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 DBIA Behind the Scenes: Redesigning IQ, and Launching a News Site


​By Shannon Eckhart  |  June 16, 2014

In this series, staff at the national headquarters of the Design-Build Institute of America discuss the details of their efforts to define, teach and promote best practices in design-build. In this post, DBIA’s Director of Public Relations, Shannon Eckhart, describes how the recent redesign of DBIA’s IQ magazine and the launch of this website came about, and the reasons for doing it.



 Two-Step Design-Build Bill Advances in Congress


By Louis J. Jenny | May 22, 2014

On May 21, we saw important advances on two fronts for H.R. 2750, the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act. As we’ve written before, this bill would encourage Design-Build Done Right through better use of two-step design-build in federal contracts and limit the use of single-step or turnkey procedures.

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 Federal Transportation - How Far We've Come

by Louis J. Jenny and Geoff Corey  |  May 15, 2014

This week the key bipartisan leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), David Vitter (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE)  and John Barrasso (R-WY), introduced a critical bill renewing transportation programs and funding in the United States (S. 2322). DBIA worked with the respective offices to retain language from the corresponding 2012 Act which singled out design-build as an innovative project delivery method.  We're pleased to report that language was retained in this bill, and we're (cautiously) optimistic it will survive through the legislative process. ​


 Whoa, We're Halfway There

by Richard Thomas and Geoff Corey  |  May 1, 2014

​The fifth month of the year (yes, it’s already May) seems like a strange time to call a halfway point, but since it’s an election year, legislative calendars around the country are much shorter. Some legislative sessions will be wrapping up in June, but they may re-open after the election. So far this year, we’re tracking legislation in almost half of U.S. states.

 The Journey to Design-Build Done Right

by Geoff Corey  |  April 16, 2014
Every day DBIA works with architects, engineers, contractors and owners who are experts and innovators in design-build project delivery. Industry leaders have worked with DBIA to advocate for, not just design-build, but Design-Build Done Right. When delivered correctly, design-build leads to some of the highest quality projects in the country, which is why DBIA has worked with these partners to educate lawmakers, private and public owners, and the entire A/E/C industry on the best ways to achieve that kind of success. A behind-the-scenes look will reveal that DBIA’s efforts to define, teach and promote best practices in design-build are just as integrated as design-build itself.

 Design-Build Threatened in New York

by Richard Thomas  |  April 7, 2014
In 2011, after New York passed historic legislation authorizing the use of design-build, an optimistic mood spread throughout the Empire State’s building and design industry. Following years of advocacy by DBIA, lawmakers in Albany worked together to pass this much needed construction reform in order to efficiently deliver projects critical to New York taxpayers; projects like the new Tappan Zee Bridge. 

 Congress Asks, We Answer

by Louis J. Jenny  |  March 13, 2014
Recently, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held the first hearing of its Panel on Public-Private Partnerships (P3's). While the focus was on the use of P3's in transportation projects, the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Representative Bill Shuster (pictured), joined the hearing specifically to ask questions related to the benefits of design-build.​

 FHWA Accepts DBIA Comments in New Rules

by Richard Thomas  |  February 27, 2014
DBIA is happy to announce that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recently published final rules on regulations related to the use of alternative technical concepts (ATC) in design-build delivery of U.S. highway projects. The final rules eliminate the requirement to submit a base proposal when a contracting agency allows design-build proposers to submit ATCs in their technical and price proposals.

 Federal Design-Build Legislation Evolves

by Louis J. Jenny  |  February 14, 2014
Recently, some proposed amendments have emerged to a federal bill DBIA has been working to pass into law.  The Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act (H.R. 2750) would codify a DBIA Design-Build Best Practice for federal two-step design-build projects, and limit the use of single-step design-build.  While some of these proposed changes would water down the bill and others would enhance it, the simple fact is the emergence of these proposals at all is a good sign we will see some concrete action from Congress.

 Design-Build Delivers Super Bowl XLVIII

by Geoff Corey  | January 28, 2014
This weekend, the Super Bowl comes to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The stadium choice is noteworthy for two reasons. Not only is it the first open-roof stadium in a northern city to host the Super Bowl in decades,  but the project was successfully delivered using design-build project delivery. In fact, the design-build team, led by Skanska USA, won a 2011 National Design-Build Award from DBIA. The stadium was a massive project with lots of challenges, but design-build project delivery helped ensure it was delivered on-budget and a full five months ahead of schedule.

 Looking Ahead - 2014 State Advocacy

by Richard Thomas & Geoff Corey  |  January 22, 2014
Every year since DBIA was founded in 1993, the use of design-build has been growing, and 2014 is shaping up to be another year of increased acceptance and use. This unprecedented growth is exactly why design-build can hardly be called "alternative delivery" anymore. For the past three years, the expansion of design-build has mainly been in the transportation sector and local governments.  That trend is likely to continue in 2014, but we’ll also see greater recognition of the merits of best value selection (as opposed to “low-bid”) and expanded state-funded studies of the design-build process in states that have had design-build authority for a while, and in states just starting to experiment with it.

 Looking Ahead - 2014 Federal Advocacy

by Louis J. Jenny & Geoff Corey  |  January 14, 2014
As DBIA ramps up our federal advocacy efforts, we’re excited to look ahead to what’s in store for 2014. Although Congress has a lot to deal with in a very short time this year, DBIA is working with the federal government to help expand and support the design-build industry as much as possible. Our efforts include maintaining design-build language in the MAP-21 renewal, promoting proper use of two-step design-build and bringing Design-Build Done Right to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 Bringing Design-Build to the VA

by Louis J. Jenny  |  December 19, 2013 

Working to bring Design-Build Done Right to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been one of DBIA’s goals for some time.  To that end, we’ve been working with both officials at the VA and with Congress, which has responsibility for overseeing and funding the VA and its projects.  And while the VA has faced challenges with its portfolio of construction projects – which have been overwhelmingly design-bid-build (43 of the 50 largest contracts) – we are beginning to see some hope for design-build taking hold.

 Budget Breakthrough - What Design-Builders Need to Know

by Geoff Corey  |  December 12, 2013 
Earlier today, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 advanced in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will likely be enacted. Also known as the Murray-Ryan deal, it would replace $63 billion in scheduled sequester cuts over the next two years by raising an additional $85 billion in revenue and achieving $23 billion in deficit reduction through other means.

 Advancing Design-Build in Oklahoma

by Richard Thomas  |  December 2, 2013
A couple weeks ago, I was able to fly to Oklahoma and make the case for design-build project delivery. Oklahoma is a state that has never been very open to design-build, but recently we’ve seen some real progress. Oklahoma State Representative Richard Morrissette introduced two bills in the 2013 legislative session that would expand design-build in the transportation sector, HB 1657 and HB 1669. By the end of the session, Morrissette was able to move them further than any other previous efforts in the state and get the legislature to do an interim session study on design-build and P3s. 

 What Happens In Vegas ... Comes Back To Washington

by Louis J. Jenny  |  November 14, 2013

​In the last month, I attended two conferences (both in Las Vegas!) and had a chance to talk with a lot of people from across a wide swath of the country, including owners and those in the architecture/engineering/construction industry.  Here are a few takeaways, and how they affect our legislative priorities:

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 Government Shutdown Was Bad Project Delivery

by Geoff Corey  |  October 24, 2013
The government shutdown is finally over, but there’s already talk of another one in January when the funding runs out again. While watching the coverage of Congressional action (or inaction) around the shutdown, I was reminded of traditional project delivery: a lack of communication leading to costly delays...
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 A List of Shutdown Resources

by Geoff Corey  October 1, 2013
In light of the likely federal government shutdown, here are some resources you might find useful regarding the impact on the design and construction industry...
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 DBIA Testifies in Louisiana

​by Richard Thomas  |  September 24, 2013
I recently flew to Atlanta to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures, an annual event with state representatives and their staff discussing key issues in their states.  In the midst of this conference, I connected with Representative Walt Leger, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives.  We spoke about the task force Louisiana recently created to study design-build, and we swiftly set a date for me to fly to Baton Rouge to testify...
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 North Carolina Embraces Design-Build

by Richard Thomas  September 6, 2013
​This year marks DBIA’s 20th Anniversary and one can’t help but be amazed at how far design-build project delivery has come since 1993. A perfect example is the state of North Carolina. 
When I was hired at DBIA, in 2009, design-build was a not only a limited option in the Tar Heel state, it was one of the only states that required local governments to go to the state legislature on a project by project basis to get permission to use design-build. In four short years we were able to work with legislators, local industry professionals, and advocacy groups to help North Carolina emerge as a design-build leader in the U.S...
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 Interesting Fall for Federal Appropriations

by Louis J. Jenny  |  August 9, 2013
The outlook for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 appropriations is unusually murky this year.  We all knew that the final House/Senate negotiations on appropriations would be tough.  What was somewhat less anticipated is the apparent difficulty each chamber is separately having just getting to those negotiations...
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 An Open Letter to Secretary Anthony Foxx

by Lisa Washington, CAE  | July 29, 2013

Dear Secretary Foxx,
Congratulations on your unanimous confirmation to serve as U.S. Secretary of Transportation. As head of one of the nation’s most important agencies, you now have the unique opportunity to lead it into the future. This future may involve the next generation of aircraft or navigation; roads or bridges; cars or trains. But one innovation, design-build project delivery, has already arrived. While many states (including your home state of North Carolina) use it extensively, the U.S. Department of Transportation is often behind the times...
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 Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act Introduced

​by Louis J. Jenny | July 21, 2013
We are pleased to report that Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), the Chair of the House Small Business Committee has introduced the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013 (HR 2750). DBIA worked with the Chairman and his staff on this language and supports the bill.

This important bipartisan legislation would significantly improve federal project delivery procedures and increase taxpayer value by requiring agency heads to better justify and report when their agencies short-list more than five finalists on a specific project in the two-step process. Second, the bill would limit the use of single-step design-build to projects that are less than $750,000...
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 DBIA Saves Design-Build in Louisiana


​​by Geoff Corey | June 17, 2013

On the morning of April 26th, DBIA’s Director of State and Local Legislative Affairs, Richard Thomas, noticed that a usually non-controversial bill (HB 559) to extend design-build authority for New Orleans’ schools was pulled from the floor after not receiving enough votes to pass.  The bill’s sponsor, Representative Jared Brossett, had re-scheduled debate for a few days later while he tried to convince a few more Senators to support it.  Meanwhile, DBIA’s advocacy team decided to hold a meeting to strategize on what actions we could take to pass the bill.
A little background is in order, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many of New Orleans’ flood control systems, roads, bridges, and schools were destroyed or severely damaged.  Design-build authority allowed architects, engineers, and contractors to begin rebuilding this critical infrastructure much faster than some other states could have.  This authority not only rebuilt the city, it helped people rebuild their lives.  Louisiana’s design-build laws, however, have sunsets that allow them to expire unless they are extended by the legislature.  The pulled bill, HB 559, would have provided this extension...


 DBIA Tells Congress: Design-Build is Good for Small Business


by Geoff Corey | May 23, 2013
Recently, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce held a hearing regarding the challenges small construction contractors face when it comes to receiving federal contracts. DBIA joined the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Institute of Architects, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, and others in submitting testimony for the record.
DBIA argued that if the federal government used two-step design-build more often, it would create more opportunity for small businesses to participate...

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 MAP-21 Hearings Show Support for Design-Build


by Geoff Corey | April 25, 2013

Congress has started hearings on the implementation of MAP-21, the 2012 reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs.  The first House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing was a progress report from U.S. DOT Modal Administrators, and the second was a progress report from the state and local perspective.  Both hearings revealed support for innovative project delivery methods like design-build.
The 2012 bill passed with bipartisan support, and DBIA was able to convince legislators to add language to the bill listing design-build as an example of an innovative contracting method.  This language increased the chances that design-build projects would receive federal funding.  We are working to assure that language is retained or even expanded in the next reauthorization.
At the hearings ...
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