In late 2018, the Comcast Technology Center opened to the public after approximately three-and-a-half years of construction. Not only did the immense tower present unusual problems and solutions (such as the 125,000 gallons of water on the 57th floor used to offset swaying on windy days), but the approximate-$1.5 billion price tag reflects the hundreds of contracts and project participants that helped make the building a reality. Despite all the efforts from capable firms and contractors working on the project, it was completed about a year late and is subject to numerous claims and disputes.
Large and complex projects like the Comcast Technology Center often benefit from contractors’ participation in the pre-construction design and planning phase. The traditional “design-bid-build” project delivery model generally separates design and construction: the owner hires a designer, who creates the plans and specifications, and then the owner hires a contractor to build that design. Alternatively, “design-build” projects allow owners to contract with a single entity to handle both project design and construction. Regardless of the project delivery method, collaborating with specialty contractors during the design and planning phases presents a valuable opportunity for input on the constructability of the design, sequencing of the work, and estimation of the project cost. Early input by specialty contractors can have the significant benefit of allowing parties to avoid problems that may otherwise arise after the start of construction.
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