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DBIA Milestone: Design-Build University

There are few things more detrimental to the expanded use of design-build than someone unfamiliar with the process trying to complete a design-build project. This is why DBIA teaches best practices and works to get people certified to use design-build. In 2009, DBIA instructor and university professor Barbara Jackson realized that the best way to ensure design-build projects were done right in the future was to bring our courses into colleges and universities. Thus, DBIA’s University Program was born.

As the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build, DBIA has a responsibility to prepare both current and future industry leaders to compete in the marketplace. DBIA’s University Program is geared towards providing students with the design-build education required for the Associate Design-Build Professional™ Certification while they are still in school. Earning the Assoc. DBIA™ credential can give emerging professionals a significant leg up when they graduate and seek employment in the marketplace. There are three ways to incorporate DBIA curriculum into colleges:

1. Incorporate it into an existing course
2. Create a new course using DBIA material
3. Stand-alone DBIA one-day course (offered by an approved instructor)
If the course is created by university faculty or incorporated into an existing university curriculum, it’s paid for by students’ tuition. Otherwise, DBIA can send an approved trainer to teach a course to students in one day and students earn the credit towards their Associate Design-Build ProfessionalTM Certification. Even in this situation, oftentimes the school pays for it. In 2009, students could take our Fundamentals of Project Delivery course and Principals of Design-Build Project Delivery course if their school participated in our program. These are two of the four courses needed to become an Associate Design-Build ProfessionalTM, so students could leave undergraduate school halfway to certification.

In 2009, a handful of schools participated including Auburn University, Cal Poly University-San Luis Obispo, Purdue University, California State University-Chico and California State University-Long Beach. We have since doubled the number of schools participating and have set a goal to double it again in the coming three years. Now students can also take all four required courses so that they can leave undergraduate school with the Associate Design-Build ProfessionalTM Certification. The program continues to be one of the best ways we can improve and expand the use of design-build in the United States. Anyone interested in more information or in receiving an application for the program should email


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