DBIA Doubles Down on Importance of Design Community with Updated Position Statement

DBIA has released an update of our Design Excellence Position Statement, emphasizing collaboration between design and construction professionals through all stages of the project delivery, from procurement and development through execution.

The updated statement introduces five lenses to evaluate and enhance collaborative efforts within design-build teams:

  • Integration & Collaborative Process: Emphasizing collaboration and integration across project teams throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Healthy Living: Prioritizing user experience by crafting spaces that promote well-being, health and safety.
  • Community Impact & Delight: Recognizing a project’s connection to and impact on the surrounding community.
  • Sustainability & Resiliency: Addressing environmental impact and ensuring project adaptability to future changes.
  • Responsibility of Design: Focusing on specific project components, material selection and design constructability.

Drafted by DBIA’s Design Excellence Subcommittee –– composed of industry experts representing the perspectives of designers, contractors, architects and engineers –– the updated statement aims to provide practical guidance for design-build teams. Subcommittee member Susan O’Connell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, DBIA, highlighted the significance of the update: “The new Design Excellence Position Statement opens the door for all design-build team members to contribute to design excellence. It also provides concrete examples of how team members’ expertise helps achieve design excellence aligned with the Owner’s vision and goals on projects.”

In the September 2023 Design-Build Delivers Podcast episode, Elevating the Design in Design-Build, O’Connell elaborated on the importance of expanding the original 2014 Design Excellence Position Statement, “We give a lot of examples in the [updated] document, and I think stepping forward with a bigger but more nuanced statement about design excellence will really help draw more architects to the table and embrace design-build as a delivery model. Currently, the DBIA membership probably skews a little heavy toward contractors. And being such a collaborative vehicle to design spaces and buildings, it makes sense that if it were a bit more balanced and there were more consultants and more architects with the contractors at the table that we can only improve and really make a richer organization.”

As design-build moves toward representing nearly one half of construction spending, aligning guiding principles with the industry’s current ethos is key. DBIA periodically evaluates and updates its position statements to reflect the growth and evolution of design-build. The Design Excellence Position Statement reinforces a culture built on collaboration, innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence, responding to the dynamic expectations of Owners, architects, engineers and contractors.

DBIA’s Design Excellence Position Statement is available to download for free in the DBIA Bookstore. Whether you’re a design professional or another member of a design-build team, this resource provides practical guidance for navigating the complexities of modern projects. 

For a deeper dive with members of the Design Excellence Subcommittee about the updated position statement, access the October 2023 Design-Build Delivers Webinar, Elevating DESIGN in Design Build – 5 Lenses in the DBIA Learning Center (free for DBIA members; $25 for non-members).