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While design-build has emerged as a leader in today’s cost-conscious construction industry, it’s not a new concept.  It has been around since the great pyramids of Egypt.  The design-build method is based on the ancient concept of a master builder who accepted full responsibility for designing and constructing a project from conception to completion. At Kort Builders, we assume all responsibility for your project assembling a cohesive team including the architect, engineers, and designers with whom we collaborate to develop a facility to meet your needs and expectations. Being a single source of responsibility assures time and money is saved, reduces your risks during the planning, design and construction process and delivers a turnkey product to you on time and within budget.

At Kort Builders, we can ease the stress of the traditional design-bid-build process by saving you time, money and reducing risk when it comes to commercial construction projects through our own design-build process—KB Design-Build Advantage™





During this stage Kort Builders will walk you through the key factors driving your particular project including budget, time restraints, risk, and level of quality to get you to a well-defined scope of work.

Kort Builders brings the right team together to develop a win-win plan that addresses your goals and needs. We believe that building the right team with the right goals with a cooperative/knowledgeable client is the key to success—always putting the client at the center of the project—which incorporates the best balance of cost, function, efficiency, maintainability, and delivery for that particular project.



During this stage Kort Builders will choose from a database of several architects, who we all have long-term relationships with, to fit your specific needs and scope of your project.  The architect we hand pick for your project will be the primary designer of your project and will work with the team on the overall design, specifications, finished materials (e.g., brick, paint, carpet, wall covering, etc.), and other architectural features of the building. In addition, the architect supervises the project managers responsible for the structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and plumbing design of the building.

Planning & Architectural Programming:  During the initial stages of the design process, the architect(s) and project manager(s) have a number of client meetings in order to determine the purpose and objective of the proposed construction. The primary activities, for which the project is being constructed, as well as the relationships between spaces, are reviewed. Consideration is also given to how well the completed project relates to adjacent buildings (if any) and its surroundings. The preliminary programming produces a list of solutions, alternatives, feasibility studies and costs estimates. After a review of the programming statement, schematic plans are prepared.

Schematic Plans:  Schematic plans are the first plans of a project and show the interrelationship between spaces and activities. All team members (architects, project managers, and the client) review the schematic plans and make recommendations, as necessary. Any changes are then incorporated into the final schematic plans. Revised schematic plans are also known as “preliminary plans,” and provide a graphic view of the project, the refined details of how the project will look, and the relationship of all spaces.

Once the preliminary planning phase is complete, the project then enters a stage involving the preparation of permit/construction drawings.



All projects, whether they involve new construction or tenant improvements to an existing structure, require the preparation of construction documents for permitting. The permit drawings provide a pictorial representation of the construction work. The drawings illustrate, among other things, the appearance, layout, equipment, and amenities of the project. These drawings show the architect’s plan/design for the building’s overall appearance, such as finish materials, floor plans, sizes, and use of each building area.

The architect begins to gather project data to deal with problems or situations that are expected to arise during the construction process, such as local zoning requirements, local infrastructure, traffic, environmental and population impact, acoustic, energy, lighting, and aesthetic considerations. Various consulting engineers may also be utilized to solve specific project problems. Other numerous drawing plans are involved in this stage of the construction project, including:

Architectural Plans: The architectural plans indicate the layout of the project, such as floor plans, elevations, and details of the construction and architectural finishes. A civil engineer may be brought in and this stage and is responsible for the proper drainage of a site, as well as the design of land improvements, such as paving, curb and gutter design, retaining walls, and drainage culverts.

Structural Plans The structural plans are prepared by structural engineers and show the structural design of a building. These plans incorporate foundation planning with considerations for rain, snow, wind, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena.

Mechanical Plans: Mechanical plans are prepared by a mechanical engineer to show the design of the various mechanical systems in the building. These systems must be designed to incorporate the proper air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment, as well as adequate plumbing, to meet the needs for all of the building’s designated activities.

Electrical Plans: Electrical plans are prepared by an electrical engineer, and show the electrical distribution system for the efficient distribution of power in a building. The plan design includes the distribution of electrical power from the utility company and the distribution to power-specific equipment.



The fourth stage of the KB Design-Build Advantage is the Construction Stage, or otherwise called fieldwork, and is the actual construction of the project. Fieldwork is broken down into building permits, subcontractors, scheduling subcontractors, shop drawings and change orders.

Building Permits:   Before construction can begin, the appropriate municipality must issue a building permit. Specifications and blueprints must be provided to the municipality’s building department, along with the application for a permit. The period of time for a permit to be approved can be lengthy, especially in the case of new construction.  In most cases, a permit is issued within a few months. The cost of the permit and any related studies may be the responsibility of either the owner or the general contractor.

Subcontractors:  Subcontractors, which include plumbers, electricians, framers, and concrete workers, work hand-in-hand with Kort Builders’ Project Managers and Superintendents on-site to give the client the best experience in meeting, and exceeding, the client’s needs.

Shop Drawings:  Working drawings only include enough detail to show Kort Builders the overall layout of the building. Shop drawings detail the specific building components and are usually produced after the final design phase but before the beginning of the construction phase.

Change Orders: Change orders are the written contract revisions that increase or decrease the total contract price. Change order documents contain the change order number, change order date, a description of the change, and the amount of the change order. Contractors, based on the terms of the contract, may also issue orders.