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DBIA Milestone: Research Confirms Design-Build Growth

In 2009, more legislation authorizing design-build project delivery passed than in any year in DBIA’s history. The rapid growth in design-build projects led to increased interest in DBIA’s education and certification offerings, especially from owners. The growing interest in design-build was clear, so DBIA partnered with RSMeans/Reed Construction Data Market Intelligence to assess design-build’s growth and market share. The research results added hard data to the anecdotal evidence we had been experiencing.

The study revealed that design-build project delivery represented 40 percent of the non-residential U.S. construction market, growing over 10 percent since 2005. In the same time period, use of the traditional design-bid-build delivery method fell 14 percentage points. Geographically, the report showed that design-build was used most frequently in the Pacific Census Regional Division (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington).
The study also found that design-build was used most frequently in the military sector, being the delivery method of choice for more than 80 percent of projects. The commercial building construction market was the second largest sector, followed by the medical building sector. Design-build is also the chosen delivery method in over half of projects larger than $10 million and a quarter of projects less than $10 million.

The research team drew upon RSMeans’ exclusive database of historical and planning construction projects, as well as other publicly and privately available data sources. The research team estimates that 95 percent of public projects and 75 percent of private projects were captured for the purposes of this analysis.
The RSMeans study continued DBIA’s investment in critical research regarding design-build. Other research studies have looked into design-build’s effect on sustainability, benefits for owners and the average time and cost savings compared to other delivery methods. To find more research regarding design-build, be sure to visit our Resources page.


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