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Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
10/31/2011 10:00 AM
Susan Hines
Director, Information and Public Relations
2011 Design-Build Conference and Expo Highlights Importance of Design Within Design-Build Project Delivery
Themed Integration Magic: Reality of Results, DBIA’s Orlando conference attracted near record-breaking attendance of over 1,650 owners, practitioners, students and academia. At the meeting, experienced design-build proponents shared lessons learned as well as the best practices that make design-build the fastest growing project delivery method today. Less experienced owners and practitioners (about 20 percent of those in attendance according to an onsite survey) were all ears.

Preconference courses focused on the basics needed for DBIA certification, including Principles of Design-Build Project Delivery and Contracts and Risk. Four education tracks geared toward intermediate and advanced learners offered sessions on:
  • Teaming,
  • Contracts, Documentation & Best Practices,
  • Trends, Innovation and Technology, and
  • Overcoming Challenges and Obstacles.
The Opening General Session, “Unlocking the Magic and Dispelling Myths of Design-Build Project Delivery,” brought owners of some of the most challenging and innovative projects together to discuss their experience with design-build and why it was right for their needs.  Jeff Baker, Director, Office of Laboratory Operations for the U.S. Department of Energy's Golden Field Office, and Jay Hietpas, P.E., of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, joined architect Marianne O’Brien, AIA, of SmithGroup, and DBIA Board Member Jim Whitaker, AIA, DBIA, of HKS, for an open discussion of some of the misapprehensions surrounding design-build project delivery.

Whitaker led the panel discussion. Each participant represented a design-build project that delivered exceptionally high value to the owner.  Baker was the force behind the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the nation’s largest net-zero office building. Hietpas was the design-build project manager for the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, which was replaced just one year after a rush hour collapse left 13 people dead and dozens more injured.  Representing the design-build team that made the University of California San Francisco’s highly regarded Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building a reality, O’Brien spoke about her experience delivering design excellence within the design-build framework. That project was the recipient of DBIA’s first Excellence in Design Award. Using a response system, audience members also weighed in on many of the questions posed to the panelists.

At the Closing General Session, McGraw Hill Construction’s Harvey Bernstein, Vice President of Industry Insights & Alliances, offered a glimpse into the future of the construction industry as a whole. He highlighted trends design-builders have been quick to embrace, including prefabrication, modular construction and  the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), and placed these developments within the context of increased globalization and growing concerns about future workforce shortages.
Bernstein also highlighted the value workers and employers currently place on professional certification. This insight was underscored at the conference awards dinner where DBIA’s largest ever class of Designated Design-Build Professionals™ was recognized.  Twenty-three awards acknowledged the most successful design-build projects in the United States and the most influential people in the advancement of the design and construction industry. A complete listing of the 2011 Design-Build Award Winners, which includes both the NREL facility and the UCSF Regeneration Medicine Building, and a biography of Walker Lee Evey, recipient of the prestigious Brunelleschi Medal are available at
Established in 1993, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build project delivery. 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. Learn more about design-build and DBIA’s certification and other programs on