Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Demystifying Progressive Design Build: Implementation Issues and Lessons Learned through Case Study Analysis

Shang, Luming; Migliaccio, Giovanni C. (2020). Demystifying Progressive Design Build: Implementation Issues and Lessons Learned through Case Study Analysis. Organization Technology And Management In Construction, 12(1), 2095 – 2108.

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The design-build (DB) project delivery method has been used for several decades in the US construction market. DB contracts are usually awarded on the basis of a multicriteria evaluation, with price as one of the most salient criteria. To ensure the project's success, an owner usually has to invest enough time and effort during scoping and early design to define a program, scope, and budget, ready for procurement and price generation. However, this process can become a burden for the owner and may lengthen the project development duration. As an alternative to the traditional DB, the progressive design-build (PDB) approach permits the selection of the DB team prior to defining the project program and/or budget. PDB has the advantage of maintaining a single point of accountability and allowing team selection based mainly on qualifications, with a limited consideration of price. Under PDB, the selected team works with the project stakeholders during the early design stage, while helping the owner balance scope and budget. However, the key to the effectiveness of PDB is its provision for the ongoing and complete involvement of the owner in the early design phase. Due to the differences between PDB and the other project delivery methods (e.g., traditional DB), project teams must carefully consider several factors to ensure its successful implementation. The research team conducted a case study of the University of Washington's pilot PDB project to complete the West Campus Utility Plant (WCUP). This paper carefully explores and summarizes the project's entire delivery process (e.g., planning, solicitation, design, and construction), its organizational structures, and the project performance outcomes. The lessons learned from the WCUP project will contribute to best practices for future PDB implementation.


Progressive Design Build; Project Delivery Method