A Guide to Design-Build Construction

Considering using a Design-Build construction team to build your next project, you’ll be glad to know several benefits. These include cost-effectiveness, timeliness, single point of responsibility, and insurance. Learn more about these benefits in this article. Then weigh them against the disadvantages. Finally, don’t forget to check our other design-build construction articles for tips!


The cost-effectiveness of design-build construction was tested by evaluating the average changes in project costs by phase. The researchers looked at the combined results of 69 design-build construction projects. These projects were representative of the broad spectrum of design build contractor Sacramento CA projects. Interestingly, design-build construction generally reduces project costs. For example, the study found that the average change in price between the concept budget and the contract was 42 percent, whereas the average increase in cost during the contract phase was 63 percent.

The survey of six STAs using design-build construction found that the percentage of preliminary design work completed before proposal requests varied significantly. The low bidders will be the best value for the money with the lower rate. Small businesses should be happy with the results of a design-build construction project if it results in better quality construction for the agency. Therefore, this practice should be encouraged.


Using a design-build project has many benefits. It can reduce overall project development time because the design and construction activities are handled simultaneously. It also decreases the risk of design errors, as both phases can be processed simultaneously. While design-build does require more procurement effort and clearly defined oversight requirements than traditional construction projects, it can reduce overall costs and timeframes. A design-builder can also take more responsibility for quality control, which reduces the need for field inspections. A design-build construction approach can result in fewer disputes and a shorter overall project timeline.

Another benefit of design-build is the ability to schedule phases. The design phase can begin while the construction phase is in full swing. This can allow a faster start to construction than if the project were completed simultaneously. This is especially beneficial for projects with accelerated timelines. Timeliness is an essential factor in design-build construction. When a design-build team takes on a large project, they can begin the design phase simultaneously, which saves both parties time and money.

Single-point of responsibility

While a design-build contract may not have much precedent, it is an important concept to understand. While courts have not ruled on this issue in many cases, they are generally not afraid to hold the design-builder liable for failing to perform higher duties. The concept has been evaluated under various theories, including breach of contract, strict liability, and the Uniform Commercial Code. As such, the courts have limited room for defenses and are willing to hold the design-builder accountable for failure to meet its responsibilities.

As a single point of responsibility, a design-build approach ensures that all the different parties involved in the construction process are working towards a common goal. Rather than relying on separate contractors for the design and construction phases, the entire team works together to benefit the project. In addition, a single point of contact between the contractor and designer allows for a collaborative environment. No firm will be left out, and every party will be in the know.


Insurance for design-build construction is often a necessary part of the project delivery process, but it can be tricky to find coverage for these projects. While the traditional approach provides more protection against liability, design-build construction adds extra responsibility for contractors. In addition, while many D/B contracts do not promulgate minimum standards for E&O insurance coverage, they can be much cheaper than the dedicated coverage limits or prepaid tail coverage. 

While there are some differences between policies for homeowners and commercial developers, the key point is that insurance for design-build construction projects is explicitly designed for this type of construction project. However, it is essential to note that policies are different for these types of companies, so if you’re working with one, you should check to ensure that the other party is also covered. In addition, certain general contractors may require their subcontractors to carry insurance, making getting the coverage you need more challenging.