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Preconstruction Design Assist Services


Ernest D. Menold, Inc. has been successfully providing design assist services for over a decade. When we are engaged during the design phase of a project, we are able to take the value we provide to the next level, at a fraction of the cost to the owner. This project delivery method allows us to provide real time estimates of the design, evaluate constructability, develop value engineering opportunities, proactively plan for safety and prefabrication, which all result in reduced risk and positive project results. 


In traditional Design-Bid-Build, the project design is completed before the contractor and subcontractors are hired. This creates a disconnect between the designer and the people tasked to perform the construction. As discrepancies arise, the design team is called upon to answer requests for information or modify the construction documents, often resulting in delays, change orders, and added cost. Too often, design-bid-build fails to fully capitalize on the strengths of all parties and often creates adversarial relationships among the various entities. Design-Assist is a type of project delivery intended to minimize the design disconnect:


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Design-Assist is well suited for projects that are especially complex or utilize specialized materials, hardware or techniques. We often find that our Design Assist services are best served when constructability comes into question early, so we can provide our shop fabrication expertise on how a project is able to be constructed, while also assisting in budgetary pricing along the way. When goals and priorities are established early in the design phase of the project, the frequency and severity of disputes are often reduced, or disputes are resolved more easily because of the relationships formed through the design-assist process.

Benefits of Design-Assist include:

  • Improved accuracy in pricing

  • Offer input into constructability, phasing, and long-lead materials 

  • Risk reduction

  • Minimize/eliminate design overlap

  • Reduce RFIs during construction

  • Reduce changes during construction

  • Early identification of opportunities for schedule compression/ faster speed to project completion

  • Identify best opportunities for prefabrication

  • Identify & eliminate safety hazards through preparation and pre-job evaluation

  • Work more efficiently during construction since they have a deep understanding of design intent 

Depending on the project, we are capable of utilizing the following 3D platforms:

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Design Assist Projects:

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