Document Detail

Title: RS133-1 - Project Delivery Systems: CM at Risk, Design-Build, Design-Bid-Build
Publication Date: 12/1/1997
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Archived Supporting Product
Pages: 34
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Summarizes research conducted by the Design-Build Research Team. Based on a database of over 350 projects, the results show that design-build is a method that can be used without the cost and schedule growth of the other two delivery systems.
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Design-Build: It is the nomenclature for a project delivery system that runs the gamut, from organizations employing it regularly, to those who tolerate it occasionally, to organizations restricted by statute from embracing it, to many who have never confronted it. Comparing its success to two other widely used delivery methods, design-bid-build and construction management (CM) at risk, was the charter of this research team. The results—proven by statistical analysis on over 350 projects—are “rock solid.”

Many ways of doing business in the past have proved unacceptable today, or, at least, proved less efficient than alternate methods not formally considered. This results from changes in owner staff makeup; a focus on the owner’s “core” business, which usually is not building capital projects; a need to downsize in-house capabilities; and owners’ inability to respond to an “I need it now!” concept.

The delivery methods that the research team studied, design-build, design-bid-build, and CM at risk, each have had varying success in the industry. The team studied methods used, and considered project attributes, owner in-house needs and desires, and critical success factors.

The research shows that design-build systems have significantly less design and construction cost growth when compared to design-bid-build; that design-bid-build systems have the greatest design and construction schedule growth; and that quality measurement associated with design-build, often maligned by many, is better than quality performance in design-bid-build. No one method can meet all owner, project, or individual critical success factors. Any delivery system is dependent on the ever-changing dynamics of our industry. Now, however, there are statistically analyzed results that will improve the owners’ ability for selection. Those results are the subject of this report.