Design-build delivery method now permitted on public projects in half of US states
- With Missouri's passage of new design-build legislation, 50% of U.S. states now allow the delivery method to be used on public projects, according to Building Design + Construction.
- The new Missouri law permits cities and school districts to issue one contract for both design and construction services versus the traditional design-bid-build process many public entities utilize.
- A study by the Construction Industry Institute and Penn State University found that projects using the design-build delivery system cost approximately 6% less and are completed almost 34% faster than those using design-bid-build.
The construction industry is reexamining the traditional design-bid-build method and exploring alternatives to the typical way of doing business — from design-build to integrated project delivery. In January, the Journal of Engineering and Construction Management riled up proponents of design-build when it published a study that found half of design-build projects end up with cost overruns. The DBIA disputed the results, asserting that those conducting the study were "off the mark" and did not factor in the additional costs of owner changes to the scope of work.
New York is one state that only allows design-build on some state projects, and in April, New York City officials began a push to gain trade union support for statewide design-build legislation. They claim that infrastructure projects in particular lend themselves to design-build and said that freely allowing its use could save the city $2 billion over the next decade. Two high-profile city projects — the $1 billion Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion and the $3 billion Pennsylvania Station renovation — are authorized to use design-build. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has advocated for expanded use of design-build for more state projects, but he has faced resistance from some New York officials.
According to the Design-Build Institute of America, there's nothing new about design-build, although many people and organizations are hesitant to test out the method. Because the method requires designers and contractors to work together from the outset, this reduces the likelihood of schedule-stopping, budget-busting change orders and conflicts down the road. However, John Patrick Curran, partner at Sive, Paget & Riesel in New York, told Construction Dive that even design-build contracts for private projects have to be carefully worded to ensure the contract doesn't run afoul of state trade and professional licensing laws.
- Building Design + Construction Half of U.S. states now allow design-build on public projects
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