October 12, 2018

Part 2: Insider Tips for Using Integrated Design and Construction to Boost Facility Efficiency

By Jeremy Walker, Food and Beverage Market Leader

In the initial blog in this series, we looked at the first three things to do to set the stage for a successful manufacturing construction project, whether you are looking to build a new facility or add on to an existing property:

  • Tip 1: Begin with the End in Mind—Assemble the Right Team Up Front
  • Tip 2: Integrate Process Design and Layout with Overall Building Design
  • Tip 3: Get your Architect and Builder Working Together Early

Now, it’s time to get building! In this installment, we look at the three critical steps to ensure your up-front planning results in the building project that best suits your company’s needs for today and tomorrow.

Tip 4: Use Design-Build to Maximize Collaboration and Streamline Construction
Using the traditional process of “design-bid-build,” the project owner completes a design plan prior to bidding out the construction project. Conversely, using the “design-build,” method, owners work collaboratively with one contractor responsible for both the design and construction. Design-build contracting offers the following benefits:

  • Scope and budget that meet the operating pro forma
  • Integrated process equipment design and layout
  • Compliance with safety regulations
  • Strong subcontractor relationships in key divisions, like fire protection, plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, and electrical
  • Fewer project risks
  • Better overall quality
  • A faster construction schedule

Research from the Design-Build Institute of America indicates design-build projects are constructed 33.5% faster and cost six percent less than design-bid-build projects. Whether you’re looking at an expansion to your existing plant or an entirely new facility, these efficiencies can add up to substantial savings.

It’s key to remember that with a single point of contact where the design-builder is responsible for ensuring quality, cost, safety, and scheduling meet predetermined benchmarks, the likelihood of vendor miscommunication, budget overages, and site condition oversights are greatly reduced.

Tip 5: Be Aware of Industry Regulations
When it comes to a new facility build, following state and federal safety guidelines begins with the design details and ends with proper construction execution. As the plant manager or project owner, knowing these regulations from the start will help this topic stay top-of-mind throughout. Hiring experienced partners who understand these regulations and properly execute construction methods that meet or exceed regulations is critical to pass safety inspections prior to your production startup.

Jeremy Walker has more than 20 years of experience in design-build construction with Consolidated Construction, including the past 13 years as the strategic account manager servicing the food and beverage and manufacturing markets.

Jeremy Walker has more than 20 years of experience in design-build construction with Consolidated Construction, including the past 13 years as the strategic account manager servicing the food and beverage and manufacturing markets.

Tip 6: Design for the Future
Understandably, your priority will be to navigate the design and construction process for the greatest return today. Challenge yourself, however, to consider some forward-thinking questions prior to initiating a new build:

“What happens if your business grows again?”
“What would you do if you doubled your lines in five years? Ten years?”
“Have you master planned your process and the building design together?”

Discussing the future early on can be critical if expansions are ever necessary. Consider this scenario: Your business continues to grow and you need to expand again, but your roof isn’t sloping in the right direction to allow for an addition? Something as simple as this can derail future accommodations for your facility or add unnecessary costs. Early conversations about potential future needs with experience design-build experts encourage consideration of all aspects of your facility and will assist in designing a project that can accommodate your growth.