5 reasons to apply a "design-build" model in HVAC systems

Clients often ask us to send them specifications for our technologies, or to provide an engineering only proposal, and we do. We’re very happy to assist with all or part of any construction project. However, apart from our deep expertise and value in engineering design, where we can provide equal value to our clients is in the design-build HVAC model.

Often, mechanical (HVAC) systems are deployed in a more piecemeal fashion, where one entity designs the system, another entity sources and installs it, a third entity incorporates controls, and a fourth is responsible for commissioning.

This is generally fine in typical comfort cooling applications (even at a larger scale), but the complexity of systems in cannabis facilities usually necessitates a well-coordinated effort, with an experienced, well-qualified central party taking responsibility for the mechanical system from concept, to design, to equipment, and integration. This is a model more commonly followed in large scale industrial and pharmaceutical applications and adds enormous value in cannabis applications as well. Here are five reasons you should strongly consider a design-build HVAC model for your facility.

1. Early stage budgeting
A good partner will work with you to do early stage load calculations and establish strong budgets for a number of different options before launching into the full-scale design. We are often approached by clients who have a design in hand but are unhappy with the pricing that they received from contractors after the design was already complete. This is a common pitfall in the plan and spec model.

Working in a design-built HVAC model like ours can save weeks (or months) of value engineering. It can ensure that you avoid unpleasant budget surprises by developing those budgets at the earliest stage of the project and deciding on the technologies or HVAC approach based on those budgets. This is preferable to finding out after the fact that your engineer designed something you can’t afford to implement.

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