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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design will explore a new approach to design and construction management in an April 27 seminar at the UT Conference Center.

The design-build approach involves collaboration during the design process between the architect of a building and the general contractor who will erect the structure, said Dean Marleen Davis. It seeks to control costs by allowing both the architect and builder to consult on economical materials and cost-effective building procedures while construction specifications for the structure are being prepared, Davis said.

“As the marketplace develops new ways of doing business, the academic community has to discuss the relative merits of the developments,” Davis said. “Thanks to Denark-Smith’s generosity, we’re able to offer a symposium for our students and the professional community.”

Denark-Smith Inc., a Knoxville-based general contractor, is sponsoring the symposium in an effort to increase professional awareness of the design-build process, she said.

The emergence of the design-build approach is one of the most talked-about developments in the industry, she said.

The customary approach to building is design-bid-build, in which architects design the building, construction firms bid on the project based on the completed design and one builder is contracted to do the actual work, Davis said.

The program features Paul Doherty, principal in the digit group (Editors note: lower case is correct); Tanya C. Matthews, senior vice president and director of design-build development for Parsons Brinckerhoff Constructors Inc.; and Howard Gray, president and CEO of James N. Gray Co. Inc.

The symposium runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For information about attending the event, contact UT Conferences at 865-974-0280.