Institute revises Federal Acquisition Regulation, Design-Build references

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The Design-Build Institute of America has updated its Design-Build Done Right Federal Sector Best Practices, offering a comprehensive guide for teams navigating the intricacies of federal project delivery. Understanding the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and adhering to the right practices can be the key to a successful design-build project, DBIA contends, and the revised Best Practices document provides such guidance. The new version is based on the recently updated Universal Best Practices, pacing the growth and evolution of the design-build project delivery method. 

The guidance is firmly grounded in FAR, Office of Management and Budget and Office of Federal Procurement Policy documents. More than theoretical ideals, DBIA notes, they are actionable steps that can be applied to federal projects. In essence, the best practices act as a roadmap, guiding project teams through the complexities of federal project delivery. One core concept is the role of each member of the Acquisition Team. According to FAR 1.102(d), every team member is expected to exercise personal initiative and sound business judgment to provide the best value product or service that meets the customer’s needs. This philosophy places a strong emphasis on collaborative decision-making and striving for excellence at every stage of the project.

The Federal Sector Design-Build Done Right update was led by a dedicated workgroup under the DBIA Federal Markets Committee, comprising current and former senior executives with decades of experience in leading federal agencies’ design-build programs. The group actively sought input and comments from agencies across the federal sector and diverse organizations working within the federal arena, covering various disciplines such as contracting professionals, builders, specialty subcontractors, professional architects and engineers, technical representatives and attorneys. Their collaborative revision process was designed to provide essential tools to design-build teams, increasing the likelihood of a successful project that not only meets the federal regulations but also the expectations of all stakeholders involved. 

Released concurrent with the Federal Sector guidance, the new DBIA Project Delivery Primer provides owners information regarding contract structure and terms. Authors combine previous DBIA resources, What is Design-Build? and Choosing a Project Delivery Method, to reflect changes in building and infrastructure work, chiefly the growth of design-build and decline of the traditional design/bid/build method. An owner’s delivery method decision drives how all other parties are brought into and engaged in the project, DBIA observes, necessitating clear steps for planning, design and construction to ensure team members are on the same page throughout a schedule. 

The Project Delivery Primer a) outlines the relationship between key factors of a Strategic Acquisition Plan, including project delivery system, procurement method and contract format; b) describes the relationships between and responsibilities of the parties involved in a project; and, c) compares and contrasts design-build, construction management at risk and design/bid/build delivery methods.