Design Build group releases 'Choosing a Project Delivery' primer

Posted on July 7, 2015


The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) announced the release of a new brochure as part of their Design-Build Done Right Primer series. Choosing a Project Delivery Method provides a concise overview of design-build versus other common delivery methods, and provides owners with factors to consider when choosing the method best suited to their needs.

"Choosing a Project Delivery Method very purposely does not encourage one project delivery method over others," says Lisa Washington, Executive Director and CEO of DBIA. "It is important to choose a delivery method that best meets the unique needs of each owner and their project."

The document defines and describes the most commonly used project delivery methods, and details key considerations owners must make when choosing between each one. Those owner considerations fall into five categories:

1.    Owner Control – The owner must determine how much control they need to have over design details and prime contractors in order to control project outcome. If the owner wishes to enhance design excellence, and empower more innovative project solutions, they must realize that this often means ceding some control.

2.    Owner Relationships – The owner must not only determine how direct they'd like their relationship with the designer or contractor to be, but also which delivery method avoids adversarial relationships and enhances project coordination in order to reduce project claims. This consideration often involves deciding how much the owner wants the contractor involved in the planning process.

3.    Project Budget – The owner is always considering project budget, but when it comes to determining the project delivery method, the owner must consider how early they'd like to establish the budget, and if they would like to receive the best value for funds invested. Additionally, if they would like to avoid change orders, certain delivery methods are more likely to achieve that goal.

4.    Project Schedule – Project schedule considerations include when the owner would prefer to establish a definitive project scope and a definitive project cost. Owners must also consider which delivery method allows them to fast track a project, shorten project duration, and avoid delays due to disputes or claims.

5.    Owner Risk – Owners must consider which project delivery method places liability for success on the most appropriate party. This includes determining the owner's ability to make timely key decisions, and the ability to reduce gaps between services.

"Design-build is only the right choice after the owner has conducted a proactive and objective assessment of the unique characteristics of its organization and the program/project to affirm that design-build is the best choice for that particular project," says InterDesign's Daniel D. Rawlins, RA, DBIA, who serves as co-chair of the committee that created the document.

"Owners choose design-build when senior leadership understands the benefits and challenges of design-build delivery, and are fully committed to implementing best practices for the success of the design-build process. This document helps them make that determination."

BACAR Constructors' Bill Godwin, DBIA, LEED AP, the other co-chair of the committee that created the document, said, "Design-build is likely the best choice when owners want to empower innovative project solutions, avoid adversarial relationships, and/or fast track a project. While DBIA is not in the business of telling owners to always use design-build, we are dedicated to ensuring owners achieve success in building America's infrastructure, and this document is how that begins."

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