Design-build outgrows “alternative delivery” label

Design-build is the fastest growing and most popular method of delivering nonresidential and non-building projects, according to “Design-Build Utilization: Combined Market Study,” prepared by construction-wise management consultant and merger & acquisition specialist FMI. Analysts at the Raleigh, N.C., firm assess the near-term outlook for nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater construction markets, leveraging figures from internal project databases, CMD Reed, Dodge Data & Analytics, U.S. Census Bureau and major associations, plus insights from stakeholder surveys.

MARKET SHARE, 2018-2021

FMI researchers quantify design-build delivery in public and private nonresidential construction, breaking out method utilization rates for a) highway/street, transportation and water/wastewater projects; and, b) commercial, educational, manufacturing, office, health care, lodging, and amusement & recreation buildings.

By 2021, design-build stands to account for 44 percent of construction spending in the three segments, analysts find, equating to $1.2 trillion in construction put in place. Design-build project spending is anticipated to grow 18 percent overall, with the highway/street and water/wastewater sectors seeing 30 percent growth by 2021. Manufacturing (16 percent), Highway/Street (14 percent) and Educational (15 percent) represent the greatest percentage of design-build construction spending by segment over the 2018-2021 period. Experience with design-build rates highest across all project delivery methods, with 76 percent telling FMI researchers of very good and excellent experiences.

“This research is incredibly important as design-build transitions from what used to be considered an ‘alternative delivery’ process, to the preferred delivery method for a growing number of public and private owners,” says Design-Build Institute of America CEO Lisa Washington. “Collaboration and innovation are delivering better projects that also achieve cost and schedule savings, which is especially important as cash-strapped states and communities have to do more with less.”