Pickett, Kelm & Associates, Inc.

Consulting Structural Engineers

Pickett, Kelm & Associates, Inc.

4100 Duval Road, Building 4, Suite 103

Austin, Texas 78759-4277

Tel. (512) 345-5538  Fax (512) 345-4305


The unique aspect of the design/build project delivery system is that the construction professionals are intimately involved with the project from its inception.  Unlike CM-at-risk, the design/build approach requires that the constructors be involved from the very beginning during the development of design concepts and the schematic design, where construction input can have the most meaningful impact, that is, the highest value, on the project design.

PKA is genuinely committed to teamwork on all projects, and has embraced the design-build approach as the delivery method providing the best opportunity for the application of teamwork. Working with trusted construction managers, fabricators, subcontractors, suppliers, architects and engineers, the design-build process provides an environment, from the start of the project, for the honest and respectful sharing of ideas and concepts, and the discussion of materials, methods and systems from which a consensus can be reached for the implementation of selected building systems.

PKA has particular expertise with design-build project delivery.  Structural engineering as part of a design-build team has been a major part of PKA’s work since the inception of the firm.  The design-build approach to construction provides an opportunity for genuine collaboration in the consideration, evaluation, selection and detailing of project structural systems.  PKA works and coordinates with the builder and his fabricators and subcontractors to select, design and detail structural systems that suit the construction team’s particular experience, expertise and capabilities, and the functional and architectural requirements of the project, as well as the proposed project schedule and construction sequence.

During design, PKA communicates and coordinates with the architect and other consultants to address issues such as roof slopes for drainage, structural depths, floor to floor and floor to roof heights to accommodate ceilings, ductwork, lighting, conduits, piping and cabling, routing of underslab utilities and grading around the buildings with regard to their impacts on the structure.

The design-build approach to construction is often considered to mean that the design team can produce construction documents with less detail.  However, it has been PKA’s experience that the design-build approach requires production of fully detailed structural construction documents.  The design-build delivery system is often selected due to concerns about schedule and budget.  Preparation of complete, accurate and thoroughly detailed drawings ensures good pricing with minimal contractor and subcontractor allowances for contingencies, and permits the timely production of shop drawings and submittals, with minimal lost time for processing requests for information or clarifications to fill in the “holes” or “gaps” in the drawings.

During construction, PKA works closely with the construction contractor and subcontractors to expedite the review of submittals and requests for clarifications or information.  PKA also works closely with the constructors to correct and resolve any field errors that may occur during the course of construction.  Support of the team during construction is one of PKA’s strengths.

PKA has served as the structural engineer for design-build teams for projects involving industrial manufacturing, office buildings, retail buildings, sports facilities and public and institutional projects.