Barbara J. Jackson, PhD, FDBIA

Chair, Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver
Denver, CO

Barbara J. Jackson, Ph.D., DBIA is the Director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management (RECM) in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and its Center for Integrated Project Leadership for the Built Environment.

Dr. Jackson’s focus is on integrated project delivery, design-build project management, interdisciplinary collaboration, and integrated project leadership. Dr. Jackson spent 20 years in the construction industry working as a project estimator and senior project manager and then as President and Owner of Design/Build Services Inc. She holds a B.S. in Housing and Design, a Masters in Construction Management, and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources with a specialization in Technology of Industry from Colorado State University. Dr. Jackson received a Design-Build Distinguished Leadership Award in 2001 and 2002, and the DBIA Distinguished Service Award in 2005. Dr. Jackson is a nationally recognized speaker on design-build project delivery and high performance design-build teams. She also provides private consulting services and coaching to industry.

She is probably best known for her work in the area of “Making the Mental Shift to Design-Build” and “Developing the Integrated Design-Build/IPD Ready Team.” She has presented to a multitude of private companies, professional organizations, and public agencies such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Construction Specification Institute (CSI), PENREN Renovation Joint Venture (DMJM/3DI), Mortenson Construction, National Guard Bureau, CDM Incorporated, Sundt Construction,  The Bannett Group, 3-D International, The Haskell Company, Neeser Construction, Plan One Architects, South Pacific Division-US Army Corp of Engineers, PCL Construction, Balfour Beatty, Clark Construction, Turner Construction, Armada Hoffler, Rosendin Electric, Santa Fe Indian School, GKK Works, Cyntergy AEC, Bovis Lendlease, Korte Construction, Hawaii Department of Education, Panama Canal Authority, Albuquerque Schools District, and others.

“One of the most difficult aspects associated with transitioning people from design-bid-build to design-build project delivery is mental. Transforming a group of individuals with traditionally conflicting agendas, accustomed to working in a fragmented, often adversarial, low bid environment into an integrated, highly collaborative, seamless team operating in an environment of trust and full disclosure, focused on delivering the highest and best value is no easy task. People don’t necessarily know how to break the negative, counter-productive habits of design-bid-build that discourage cooperation. ”

According to Jackson, design-build is much more than a project delivery method. The “design-build mind-set” describes a particular set of specific skills and talents. Not every engineer, contractor, or architect possesses this mind-set or is able to make this mental shift in order to optimize the benefits and intent of the design-build project delivery method. Without this mind-set, the operational behavior and performance of the design-build team won’t necessarily look much different than design-bid-build.