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Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
Richard Thomas
Vice President, Advocacy/External Affairs
rthomas@dbia.org
202-682-0110
USDA Funding Bill Encourages the Use of Design-Build

DBIA salutes bi-partisan effort to encourage cost-saving and efficiency at USDA through the use of design-build project delivery.


Friday President Obama signed H.R. 2112 into law. This FY '12 Appropriations bill for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice and Science, and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development passed last Thursday night. The bill combined three separate funding bills with a Continuing Resolution to fund the balance of the federal government through December 16th. Of particular significance to DBIA, the Agriculture bill report upheld language previously passed in the House of Representatives that encourages the use of the design-build project delivery method. 
 
The USDA Rural Development Program has a $155 billion portfolio of loans and will administer $20 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants through their programs in the current fiscal year. Until now, the USDA-RD’s preferred project delivery method has been design-bid-build and the result has been a chilling effect on the use of design-build for local projects. Fear of being denied federal loans, loan guarantees and grants if they opted to use design-build prompted many local governments use design-bid-build. Higher costs and project delays frequently resulted. In addition, design-build practitioners lost the opportunity to work on these projects

A year ago, local governments seeking to use integrated design-build delivery and practitioners interested in pursuing work with the USDA turned to DBIA for assistance. Throughout 2011 DBIA staff met with USDA-RD, members of the House of Representatives and their counterparts in the Senate to discuss the situation and possible alternatives. DBIA drafted Committee report language for Representative Jack Kingston (R)-Georgia, The Chairman of the House Appropriations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee.
 
The language encourages USDA to use design-build. It received bipartisan support in both the House subcommittee and full Appropriations Committee.
Several meetings with Committee members in the Senate paved the way for its passage in the conference committee and floor votes.

Passage of the bill should give local government greater options to deliver their projects on time and on budget and provide design-build practitioners greater opportunities to compete in the market place.
 
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 www.dbia.org.