The design-build model of project delivery is one of the most used approaches, particularly for large-scale, high-end architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) projects. These include infrastructure projects, such as healthcare and medical research facilities, airport terminals, bridges, educational institutes, and large custom homes. Nevertheless, very few residential and retail construction/redevelopment projects, primarily with tight budgets, use the design-build delivery method. Department stores, supermarkets, warehouse stores, and shopping centres / malls which are not linked to multinational retail owners and have a limited geographical reach fall into this category.
In case of such projects, a design/architectural firm is contracted to come up with the designs, plans, drawings, and detailed specifications which clearly convey the architect’s / designer’s intent. After initial meetings between the owner and architect/designer, all retail construction drawings are finalised. Depending on the scope of the project, this set includes floor plans, internal& external elevations, construction plans, setting out drawings, composite plans, finishing plans, lighting plans, ceiling plans and sections.
Once all the plans and CAD drawings are in place, the project undergoes a competitive bidding process used to shortlist a general contractor (main contractor) to implement the construction work mapped out in the detailed retail construction documents. Since this design–bid–build method of project delivery involves roping in distinct teams for design/planning and construction, detailed and accurate retail construction drawing sets play a key role in ensuring that the change orders on-site are avoided. Owing to a significant reduction of change orders during construction, the time, effort, and resources that would have been wasted on rework or modification are saved.
Whilst the retail construction drawing sets are important to seek site permits and regional building licenses, the level of detail/development necessitated by the permit documents are far less than what ideally need to be passed on to the general contractors (main contractors). Moreover, in the design-bid-build method, the amount of information incorporated in the construction drawing sets determine, to a large extent, the number of change orders. Since the construction documents are made especially to seek permits from the local authorities feature less detail, the competitive bids from all the participating general contractors (main contractors) will be lower; however, the lower bids will not truly reflect the nature of project’s requirements.
As a result, detailed, clear, and unambiguous retail design drawings significantly lessen the chances of unanticipated change orders on site. When the chances of change orders reduce, the project becomes more profitable and completes on time, which is precisely what all the key parties involved in the project strive for. In order to achieve this, designers/architects involved in such design-bid-build projects perform constructability review of design at regular phases during the pricing phases.
In some cases, designers/architects rope in offshore CAD services providers to prepare detailed production drawing sets for them. Experienced companies providing retail design and documentation services take basic conceptual and schematic designs or sketches from the architects and deliver detailed construction drawing sets as per requirements. This enables architects to efficiently focus on seeking client’s and local council’s approvals over schematic designs, manage the project effectively, and administer construction-related issues.
All things considered, detailed retail construction drawing sets and specifications not only benefit designers, architects, and contractors but also reduces construction change-orders, which effectively leads to on-time and within-budget project delivery for relatively small-scale retail construction projects using design-bid-build delivery method.