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DBIA Milestone: The State Statute Report

2009 was an important year for DBIA and design-build. The increase in the use of design-build was off the charts and DBIA was on track to pass 100 design-build bills that year, more than any other year in the organization’s history. Congress had recently passed the “stimulus bill” and many states and local governments were expanding their current design-build laws in order to make their projects “shovel ready” to qualify for federal funding. In this deluge of changing procurement rules and regulations, owners and practitioners alike were often unsure of the “state of design-build” in their state or region. In 2009, there was no source for information regarding design-build laws. There was no legal software available or a website devoted to design-build laws, meaning owners and practitioners were forced to spend thousands of dollars to get a handle on each state’s design-build laws.
At the time, DBIA had just hired a new member of the legislative affairs team, Richard Thomas. He recalls during his first week at DBIA getting a call from a member who was looking to open a regional office and they wanted to know that state’s design-build policies for water/waste water projects. Our records showed that design-build water projects had been completed there in the past but, without research, we could not give him the state’s complete design-build law with any degree of certainty. Within a week, dozens of similar calls started to come in and it became clear that this was information the design-build community sorely needed.

To close this information gap, DBIA embarked on its State Statute Report (SSR) project in August of 2009. The project involved DBIA staff, its Regions and design-build legal experts from across the nation. The study group researched design-build, procurement and licensing laws in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The information produced by this group was the nation’s first comprehensive design-build state statute report. The report includes all of the state design-build laws and citations in a form that is easy to read and understand. The report also includes licensing requirements and helpful procurement information. The SSR is updated annually to reflect any legislative changes.

Like the design-build maps, the SSR has become one of DBIA’s signature tools. Regardless of your search engine, typing in design-build statutes or laws leads you to DBIA’s website and the State Statute Report. It is often times the first step in the design-build process. Owners interested in using design-build often share the information in the report with elected officials informing them that they have the authority to move forward on a project or to encourage them to expand authority so they can utilize the delivery method. For practitioners who have specialized in design-build the information in the report gives them practical information to better help them target their business.

The State Statute Report can be found here. An updated version reflecting 2013 legislative sessions will be available in August.


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