Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

  • Three linear phases: design, bid and build.
  • Three prime players: owner, designer and contractor.
  • Two separate contracts: owner to designer and owner to contractor.
  • Owner warrants the sufficiency of the plans and specs to the contractor:
    • The contractor is responsible to build the project as designed.
    • The designer is responsible to design to the professional standard of care.
    • Owner is responsible for any “gaps” between the plans and specs and the owner’s requirements for performance.

Key Considerations

  • This method is widely applicable, well understood, and has well-established and clearly defined roles for the parties involved.
  • This method is presently a very common approach for public owners due to procurement statutes under which they operate.
  • The owner has a significant amount of responsibility for the success or failure of the end product, particularly since the facility’s features are fully determined and specified prior to selection of the contractor (Owner “owns” the details of the design).
  • The contractor works directly for the owner.
  • The designer works directly for the owner.
  • Process may have a longer duration when compared to other delivery methods since all design work must be completed prior to solicitation of the construction bids.
    • Construction may not begin until the design and procurement phases are complete.
  • The absence of construction input into the project design may limit the effectiveness and constructability of the design. Important design decisions affecting the types of materials specified and the means and methods of construction may be made without appropriate consideration from a construction perspective.
    • There is no contractual relationship between the contractor and the designer.
    • There is no opportunity for collaboration during the design phase.
  • The owner generally faces exposure to contractor change orders and claims over design and constructability issues since the owner accepts liability for design in its contract with the contractor.
    • Change orders: owner is liable for any “gaps” between the plans and specs.
  • This traditional approach may promote adversarial relationships rather than cooperation and coordination among the contractor, the designer and the owner