DesignBuild | Benham | Architecture, Engineering, & Designbuild Firm


Benham Designbuild

Benham’s commitment to fully integrated project delivery is what we mean when we say “No barriers between Design and Build.” Our DesignBuild operation maintains co-located, full-time design and construction professionals. Repetitively working in this environment builds relationships, eliminates barriers of inefficient information exchange, and creates a common language between architectural, engineering, estimating, procurement, and construction personnel.

This results in time efficiencies, development of second and third tier understanding of project goals and objectives, and firmly establishes our DesignBuild culture. Benham’s DesignBuild team specializes in integration of multiple process and manufacturing technologies into a facility that produces product. From roads & bridges and consumer products to our nation’s defense… that’s what we do.

There is no greater measure of safety performance than the security of our staff returning to their homes every day with no injuries. Both Benham and Haskell excel in this metric, exceeding by far the industry average for AEC firms over the past several years. This commitment to safety pervades all activity in our company culture from extensive training to construction planning and site safety protocols. Learn more about how we do it at

Fundamental to Benham’s culture is the belief that all accidents are preventable. Our corporate safety program is fully integrated into our design and construction planning process, resulting in improved

project performance at all levels. Our corporate safety program complies with Title 29 CFR Part 1910 and Part 1926 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). As needed, we supplement this program with client specific safety plans, manuals, or requirements. This provides a healthy and safe workplace for all of its employees, sub-contractors, vendors, visitors, and client representatives in addition to protecting the public from any and all health hazards which may result from our operations and defines our safety mission. To this end, all field personnel assigned to Benham projects must attend a site-specific safety orientation prior to beginning any task associated with the project.

Like our peers, Benham competes in the market place to secure work. Competitions range from qualification based selection to selections driven by price. Like selection criteria, contract formats preferred by our customers vary widely and include fixed price, cost reimbursable, Construction Management Agency (CMa), Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), and hybrids of fixed and reimbursable cost.

We maintain a fully staffed Pre-Construction team to respond to project opportunities including win strategy development and proposal cycle management. During proposal preparation, this team works across multiple organizational elements including:

  • Architectural and engineering team members preparing deliverables used in defining project scope
  • Coordination with operations in execution planning and project scheduling
  • Capital project evaluation, budget analysis, cost estimating
  • Coordination with procurement specialist including defining long lead equipment
  • Proposal management including assuring compliance with submission requirements
  • Contracts review and comment with legal team members
  • Senior leadership reviews of work product prior to submission

Benham’s in house multidiscipline architecture, facility engineering, industrial engineering, and process engineering professionals provide continuity from the beginning to the end of each project. Self-preforming these services provides us with an opportunity to better control the critical path of each project we construct.

80% of the decisions that influence successful delivery of projects are typically made during design development. Our professionals, preferred subcontractors, and vendors (if applicable) are included in the design process early, defining discrete work packages and timelines for release of design media. This engagement begins with an effective proposal team handoff to executing team members including those that might not have been part of the proposal team. For many years, we have used a process internally called Meeting One to successfully, in a structured environment, make this transition. Our integrated work environment also encourages conversation between design and construction personnel on a daily basis simply due to the collocating of personnel.

Project team meetings include BIM modeling reviews not less than bi-weekly. Construction professionals and key subcontractors are involved in these review meetings and assist the design team members with discipline coordination and construction phasing.

We maintain a fully staffed procurement group with the experience required to provide professional procurement services associated with each DesignBuild project. The procurement process includes a requisition driven system which is fully integrated with both accounting and financial reporting systems. Specific services provided include subcontractor and vendor sourcing to ensure a competitive bidding process with qualified candidates capable of meeting specific project technical, quality, and schedule requirements. In addition, procurement’s responsibilities include the preparation and distribution of internally prepared RFP documents to subcontractors and vendors, handling of all RFI’s for

consistency throughout the bid process, bid evaluation and recommendation as well as participation in meetings and negotiations prior to award.

All subcontracts and purchase orders are initiated by our procurement organization and reviewed by the project team prior to issuance for signature. While we deliver these services in a professional and timely manner, we also strive to participate in developing relationships with quality subcontractors and vendors which assist Benham in completing projects that meet quality standards expectation, are completed on time, and exceed financial goals and objectives.

During the early 1970’s, design-build project delivery became recognized as an alternative to more traditional Design-Bid-Build. In 1973 Dave Benham featured on the cover of ENR commented “…..the trend is to design-build, there’s no doubt about that.” Benham’s legacy company continued to watch the growth of DesignBuild delivery through the 1980’s and in the early 1990’s adopted a business strategy to enter the DesignBuild business. Our DesignBuild business model is built around the following four principles:
  • Seamless organizational delivery captured in the service market image DesignBuildSM
  • Less moving parts; Integrated delivery maximizing use of in house engineering and procurement resources
  • Maximize use of local and regional subcontractors.
  • Only build what we design

Today our DesignBuild operations are housed in four locations; Oklahoma City, St Louis, Tulsa, and Charlotte, NC. Each office is staffed with fulltime personnel in addition to project staff in other localities.

Benham’s robust approach to QA/QC starts with our Quality Management System (QMS). It defines our mission and outlines responsibilities for each level of management and for every employee within the company. The QMS is compliant with ISO-9001 and ASME-NQA-1 and tailored to include project and client specific requirements for each DesignBuild℠ project executed. There are two distinctive yet interrelated paths followed to accomplish the stated objectives.

First, design quality control and second, field execution quality control. Each DesignBuild project uses an integrated approach to quality management, engaging engineering and construction professionals in quality reviews for design completeness, discipline engineering coordination, and constructability. Each DesignBuild project receives quality oversight by designated team professionals who are assigned based on experience, training, certifications and specific project requirements.

“Each Benham employee engaged in DesignBuild project execution is expected to identify improvements Benham can make in our QMS program.” - Mike Gwyn, President of Benham

Benham takes a holistic view to gain an understanding of our client’s goals and needs, applying the appropriate filters of sustainability, and the environmental impact of resources; ecology, materials, water and energy. This approach exposes the connections between filters, enabling design solutions that make people perform, collaborate and feel good in their spaces.
Our sustainable approach offers results that matter to our clients: reduced first-cost and lifecycle energy and operating costs analysis. Our design decisions are supported by large amounts of project information modeling that integrates computational geometry with performance simulation. Looking at a holistic approach allows clients to see the economical-environmental benefit of our sustainable design solutions.

About Benham

Our clients range from local, state and federal government agencies, to large and small private sector businesses who are striving to expand.

We embrace each client relationship, helping them reach their goals, delivering innovative, high quality performance. The goals, expectations and needs of our clients provide the foundation for every project we accomplish together.

Corporate Office

14000 Quail Springs Parkway
Suite 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73134