In design-bid-build (DBB), the Owner hires an architect who designs the building without engagement with the team ultimately chosen to build the project. Once design is complete, contractors bid for the project usually in a low-bid environment. The Owner must manage two separate contracts which all-too-often creates an adversarial relationship between the designer and the contractor. If something goes wrong or an unforeseen circumstance requires changes, the designer and contractor blame one another for the change orders, cost overruns or schedule changes, often leading to litigation and delays which add to the project cost.
Construction Manager at Risk
With the construction manager at risk (CMAR) delivery method, the Owner first chooses an architect, like a traditional design-bid-build project (DBB). The key difference is that, once the designer is selected (based on qualifications and competence) and the early stages of design are complete, a second contract with a construction manager is initiated. The CMAR firm and designer begin their collaborative relationship while design work completes and have the opportunity to develop a collaborative working relationship on behalf of the Owner earlier in the project.
In design-build the Owner manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The designer, contractor and key specialty trades work together from the beginning, as a team with the Owner, providing unified project recommendations to fit the Owner’s schedule and budget. The team’s qualifications are a selection factor rather than just who made the lowest bid. Any project changes are addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem-solving and innovation, not excuses or blame-shifting. While single-source contracting is the fundamental difference between design-build and the old ways, equally important is the culture of collaboration inherent in design-build.
Design-build allows more collaboration, returning better results, than either CMAR or DBB.
Research Shows Design-Build Delivers Better Projects
The use of alternative project delivery methods like design-build and construction manager at risk has grown rapidly over the decades. In fact, design-build is the fastest growing delivery process in the nation.
More Collaboration = Better Projects
While collaborative projects deliver better results than traditional design-bid build, all APD methods aren’t created equal. The latest project data shows design-build consistently delivers better cost and schedule results for taxpayers than CMAR projects.
Iowa Falls Behind the Rest of the Nation
Iowa is one of only two states that prohibits agencies from using design-build or construction manager at risk to deliver public projects. While the need for improved infrastructure in our communities grows and the dollars to pay for it can’t meet that need, Iowa is stuck in a time warp delivering vital projects the same way it has for generations.
The Truth about APD
There is no one-size-fits-all project delivery method. That’s why our coalition supports legislation allowing Iowa agencies to choose the best delivery method to fit each unique project. By expanding our project options, Iowans can be sure our state is delivering the most cost and schedule efficient projects possible while maximizing every taxpayer dollar.