DBIA has the resources lawmakers need to make informed infrastructure and project delivery decisions building stronger and more resilient communities.

What is Design-Build?

Design-build is the fastest growing, most popular way to delivery projects in the nation.

It’s no surprise why.

Design-build is the best performing delivery system for both schedule and cost, allowing states, counties and cities to do more with limited resources while also delivering innovative and resilient projects to their communities.

Excellence. It’s built in.

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Design-Build State Resources

DBIA’s advocacy and outreach team is experienced helping states craft effective design-build legislation.

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Design-Build Federal Resources

We’ve helped Federal Owners implement design-build effectively for decades.

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New Research

New design-build market research shows nearly half of all projects now use design-build. It’s also the fastest growing delivery method with the highest satisfaction rate among owners. CII/Pankow also revisited the nation’s seminal design-build performance research 20 years later, and found that design-build continues to out-perform other delivery systems in cost, schedule, growth measures, construction and delivery speed.

Market Research Performance Research

Design-Build Data Sourcebook

DBIA’s go-to resource for design-build statistics, data and research responses in one convenient sourcebook.

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Busting Design-Build Myths

DBIA’s mission is to educate legislators, industry and the public about design-build. It’s important that all parties understand how design-build works to ensure it’s implemented using Design-Build Done Right® best practices.

Here are a few of the common myths we hear about design-build:

MYTH: Design-build weakens competition when choosing the project team


Just the opposite is true. With the traditional delivery method, design-bid-build, the primary, if not only, factor considered in the competition is price. The Design-Build selection process, conversely, puts in place a rigorous competition procedure that focuses on qualifications, experience, technical approach, price and other factors. This encourages a better competition that allows many qualified firms of all sizes to participate.

For example, in a typical design-build Best Value selection, the owner first issues a Request for Qualifications asking interested firms to submit their basic information, such as resumes of employees and experience with similar projects. This is a low-cost process that encourages firms of all sizes to apply. Then the owner uses their preferred selection criteria to identify 3–5 of the most qualified bidders to submit technical proposals. The successful proposer is selected based on a number of factors including past experience, ability to innovate, cost, and any other specific factor the owner chooses (e.g. the number of local sub-contractors used, the environmental approach, etc.). This competitive selection process is just one reason why owners are more likely to report high-satisfaction with design-build projects.

Design-Build Done Right® encourages greater competition and focuses that competition to deliver superior projects.

MYTH: Design-build excludes small firms from leading projects


Design-build can be used on projects of any size and type, and there are myriad examples of design-build project successes of all sizes. Further, nearly 80 percent of U.S. states grant local governments authority to use design-build on their small, local projects. Even when a larger project is procured as a design-build project, smaller firms often band together to create a project team that is more able to handle the demands of a larger project.

MYTH: The owner forfeits control in a design-build project


In a design-build project, owners are completely engaged in the process because (unlike design-bid-build) reward structures in a design-build contract encourage owners to give thoughtful consideration to desired behaviors and the manner in which success will be defined. Additionally, there is a single point of responsibility on a design-build team making it easier for the owner to coordinate, convey concerns and make adjustments. Many owners across the United States are clamoring to have design-build as an option because they want to reap the benefits of increased innovation, less litigation and faster delivery speed.

MYTH: Factors beyond price lead to favoritism in the contract award process


Favoritism or patronage is the opposite of design-build best practices. While design-build allows for the considering of factors beyond just price — such as team qualifications and project innovation — this is done to achieve best value and superior projects. In fact, the consideration of these factors has been shown to drive down cost, since they ensure that the team is reliable and produces quality work; something that is virtually impossible to decipher from contract price alone.

MYTH: On large projects, out-of-state companies take work from local companies


Actually design-build is better than design-bid-build at addressing this fear. Traditional large design-bid-build projects will see both in-state and out-of-state contractors submitting ridiculously low bids in order to win the project, then force their sub-contractors (which are often local) to lower their costs so they can meet the low-bid they offered. Because the primary focus is price, there is little incentive to truly collaborate with local firms.

On large design-build projects, big companies may compete for the job; however, it is most likely that they will form a partnership with local companies that have the local resources to build the project. The result: strong design-build teams that deliver high-quality projects and support the local economy.


We Can Help

Our advocacy and outreach professionals are here to provide the resources you need to craft effective project delivery legislation. Design-build delivers for communities and DBIA will deliver for you.

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