Collaborative teams Critical to Delivering Commercial Construction Projects on Time and on Budget

If you’ve read our blog before, you’ve seen the benefits of working with a design-build contractor for your next commercial construction project. One team from beginning to end means lower costs, faster construction and fewer change orders. But when it comes down to choosing a design-build contractor, the key is finding one that is truly a team.

“The success of design-build hinges on collaboration,” writes Julie Hyson in ‘What owners should know before choosing the design-build project delivery method’ on If you don’t have that collaboration, you won’t yield the benefits of design-build.

So how can you gauge whether a design-build contractor offers a high-performance, collaborative team that will ultimately save you time and money? Take a little time to get to know them. Visit their office and meet the team, all the while assessing these seven signs:

#1 They’ve worked together for a long time. People who have worked together before know and respect one another’s strengths and how best to tap into them for the benefit of the client. In fact, research from the Construction Industry Institute found that teams who have worked together before deliver higher quality end products.

#2 Each member of the team brings particular expertise to the table. Watch how team members defer to and speak about each other when it comes to specific questions or identifying optimal plans and solutions.

#3 The team members appear to enjoy working together. High-performance teams are collegial, smile and laugh when appropriate. And they treat you as though you’re a new friend.

#4 They respect and trust each other and would prefer to work together than alone. Ask for a tour and observe whether you see them coming and going from one another’s offices or work spaces on a regular basis.

#5 They aren’t offended when you (or their colleagues) disagree with them but instead seek to understand and find optimal solutions.

#6 Collaborative teams anticipate problems and resolve them in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. This may be difficult to see on the front end, but you’ll gain good insight as you get to know the team.

#7 Each team member shares the same vision and goals for your project. They know the plan, the budget, the timeline and the ultimate objectives. And they own them as if they owned your project.

The more of these signs you see, the more value you’re likely to get from your design-build team. Plus—and this is important—aside from helping you save time and money (while increasing quality) on your next commercial construction project, a truly collaborative design-build team will likely make your experience a lot more enjoyable. Now that’s priceless.