Design bid build

Design bid build
See also

It is traditional project delivery method used in construction industry, mainly widespread in United States. Presented approach is suitable for private and public projects. It consists of three phases: design, bid and construction phase. All of them are linear, which means that next phase can only start if the previous one is completed (it is not possible to overlap the phases)[1].

Project phases

Design phase -the architect (in practice design company) bears responsibility for implementation of design phase. It begins with conversations with owner in order to precise his needs and restrictions. After signing the contract, chosen company has to prepare in a limited time conceptual design and all of documents and specifications required to join the bid process. They are allowed to bring in professionals in various fields for example mechanical, civil engineer or structural engineer etc. to prepare reasonable and accurate project[2].

Bid phase -this phase varies depending on the type of order. If the construction project is implemented from public funds, this phase is “open” which means, every bidder can participate. Usually the decision is made in favor of the bidder offering the lower price, but sometimes when the qualifications have a great importance, due to high complexity of project, the best value approach is used. It allows combine price and qualifications offered by candidates. On the other hand, private bids in which projects are realized from owner's private funds, contractor selection depends only on the clients mind[3].

Construction phase -after completing the bidding phase and selecting the contractor, the owner gives him part of his duties and risks. From that point General contractor takes full responsibility for the construction. His most important tasks include construction control due to compliance with the schedule, employee safety and prevention of budget deviations. In addition he contracts subcontractors and is responsible for implementation[4].

Advantages and disadvantages of design bid build


  • cost-effectiveness: costs are decreasing because of contractors competition. Selection of the lowest price offer ensure that the project is carried out at the lowest cost.
  • better quality and efficiency of work: due to competition among architects and contractors, their contribution into work is growing. All of them are trying to propose the best offer, what push them to prepare innovative solutions that guarantee better results at a lower cost.
  • clarity in the design: starting with the design phase the architect prepares complete documentation, which include specifications and proposed construction solutions based on opinion of professionalists. Based on this bid documentation, interested contractors prepare a reliable response.
  • precision of members tasks: due to separate contracts, the owner can precisely specify the goals and tasks of each individual entity (architect, general contractor). In addition, the smaller scope of their work allows for more accurate cost analysis.


  • long duration project time: due to linearity of each phase, there is no possibility to overlap. Furthermore, the duration of the bidding process may change, further postponing the building schedule and thus affecting the extension of the entire project.
  • lack of contractor's involvement in design phase: due to the contractor's lack of participation in the design phase, it may be necessary to make changes to the design at a later stage during the construction of the facility.
  • low level of owner's involvement: after selection of general contractor level of owner's involvement is decreasing. He does not affect the selection of subcontractors, and his main task is to control the results.


  1. Rawlins D.D., Godwin B. 2015
  2. Heitz B. 2012
  3. Heitz B. 2012
  4. Heitz B. 2012
  5. Lwin M.M, McCabe R.,Kerley M. T. 2011
  6. Fernane J.D. 2011, p. 6-9
  7. Lwin M.M, McCabe R.,Kerley M. T. 2011
  8. Fernane J.D. 2011, p. 6-9


Author: Magdalena Łach