Determining the optimal proportion of design in design-build request for proposals (RFPs)

Xia, Bo, Molenaar, Keith, Chan, Albert, Skitmore, Martin, & Zuo, Jian (2013) Determining the optimal proportion of design in design-build request for proposals (RFPs). Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(6), pp. 620-627.

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The design-build (DB) system is a popular and effective delivery method of construction projects worldwide. After owners decide to procure their projects through the DB system, they may wish to determine the optimal proportion of design to be provided in the DB request for proposals (RFPs), which serve as solicitations for design-builders and describe the scope of work. However, this presents difficulties to DB owners and there is little, if any, systematic research in this area.

This paper reports on an empirical study in the USA entailing both an online questionnaire survey and Delphi survey to identify and evaluate the factors influencing owners’ decisions in determining the proportion of design to include in DB RFPs.

Eleven factors are identified, i.e.

(1) clarity of project scope; (2) applicability of performance specifications; (3) desire for design innovation; (4) site constraints; (5) availability of competent design-builders; (6) project control requirements; (7) user group involvement level; (8) third party requirements; (9) owner experience with DB; (10) project complexity; and (11) schedule constraints.

A statistically significant agreement on the eleven factors was also obtained from the (mainly non-owner) Delphi experts. Although some of the experts hold different opinions on how these factors affect the proportion of design, these findings furnish various stakeholders with a better understanding of the delivery process of DB projects and the appropriate provision of project information in DB RFPs. As the result is mainly industry opinion concerning the optimal proportion of design, in addition and for completeness, future studies should be conducted to obtain a big picture of the optimal proportion of design by means of seeking owners’ inputs.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 51564
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: design and build, proportion of design, request for proposals, Delphi method
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000643
ISSN: 0733-9364
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2012 23:30
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2017 07:39

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