the SDA’s in-house Design Studio develops Schematic Plans and Educational Specifications that are submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) for Schematic Plan review and approval. The approved Schematic Plans are among the requirements included in the SDA solicitation for Design-Build Services which also includes project performance requirements

Upon award of the contract, the Design-Builder initiates the design of the school based upon the schematic design developed by the SDA Design Studio. SDA’s design-build procedures allow for the phased submission of design documents in order to allow design and construction work to be “fast-tracked”. After the design documents for the footings and foundations and, sometimes, structural steel work are completed, the Design-Builder may submit the design to NJDOE for final approvals and to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in order to obtain permits to begin construction. It takes approximately six months from the start of design by the Design-Builder to the start of the construction of Footings and Foundations

After permits are received, the Contractor can initiate footings and foundation construction work at the site while the final school design is being completed. The Design-Builder continues to submit design packages to SDA for acceptance and to DCA to receive the necessary permits to proceed with construction activities.


Design-Build Success


Predictability is ensured by requiring the engaged Design-Builder to conform with the approved Educational Specifications: we know that the design work completed by the Design-Builder will remain consistent with DOE requirements. Certainty of Schematic Design provides the right level of project control – it supports certainty of cost and inhibits any potential schedule delay that could otherwise result from design changes.
Saving Time and Money - The SDA has experienced significant time and cost savings using Design-Build. In fact, SDA Design-Build projects experience change orders far below the industry average. Seven Design-Build projects completed from 2014-2016 experienced an average of only 0.5 percent in change orders per project. Importantly, all projects were completed within approved budgets and for dates consistent with District needs. Four of these projects were completed ahead of schedule.