Builders are heeding the call from developers to find ways to reduce construction costs through a more systemized approach. The collaborative design-build model has helped to reduce costs by bringing designers and builders to the table in the pre-construction phase to reduce changes and expedite processes. Now, contractor Suffolk is building on that trend with its plan-and-control model, which brings together more stakeholders early in the process to, as the name implies, plan and control the construction process.

“Suffolk’s plan and control process is a response to burgeoning standards in the industry to blend boundaries of design and construction. It addresses the need to bring forward more constructability aspects into the design process and is broken up into four components,” Steve Tetens, project executive at Suffolk San Diego, tells “Our process builds upon the industry’s Collaborative Design-Build approach, which helps streamline procurement and increases owner input over the design process. It’s complementary to our plan and control process as both approaches are rooted in collaboration with several partners aligning on the same goal.”

The process starts with aligning expectations and design collaboration. “This component employs a method of pull planning by identifying a needs list so that everyone is involved. Pull planning applies to design itself,” says Tetens. “It takes away the subjectivity of the level of completeness of design as it objectively defines the level of development at any given stage of design. What was previously a subjective area now becomes objective and gets a level of development (LoD) value assigned to it so that everyone is on the same page.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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