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About DBIA and Design-Build

DBIA's Offices
The Design-Build Institute of America is the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build. Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. Owners select design-build to achieve best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals.

DBIA represents the entire design and construction industry. As an institute, our primary objective is to provide education, training, networking and support to all players involved in the design and construction industry. Members span the entire spectrum of design and construction professionals, including architects, engineers, specialty contractors, owners, consultants, lawyers, business development professionals, students and teachers. Non-members are also welcome to participate in courses, conferences and in earning their certification.  In addition to the DBIA headquarters in Washington, D.C., a network of 14 Regions work collaboratively to delivery products and services to members and customers.

DBIA’s 2013-2015 Strategic Direction is focused on moving DBIA forward as a high performance organization (1) committed to the advocacy of "design-build done right" across public and private market sectors; (2) advancing collaboration and integration of project teams; and (3) focused on the development and effective dissemination of design-build knowledge for all owners and practitioners. More details of the strategic direction can be found here.​
 
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 Mission

 

​DBIA promotes the value of design-build project delivery and teaches the effective integration of design and construction services to ensure success for owners and design and construction practitioners.

DBIA will be the industry’s preeminent resource for leadership, education, objective expertise and best practices for the successful integrated delivery of capital projects.
 
Our Values
  • Excellence in integrated design-build project delivery, producing high value outcomes.
  • An environment of trust characterized by integrity and honest communication.
  • Mutual respect for and appreciation of diverse perspectives and ideas.
  • A commitment to innovation and creativity to drive quality, value and sustainability.
  • Professionalism, fairness and the highest level of ethical behavior.
 

 History of Design-Build

 

The following comes from "Design-Build: Planning through Development" available for purchase here.

As students of architectural history, we recall the ancient master builders or master masons: Ictinus and Callicrates, builders of the Parthenon in Athens; Abbe Suger for his twelfth century Gothic Royal Abbey Church of Saint Denis, outside Paris; and Filippo Brunelleschi for the Dome of the Florence Cathedral in the early fifteenth century. They each provided a seamless service that included what we now refer to as design and construction, or more recently as design-build.

The singular responsibility for design and construction had been codified long before these master builders in Hammurabi’s Code. The Roman writer, engineer and architect, Vitruvius, wrote the original design handbook in 40 B.C.E. The handbook assumes that the responsibilities for design and construction were vested in a single individual.
 
Industrial Revolution
 
Well into the nineteenth century, architects continued to retain responsibility for both design and construction. The Industrial Revolution, however, had a profound effect on how design and the construction were organized.  Because of the complexity of new industrial facilities, design expertise and specialization were required of the designers, but not to the same degree from the builders. As people moved into cities, a standardized system of drawings and written instructions was employed so designers (whose services did not have to be performed locally) could communicate to 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 split. Once designers and builders had separated, professional societies such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) formed. These organizations were symptomatic of the attempts by the design professionals to separate themselves from the sometimes corrupt builders of the era.
 
Legal Separation
 
A significant cause of the absolute separation of the design professions from the construction trades in America was, and remains, the Miller Act of 1935. This law requires a contractor on a federal project exceeding $100,000 to post two bonds: a performance bond and a labor and material payment bond. Additionally, states and almost all local jurisdictions have enacted legislation requiring surety bonds on public work projects.  Public contract laws also tend to mandate a separation of design and construction services. The first architectural licensing laws were passed in the United States in 1897. Now, in each of the states, the professions of architect and engineer are regulated for the protection of the public. In most instances, professional licensing laws do not require that design and construction be separate functions, but like the public procurement regulations, they reflect the prevailing practice at the time they were first enacted.
 
The Advent of Modern Design-Builders
 
Technically more demanding building systems, and systems for the concealed distribution of power, lighting and telephones, required responsible designers to coordinate their efforts with builders. This led to the development of construction management (CM) procedures. This delivery method was an improvement, but still lacked the single point of responsibility that owners sought.  The first use of public funds involving the design-build process in the United States probably occurred in Indiana where an assistant superintendent of public instruction convinced a small community to purchase a school building by the design-build method.  The early 1970s saw competitive design-build procurement utilized by several public agencies, primarily in the area of educational facilities and university dormitories. In an action that brings public contracting for buildings and infrastructure project full circle, the U.S. federal government, in 1997, modified its Federal Acquisition Regulations to include new regulations for design-build procurement (read about DBIA’s role in this here).
 

 Celebrating 20 Years of DBIA

 

Two Decades of DBIA ...

Throughout 2013, DBIA celebrated its 20th Anniversary year by sharing milestones and memories of the past two decades. They demonstrate how far DBIA has come and provide insight on the past and the future of the delivery method from across the spectrum of design-build.
 

DBIA’s CEO Lisa Washington Remembers - Part 2


 

DBIA’s CEO Lisa Washington Remembers  - Part 1


 

DBIA Milestone: Webinar Series


 

DBIA Milestone: Research Confirms Design-Build Growth


 

DBIA Milestone: Design-Build in Transportation


 

DBIA Milestone: Location, Location, Location


 

Former DBIA Board Chair Tom Porter Remembers


 

Former DBIA Board Member Mark Shambaugh Remembers


DBIA Milestone: The National Conference 


 

Todd Rich on 16 Years with DBIA


 

Former DBIA Chair John Young Remembers


 

Former DBIA Chair Don Warren Remembers


History of the Term, Design-Build


DBIA Milestone: Charles Pankow Foundation Bootstrap Grants


DBIA Milestone: Social Media


DBIA Milestone: 1993, The Founding of DBIA


DBIA Milestone: Revamped Design-Build University


DBIA Milestone: The Maps


DBIA Milestone: Design-Build Awards 


DBIA Milestone: A new New York - Part 2


DBIA Milestone: A new New York - Part 1

 

DBIA Milestone: California begins using design-build

DBIA Milestone: Design-Build University


DBIA Milestone: The State Statute Report


DBIA Milestone: 2011, Ohio Embraces Design-Build – Part 2


DBIA Milestone: 2011, Ohio Embraces Design-Build – Part 1


DBIA Milestone: Federal Advocacy


Walker Lee Evey Remembers


DBIA Milestone: LEED Certification

 
Silver is the traditional gift for a 25th anniversary, but DBIA's ahead of the times. For our 20th anniversary, the DBIA offices received LEED® Silver Certification. The 10,000-square-foot build-out was completed in March 2012 using design-build and DBIA's best practices, DBIA recently received its official LEED Silver Certification plaque.

Dave Shelton Remembers


DBIA Milestone: ENR’s 2013 Awards and Gala


DBIA Milestone: Federal Sector Conference


Edward C. Wundram Remembers


Robert Ainslie Remembers


DBIA Milestone: DBIA.org


Tanya C. Matthews Remembers


DBIA Milestone: The Design-Build Manual of Practice


DBIA Milestone: Design-Build Insight 


DBIA Milestone: The First Design-Build Specialty Conferences


Rik Kunnath Remembers


DBIA Milestone: Bringing Design-Build to the States


Preston Haskell Remembers


DBIA Milestone: Model Contracts Introduced


DBIA Milestone: First Certification Board


DBIA Milestone: The FAR


 
 

 Contact Us

 
Design-Build Institute of America
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
Tel: 202-682-0110
Fax: 202-682-5877
 
Email
You may email DBIA staff with questions and concerns at any time. For general inquiries, please use dbia@dbia.org.

Directions
DBIA is located between 13th and 14th Streets, NW, in the National Place Building. The entrance to our building is across from Freedom Plaza in between the National Theater and the JW Marriott.
The nearest Metro stop is Metro Center (Red, Blue and Orange Lines). Exit toward 13th Street and walk south two blocks and west one and a half blocks. Map Us