Design-Build Procedures: Introduction, illustration and comparison of U.S. modes

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Design-build is a project delivery system where one party, the design-builder, is responsible for both the design and construction of a project under a single agreement. This book sheds light on the design-build practice as applied in building construction in the United States, where the system's popularity has increased dramatically. The report divides into two parts. The first part provides a general introduction of design-build and outlines some of its key characteristics and related practical considerations. It also defines design-build in relation to other project delivery systems. Some comparative studies on project delivery methods are also summarized in order to illuminate the talked up superiority of design-build over the other methods. The second part constitutes the main portion of the book by presenting the various procedures that are part of design-build. It focuses on six different aspects of design-build: the design-builder selection process, the design practice and related division of labor, proposal evaluation and comparison methods, pricing and incentive systems, organization of the design-build entity, and distinction between the construction of shell and core and interior systems. Thus, the presented issues are mostly related to the interfaces between the owner and the design-builder. Design-build is not, however, just a rigid procedure for carrying a project through which is the key reason for writing this book. There are many alternative operational modes and procedures. Therefore, the book deals with these alternatives by examining design-build practices from one standpoint at a time. Each previously listed aspect is dealt with by introducing modes that are, at least to some extent, alternatives. Each presentation of an alternative empha-sizes its mode, advantages and weak-nesses, and applicability. For instance, the design-builder selection process is such a standpoint providing various options for operations. Similarly, design-builder selection can be based on qualifications or it may follow a two-stage process involving design proposals, etc. The applicability of various procedures, naturally, depends on the complexity, size and scale of the project as well as the objectives, experience and available resources of the owner, etc. These issues are also discussed in connection with each procedure. The same structure has been used for all alternative procedures independent of the aspect in order to maintain the illustrative and comparative format. In addition to alternative procedures proper, around forty thematic boxes have been included in order to inform the reader about some key issues and examples related to the design-build practice in general. These are called "nutshells" and "mini-cases", respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages176
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6031-0
ISBN (Print)951-38-5879-0
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Publications


  • buildings
  • construction
  • design-build projects
  • United States
  • risk allocation
  • quality
  • scheduling
  • costs
  • project control
  • warrants


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