The Flexibility of Design-Build: Best-Value, PDB and Everything in Between

Design-build use, including two-phase best-value and progressive design-build (PDB), has expanded across all sectors (transportation, water/wastewater, commercial development, etc.), and is projected to be nearly half of all design and construction in the U.S. by 2025. This growth can be attributed, in part, to the flexibility of design-build, including an Owner’s choices of project delivery method, procurement method and contracting approach, which all strongly influence project results.

The flexibility of design-build includes best-value and progressive design-build variations.

A common industry misconception is that PDB and best-value are wholly alternative delivery methods when, in fact, they are merely variations of design-build. The principles of Design-Build Done Right® still apply to both best-value and PDB. The key distinguishing factors between the two include how the team is selected, how design concepts are developed and how the price is established.

Regardless of which variation of design-build is used, experience shows that project success is predicated on the parties using the principles expressed in DBIA’s Design-Build Done Right® best practices, such as:

  • Selecting the most qualified team
  • Letting the design-builder use their ingenuity and experience to develop design solutions
  • Using an evaluation process that weights non-price factors significantly higher than the price
  • Seeking best-value solutions, such as energy efficiency, durability, sustainability and ease of maintenance

Design-build success is also predicated on Design-Build Done Right® teaming philosophies of integration and collaboration, as well as relationships based on trust and flexibility — characterized by integrity and honest communication and mutual respect for and appreciation of diverse perspectives and ideas.

Universal Best Practices for Design-Build

DBIA is committed to helping advance practices and techniques that enhance the delivery of Design-Build Done Right® and recognized that the industry has evolved since the publication of DBIA’s Universal Best Practices for Design-Build over 10 years ago. The enhanced use of technology, prevalence of design-build variations such as best-value and PDB and impacts of a global pandemic are but a few factors that have fundamentally changed the way industry does business.

It is critical that these Best Practices continue to reflect the current state of the design-build industry, and DBIA is excited to announce we will be releasing an updated Universal Best Practices for Design-Build later this year.

Over the course of the past year, DBIA consulted an array of key industry stakeholders and partners for their input and recommendations to help inform these updates. What resulted was an exceptional volume of feedback from the full spectrum of players in the design and construction space that will enhance the efficiency of the A/E/C industry for the benefit of our communities.

Stay connected with DBIA for more information on the updated Universal Best Practices for Design-Build release.