Design-Build Explained

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Table of contents

Read the latest guidance or create a custom plan for your practice or project. The RIBA Plan of Work organises the process of briefing, designing, constructing and operating building projects into eight stages and details the tasks and outputs required at each stage. The structure of the RIBA Plan of Work was fundamentally overhauled in to better meet the needs of the construction industry. An overview document was published at this time to provide detailed guidance on each stage and task bar. The overview guidance is built into the website along with a downloadable Toolbox that includes an easy to use excel file that combines a project roles table, contractual tree, and design responsibility matrix.

The Small Project Plan of Work was published in to respond to the call from architects working on small traditionally procured projects for new clients to provide simplified guidance on core design and regulatory matters.

The stages are the same but the tasks are tailored to be of most use on a smaller scale. The tasks include additional detail on health and Safety CDM , planning and building control along with suggested level of detail to help explain design progression. Design for manufacture and assembly DfMA is an approach that facilitates greater offsite manufacturing, minimising onsite construction. It allows buildings to be constructed more quickly, safely and cost-effectively.


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Client Conversations gathers together the accumulated knowledge of a range of clients who are prepared to share their experiences in order that architects and other clients may benefit from them. It is closely aligned with the RIBA Plan of Work which was created, in part, to respond to the importance and value of the decisions made by clients when preparing projects. The successful proposer is selected based on a number of factors including past experience, ability to innovate, cost, and any other specific factor the Owner chooses e.

Why We're A Design Build Company

This competitive selection process is just one reason why Owners are more likely to report high-satisfaction with design-build projects. Design-build can be used on projects of any size and type, and there are myriad examples of design-build project successes of all sizes. Further, nearly 80 percent of U. Even when a larger project is procured as a design-build project, smaller firms often band together to create a project team that is more able to handle the demands of a larger project.

In a design-build project, Owners are completely engaged in the process because unlike design-bid-build reward structures in a design-build contract encourage Owners to give thoughtful consideration to desired behaviors and the manner in which success will be defined. Additionally, there is a single point of responsibility on a design-build team making it easier for the Owner to coordinate, convey concerns and make adjustments.

Many Owners across the United States are clamoring to have design-build as an option because they want to reap the benefits of increased innovation, less litigation and faster delivery speed. Favoritism or patronage is the opposite of design-build best practices. While design-build allows for the considering of factors beyond just price—such as team qualifications and project innovation—this is done to achieve best value and superior projects.

In fact, the consideration of these factors has been shown to drive down cost, since they ensure that the team is reliable and produces quality work; something that is virtually impossible to decipher from contract price alone. Actually design-build is better than design-bid-build at addressing this fear.

Traditional large design-bid-build projects will see both in-state and out-of-state contractors submitting ridiculously low bids in order to win the project, then force their sub-contractors which are often local to lower their costs so they can meet the low-bid they offered. Because the primary focus is price, there is little incentive to truly collaborate with local firms.

On large design-build projects, big companies may compete for the job; however, it is most likely that they will form a partnership with local companies that have the local resources to build the project. The result: strong design-build teams that deliver high-quality projects and support the local economy.


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Design-build offers a better way. While many believe that design-build is a modern innovation, nothing could be further from the truth. What is true is that, in , the founders of DBIA settled on the term design-build as the official name for the integrated project delivery method their companies had been using more frequently than the traditional low-bid approach. However, while the name may have been new, the design-build method had been used for thousands of years under numerous other descriptors.

Design-Build

The original term for this delivery method was master builder, or master mason. They each provided a seamless service that included what we now refer to as design and construction or, more recently, as design-build.


  1. William James on Exceptional Mental States.
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  4. Post navigation?
  5. Schedule a Free Consultation.
  6. Experience You Can Trust;
  7. Design-Build Explained.
  8. The Roman writer, engineer and architect Vitruvius wrote the original design handbook in 40 B. The handbook assumes that the responsibilities for design and construction were vested in a single individual. The services of designers and builders began to separate after the dawn of the industrial revolution.

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    Because of the complexity of new industrial facilities, design expertise and specialization were required from the designers, but not to the same degree from the builders. The Industrial Revolution also called for dividing the production process into basic, individual tasks. The dramatic difference between the intellectual process of design and the physical act of construction made the design and construction industry easy to separate.

    As building systems became technically more demanding, the design and construction fields began to overlap more frequently. Design-build flowed off the tongue better, and we decided upon the name Design-Build Institute of America.

    What Is Design-Build? – DBIA

    The term is now the accepted way to reference a single-contract, team oriented and collaborative approach to delivering projects and has since been written into legislation, submitted as testimony and used throughout the industry. Sign In. About What Is Design-Build? What Is Design-Build? Learn More.