Often the benefits of design-build are looked at from the owner’s perspective, since it is the owner who reaps clear advantages from having a single point of responsibility and a firm cost at the outset of a project. But the value engineering and improved timelines associated with design-build can also enhance a contractor’s bottom line. And design-build can also make field work easier, since trouble areas are often spotted early and redesigned before construction even begins.

In July 2014, McGraw Hill Construction published a SmartMarket Report titled “Project Delivery Systems: How They Impact Efficiency and Profitability in the Buildings Sector.” Comparing the industry’s three established delivery systems (design-bid-build, design-build, and construction manager at risk), the report showed that contractors ranked design-build as the best project delivery method in terms of:

  • Client Satisfaction. 43% of contractors surveyed believed design-build to be the best system for improving owner satisfaction.
  • Cost. 38% of contractors felt design-build reduces costs most effectively.
  • Schedule. A full 50% of contractors found design-build to be the best way to reduce the project schedule, and the report showed that owners and architects agreed.

All survey respondents expected to see an increase in use ofv design-build in the near future, with contractors and owners expecting it by a wide margin (68% of contractors and 63% of owners).