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To D-B or Not to D-B?

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To D-B or Not to D-B?
AMS Mechanical's Bill Montgomery and HDR Architecture's JJ Tang
That is the question posed to design-build professionals at a joint meeting of the Society for Marketing and Professional Services and the Design Build Industry Association at the East Bank Club yesterday at lunch. Their answer? It depends, says AMS Mechanical Systems' Bill Montgomery. He likes teaming up with design-build firms on projects where the owners know exactly what they want before going into the design-build process. HDR Architecture Group's JJ Tang says his firm sees design-build as a risk because architects often don't get paid up front during a team-working process, so he has to really trust whatever firm he's entering the deal with.
Andy Stapleton and Cesar Santoy
Mortenson Construction's Andy Stapleton says his firm had a lot of success teaming up to design-build the Great Lakes Naval Station after it became the training center for the whole US Navy in the late 1990s. With Clark Construction and a firm local to the Minnesota market, the team used its industrial building experience to complete the complicated and unique project. Representing the owner's perspective, United Neighborhood Organization's Cesar Santoy says price isn't always the driving factor behind choosing one firm over another. His organization wants to be able to tell a good story about how the building came to be, whether its through hiring minority  and  women-owned businesses or hiring a firm local to the neighborhood who can see the bigger picture.