Design-Build (PDB) is an evolution of design-build (DB) and construction
manager/general contractor (CM/GC). It transfers design/construction
responsibilities to a design-build team in the preliminary planning phase while
utilizing CM/GC processes (e.g., a pure qualifications-based selection for
pre-construction services, an Independent Cost Estimator to manage the
open-book pricing) to ensure agencies receive fair market value with a
negotiated GMP. PDB has successfully used in water/wastewater, airport, and
The documented benefits
of using PDB include greater agency control of scope, cost, and schedule;
quicker and cheaper procurement; accelerated schedule; flexibility of scope;
innovative project specific solutions; increased life-cycle value for money;
and greater contractor collaboration.
department of transportations (DOTs) are increasingly using alternative
contracting methods (ACMs) to deliver their highway projects, only few DOTs has
implemented PDB. For example, Maryland
DOT has successfully used PDB for their I-270 project. Missouri, Florida, and
Utah DOTs also are interested in PDB to maximize the dual benefits of DB and
CM/GC delivery methods. However, little PDB guidance is available, if any, for
state DOTs to implement their highway projects. Based on the success of using
PDB in water/wastewater, airport, and transit sectors, there is a need to
investigate how PDB can be used for highways.
Some typical research questions are:
What is the current state-of-practice process of
PDB? How could the current state-of-practice and lessons learn of PDB from other
sectors’ projects apply to highway projects?
What are the benefits and challenges of PDB
beyond traditional DB, specific to highway?
What are the critical skill sets, knowledge,
resources, legislation, etc. that agencies need prior to executing PDB
How do traditional agency functions and
responsibilities change under PDB? How
do these changes impact staff requirements and roles?
How does an agency representative become a
champion for PDB? What type of trainings are needed to promote PDB?
What is the optimal selection criteria for PDB?