FMI: Design-Build is the Most Popular Delivery Method in America

A new study by FMI, sponsored by the Design-Build Institute of America, shows that the popularity of design-build construction projects among owners in the United States is continuing to grow.

According to the study, 39% of projects used design-build agreements in 2017, while design-bid-build, the traditional method of hiring an architect separately from the construction contractor, was only used in 27% of projects. The study also forecasts 5% growth in the market share of design-build delivery over the next three years.

The study cites dissatisfaction with the adversarial nature of design-bid-build projects and increasingly challenging project requirements as the primary reasons for owners to take a greater interest in design-build. Owners with a negative perception of design-bid-build most frequently cited its limitations on innovative projects, it’s lack of a fast-track process due to the clear separation between design, bidding, and construction, and the level of risk for project owners.

Where design-bid-build projects involve contracts with multiple parties at different stages, which can cause disputes about responsibility as well as significant budget and schedule creep, design-build projects establish a single point of contact and responsibility throughout the project and typically operate under a guaranteed maximum price. This shifts the owner’s experience from adversarial vendor relationships to a single collaborative partnership, as a design-build firm takes on responsibility and risk for the project as a whole and acts more in the capacity of an owner’s advocate than a vendor.

To learn more about the benefits of design-build, read our blog For Project Success Build a Collaborative Team.

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