Several years ago — in 2000, to be exact — we became a full-service design-build company. Previously we had worked collaboratively with several architects we knew well and trusted but who contracted directly with the owner rather than with us. I eventually realized, however, that we were missing some opportunities for tighter coordination and improved services by not bringing everything under one contract. With just one person in charge, we could be more accountable and better organized, and hit our budgets and schedules more reliably.

In this article I'll share some of the lessons we've learned over the last seven years of design-build work. We still have much to master — if only I live that long.

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