Turnkey vs Design & Build Construction

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Turnkey vs. Design & Build Introduction

Firstly, turnkey vs. design & build is not solely about construction projects. The same principles also apply to both maintenance and fit-out projects. There are two different points to start the process. The more traditional approach is to engage with an architect to create a design and contract a construction company to build it. But in recent times, customisation has become the prevailing trend. Project owners want more control over projects, and rightly so, in my opinion. Building a structure that meets the exact operational needs of a business should take precedence over anything else. It is this desire for efficiency that has led to a rise in both turnkey and design-build construction.

What’s the difference between the two solutions? Moreover, does it matter? If a new construction project is on the horizon for your business, it is essential to know the difference between the two solutions. Both solutions give the project owner ultimate control, but they offer control in different ways.


Design & Build Construction Icon

Design & Build

With this solution, the clue is in the name. The same contractor is responsible for both the design and construction phases of your project. The project owners will still dictate the project process, instructing the contractors on the whats, whens, and hows. If complete control over an upcoming construction project is required, this solution is probably the best fit. At the same time, there are drawbacks to design-build. These projects frequently take longer. Furthermore, they tend to exceed the initial budget without proper care and attention. There is a lot to take in with this solution, especially if the project owner is unfamiliar with construction techniques.



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Turnkey projects offer project owners the same control as the design-build solution but with a slight difference. With a turnkey project, the contractor supplies the project management service. They will determine schedules and budget allocation. This solution can also protect you against delays and difficulties; this often falls under project management responsibilities. Although relinquishing project management may seem like you are handing over control, it is often the best solution. The burden of not overseeing an expensive construction project is worth that extra cost.

Your project is likely to be built to schedule, on budget and finished to fit operational requirements with an experienced contractor at the helm.

Turnkey vs Design & Build Construction, Which solution to choose?

There is no right or wrong answer here, only preference. It boils down to how much control you, the project owner, need or want. If controlling contractors, budgets and schedules is something that appeals, then design-build is the way to go. But, if you’re happy with making executive decisions and leaving the day-to-day running to your construction partner, go turnkey.

FSC Construction & Maintenance has extensive experience in both design-build and turnkey solutions. If you have an upcoming project, call us for an informal chat.



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