Design / Build – Are You Scared Yet?
Jun 14, 2012

The popularity of Design/Build to deliver projects is on the increase. The concept is far from new but the approach this time around has been more effective and organized. Contractors are moving forward and are promoting the concept and now with federal, state and local governments using Design/Build it appears that this delivery method will continue grow in popularity.

Now as a Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing (MEP) Consulting Engineer you cannot help but be a bit frighten by this delivery method. I highlight MEP consultants because General Contractors cannot replace the Architect or the Structural/Civil Engineer. However Mechanical and Electrical Contractors have effectively provided MEP-Design/Build for office buildings and developers in the Kansas City market since at least the mid-80’s.

As a consulting engineer who is passionately driven from desires deep in my heart to design MEP systems for buildings, I know that design/build is actually a blessing in disguise. It is an answer and as engineers we can be part of that answer. We can be part of the installation process; we can be knee deep into the actual construction and actually be part of the construction team. However this is a paradigm shift for our profession and as part of that shift we need to be leaders. Currently we are just being dragged along as a tool to size pipe, duct and wire and put a seal on a drawing and we have so much more value than that.

Article written by Gary D. Short, P.E., Principal of SYS-TEK, P.A. Consulting Engineers and President of SYS-TEK Design/Build Services. Gary has been in the consulting business since 1977 and the design/build market since 1999.