Project Delivery & Contracts

Design Management Guidance for Design-Build Projects


Design-Build (DB) delivery is expected to account for nearly 45% of all non-residential construction spending in the U.S. in 2021, an increase of 18% from only three years earlier. This growth creates a need for resources that leverage the role of the design-phase manager to facilitate design and construction integration. These design-phase managers are currently tackling emerging trends in the industry, such as design-assist through specialty trades, BIM execution planning, offsite construction techniques, and the growing use of DB beyond the building sector. In addition, owners are demanding more from the design of their projects and are now emphasizing sustainability, resilience, and value as key performance measures beyond the traditional cost and schedule considerations.  This project will specifically address these trends, empowering design-phase managers, owners, and specialty trades to bring forward innovation in their projects through collaboration with project supply chain partners.  Three categories of resources will be jointly developed with industry experts: updated and expanded “Professional’s Guide to Managing the Design Phase of a Design-Build Project” to reflect the state-of-practice and a path forward, with common principles that apply to all DB projects and market sectors, with specific guidance for the Building sector, (2) new “playbooks” that provide targeted design management guidance for additional construction sectors, such as Light and Heavy Industrial, Water and Wastewater, Aviation, Highway, and Federal, and (3) a common glossary of terms regarding DB contracting mechanisms that are consistent for both U.S. and international audiences.


The Charles Pankow Foundation


Status: In Progress


Research Team


  • Daniel Hall
  • Jennifer Shane
  • Susan Bogus

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