Design-Build (DB)

  • Integrated process: overlapped design and construction – typically fast tracked.
  • Two prime players: owner and design-build entity.
  • One contract – owner to design-builder with single point of responsibility.
  • Entity can take on many forms including:
    • Integrated design-build firm;
    • Contractor led;
    • Designer led;
    • Joint venture; or
    • Developer led.
  • The design-builder is responsible to design and construct the project to meet the performance standards set forth by the owner in the contract.
  • With respect to any prescriptive designs or specifications, the design-builder is responsible for discovering any inconsistency between the prescriptive requirements and the performance standards and the owner remains responsible for the cost to reconcile the inconsistent standards

Key Considerations

  • Cost efficiencies can be achieved since the contractor and designer are working together throughout the entire process:
    • Fewer changes, fewer claims and less litigation.
    • Earlier knowledge of firm costs.
    • Change orders typically limited to owner changes.
  • DB can deliver a project more quickly than conventional DBB or CMR.
  • Owner can, and should, specify performance requirements in lieu of prescriptive specifications.
  • Ability to enhance project coordination.
  • Ability to reduce project claims.
  • DB team qualifications are essential for project success; owner must be willing to place a heavy emphasis on the qualifications portion of the selection process.
  • Owner must be willing to allow the DB team to handle the design details.
  • Owner’s entire team must make the “mental shift” to a different way to deliver their project