Design Build Methodology and Its Positive Impact on Design Delivery

Susan Turner, Bailey Edward
Tim Hickey, CORE Construction Services of Illinois, Inc.

The Institute for Bio-processing Research Laboratory project is a new University building attached to an existing Agricultural College of Engineering building, providing a combination of wet labs and dry labs, offices and classroom spaces. What is programmatically unique is the need for extremely flexible large high-bay and hazardous spaces for converting cellulostic material to energy sources, which will be used by both University researchers, and by private entities for scale-able proof of concept. It will have a state of the art device which is only one of three in the world. The requirements for both the program and this particular machine required extensive coordination with the users and authorities having jurisdiction.

The Capital Development Board (CDB) of Illinois contracted this building as a design build project, targeting LEED Silver. The team of Bailey Edward and Core Construction were selected as the successful bidder, and provided a design based on the bridging documents. Once the team was in place, a revised design was developed through collaboration of the design team, the contractors and subcontractors, and the users. Many of the ideas generated in the bidding process could be vetted through consultation with the client user group, but importantly, there was symbiotic relationship wherein additional value engineering (NOT cost cutting) ideas were generated, resulting in a more efficient, less costly, more sustainable laboratory. Out of the stakeholders involved, a unique solution for the routing of vast quantities of utilities to distributed locations, both for commercial scale operations, as well as laboratory research spaces, was cost effectively developed.

The presentation will discuss:
1) The process of design Build, and the lessons learned through the experience of bidding
2) The round table process and how certain ideas could be fleshed out with the users, design team, and contractors present, while other ideas could organically occur through that process
3) The influence of BIM, and the challenges and opportunities of using virtual models to design project among geographically diverse locations, to test cost effectiveness of alternate solutions, to virtually construct the building, and to coordinate trades with the available space constraints.

The presentation will be provided through the view of the user and the architect. The Owner was interested in participating, but due to the I2SL constraints of the number of speakers, we include just the contractor perspective. The project will be in advanced construction by the conference date.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the advantages of Design Build for implementing intensively integrated design design for complex laboratory constraints through having the users, the designs and the contractors together through the design-into-construction process.
  • Understand the planning constraints of advanced energy distillation technology, and its impact of integrated services design.
  • Understand the advantages of Design Build in fostering creative solutions to unusual challenges and testing cost options for alternate solutions for the laboratory design.
  • Understand methodologies for collaboration with multiple team members in multiple physical locations through implementation of BIM and remote meeting technology in real time.


Susan Turner is a licensed Architect with 30 years' experience in delivering integrated buildings and renovations. She is a Research Design Specialist with Bailey Edward, and acts as their laboratory designer and technical resource for construction details, specifications and quality review for laboratory projects. She is a Director of the Windy City I2SL chapter. She has her PMP, and has worked practiced, published and lectured in Canada, USA, England, Germany and China.

Tim Hickey is a licensed architect with 15 years of experience in traditional architecture and 10 years in construction. He is the Director of Development for CORE Construction and works with clients, consultants and subcontractors to form winning project teams. A long-time advocate of design-build, he is a member of the AIA and served as the Central Illinois Chapter President and as a delegate to the Illinois chapter.


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