Skip Navigation LinksHome > Press Room > News Releases > Design-Build Project Delivery Outperforms Design-Bid-Build on LEED® Projects
  • LinkedIn
  • Google
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to Favorites

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
6/3/2010 12:00 AM
Susan Hines
Director, Public Relations and Information
Design-Build Project Delivery Outperforms Design-Bid-Build on LEED® Projects

Research shows that early integration of design and construction is key to meeting owners’ green building goals.

Washington, D.C., June 2, 2010 – Continuing their research into the impact of project delivery methods on achieving sustainable design and construction goals, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado, University of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University has released a second report, Influence of Project Delivery Methods on Achieving Sustainable High Performance Buildings: Report on Case Studies.

Commissioned by the Charles Pankow Foundation and the Design-Build Institute of America, the second phase of the team’s research sought to determine the effect of delivery methods and practices on the level of integration achieved in projects and the repercussions of integration levels on the outcomes of projects emphasizing sustainability goals.

The study, which supplements and validates research released by the team last year, consists of 12 in-depth case studies of the project delivery phase and compared them with building performance at project completion. Case study selection was the result of carefully designed criteria, including distribution across various project delivery methods including design-bid-build (DBB), design-build (DB), and construction management at-risk (CMR). To equally compare the cases, the study limited its focus to U.S. office buildings awarded various levels of LEED® certification according to new construction or core and shell categories.

The primary findings of the study show that integration levels in the delivery process effect final project outcomes, particularly sustainability goals. Verified through external validation of previous research findings, research results show that:
  • Green projects delivered by CMR and DB outperforms DBB projects;
  • Early inclusion of the green concept in the project is necessary as early as the pre-design phase;
  • The reason to pursue green strategies should be an owner-driven factor;
  • The project’s LEED® AP should hold direct contract with the owner in CMR and DBB projects;
  • LEED® certification level should be a contractual mandate for all team members, especially for designers and constructors;
  • The constructor is a key factor in the success of a project and early involvement in the design phases increases the probability of meeting green goals; and,
  • Design charrettes and collaboration sessions sharpen the project team’s focus on specific goals.

Both Influence of Project Delivery Methods on Achieving Sustainable High Performance Building: Report on Case Studies and the researcher’s previous project, Sustainable, High Performance Projects and Project Delivery Methods: A State of Practice Report, are available at on this site. That report was first comprehensive study to explore the impact of project delivery methods and procurement procedures on achieving sustainable design and construction goals. The author’s findings suggest that qualifications-based selection (QBS) procurement is most successful procurement procedure for projects aiming at LEED certification. The team will discuss their findings in Las Vegas on October 18 at the DBIA 2010 Annual Conference. The following month, they will present at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2010 in Chicago.

The Charles Pankow Foundation was established in 2004 by Charles J. Pankow, a pioneer in the construction industry and the founder of Pankow Builders The foundation exists to advance innovations in building design and construction, so as to provide the public with buildings of improved quality, efficiency, and value. Learn more at

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) was founded in 1993 in response to the emergence of design-build and integrated project delivery as a significant force in the design and construction industry. From its headquarters in Washington, DC, and network of regions throughout the U.S., the Institute provides a forum for all participants in the design-build process, owners and practitioners alike. DBIA is the center of expertise for integrated project delivery, advocating best practices, creating and disseminating educational information, and furnishing advice and support to facility owners and users.