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Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
2/1/2013 12:00 AM
Susan Hines
Director, Public Relations and Information

Lisa Washington’s successful outreach to United States Army Corps of Engineers prompted agency’s adoption of best-practices in procurement.

Lisa Washington, CAE, Executive Director and CEO of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), has been named one of Engineering News-Record’s Top Newsmakers of 2012. Each year, ENR editors collectively recognize 25 individuals who have served the best interests of the construction industry and the public. To be eligible, a person, or the project they worked on, must have been covered in the pages of the magazine or the magazine's website. Outside nominations are not accepted.

Washington was recognized for leading a coalition of industry groups that persuaded the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to issue a new procurement directive that clarifies and strictly limits the use of one-step design-build procurement. The policy, which the Corps issued last August, emphasizes that a two-phase selection procedure is USACE’s’ highly preferred method for acquiring design-build services, aligning its procurement strategies with recognized best practices in design-build.

As ENR noted in its own reporting on the story, “What is clear is that the added expense of single-step competitions — with some firms saying they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on proposal expenses alone — is keeping many contractors and designers from competing on single-step jobs altogether.” Washington made a similar point, telling ENR, “More creativity at less cost is the real intent of design-build. Some [owners] say single step is faster — it isn't — or that a [low-bid] number up front offers them best value — it doesn't."

On learning of her inclusion on the prestigious list, Washington explained, “As the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build project delivery, DBIA was well positioned to lead the charge.” Noting the support she received from DBIA members and allied organizations, she said, “Many people and many organizations worked closely with me, but I am honored to represent DBIA in this regard, especially as we celebrate our 20th anniversary year.”

“Lisa’s work with the Corps and other industry organizations on this issue is just one example of her collaborative genius,” said DBIA National Board Chair, Barbara Wagner of Clark Construction Group. “Her intuitive grasp of DBIA’s core values of trust and respect for diverse perspectives is always evident, but played a particularly significant role in her approach to industry and USACE on the issue of best practices in design-build procurement.