Design-Build Moves from Alternative to Mainstream

New Research Shows Design-Build Will Deliver Nearly Half of all Projects Nationwide

While design-build’s project successes can be seen in communities from coast to coast and the rapid growth in design-build utilization is apparent across virtually every sector, there hasn’t been hard data on this market growth for years. Until now.

Respected industry analysts at FMI have completed a comprehensive assessment of the nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater design-build construction market. This long-awaited and important research provides the most comprehensive look at design-build’s market size, direction, trends and drivers seen in years.

“This research is incredibly important as design-build transitions from what use to be considered an ‘alternative delivery’ process, not so many years ago, to the preferred delivery method for a growing number of public and private Owners.  Collaboration and innovation are delivering better projects that also achieve cost and schedule savings, which is especially important as cash-strapped states and communities have to do more with less.” …Lisa Washington, DBIA Executive Director/CEO 

The data on the design-build industry’s growth is impressive. Not only has design-build seen increased usage in all sectors and regions of the United States, the industry has also witnessed extraordinary project outcomes and innovation across all sectors. The FMI Design-Build Market research is rich in details and should be read in its entirety but here are some highlights:

Market Growth – Now and Into the Future       

  • Overall, design-build is anticipated to account for 44% of construction spending in the assessed segments (nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater) by 2021.
  • Design-build spending in Manufacturing, Highway/Street, and Education represent the greatest percentage of design-build construction spending by segment over the 2018-2021 period.
  • The Mountain (6.3%), Pacific (6.1%) and South Atlantic (6.2%) census divisions are anticipated to yield the highest growth rates
  • Design-build spending is anticipated to grow 18% overall, with the highway/street and water/wastewater sectors seeing 30% growth by 2021.

Owners Give Design-build Their Highest Satisfaction Rankings

  • Experience with design-build was rated highest across all project delivery methods with 76% reporting very good and excellent experiences.
  • Over half of owners have already or will use design-build in the next five years.
  • Design-build utilization continues to expand into smaller project sizes (<$25 million) as owners continue to gain exposure to the benefits of design-build.
  • Alternative project delivery methods have become a more frequent option for both public and private owners.
  • The use of alternative delivery methods was indicated to provide the best avenue to achieve the originally identified cost.
  • Opportunities to innovate and the ability to fast track a project were identified as top benefits associated with design-build.

As this Owner told researchers: “Design-build is no longer an alternative method. It is a main part of how we deliver our program.” -Public Owner

As we continue to see design-build deliver projects more efficiently in both cost and schedule, with its inherent collaboration and innovation also providing increased value, the growth of design-build is inevitable. DBIA will continue to lead the industry during this important time in our history by providing the best Design-Build Done Right education, training, and certification to prepare design-build professionals for an exciting future.

You can get all the details by reading the full FMI report and listening to DBIA’s podcast.