Hey, Students: Need Something to Do This Summer? Get Ready for the National Design-Build Competition

2023 DBIA National Student Design-Build Competition winning team, Cypress Construction, from University of Florida.

Looking for (productive) ways to pass the endless, sweltering days at home this summer? It’s not too early to start thinking about the DBIA National Design-Build Student Competition. This is your chance to create a project as a team, present it to industry leaders and earn national recognition.

If you don’t know quite where to begin or if you’re just looking for inspiration, hearing from some of the previous winners will surely ignite your creativity. 

  • 2021 Winners: University of Colorado BoulderBuff up your team’s chances by listening to our Design-Build Delivers Podcast episode featuring this winning team.
  • 2022 Winners: University of ArizonaRead about how doing things the Wildcat Way led this team to victory.
  • 2023 Winners: University of FloridaGator Nation fears nothing –– not even design-build industry leaders. Listen to the Design-Build Delivers Podcast interview (beginning at 16:16) with the winning team from The Swamp, and read more about the most recent competition.

Each year, a unique project is created to challenge student design-build competitors. This two-phase competition gives teams from colleges and universities the chance to respond to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in the first phase and a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the second phase. Finally, the top three teams will present their proposals to a panel of industry leaders at the 2024 Design-Build Conference & Expo in Dallas this November. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for young design-builders to showcase their skills and creativity.

Here’s a breakdown of the competition process:

  • Phase 1: Teams respond to an RFQ, presenting their qualifications and crafting fictional backgrounds to simulate an ideal project team. RFQs are judged in eight regional competitions, and the winners advance to the next phase.
  • Phase 2: Regional winners receive an RFP and compete on a national level. They develop detailed proposals for their project.
  • Finals: The top three teams after the RFP phase present their proposals in person to a national jury of industry professionals at the Design-Build Conference & Expo. An award is also given for the Best Individual Presentation among the finalists.

The DBIA National Design-Build Student Competition is not only about winning but also about learning and growing as a design-builder. Previous participants have gone on to achieve remarkable success in their careers using the experience and skills gained from the competition.

For all the details –– including the registration link and the 2024 competition guide with schedule, rules and samples of winning proposals –– visit the Design-Build Student Competition page.