Design Bid Vs. Design Build


How do you get your construction project from the idea stage to the move-in stage of your new facility? There are a few ways to handle this process, and they are called delivery methods. There are two main delivery methods, and two less commonly used methods. The two most commonly used delivery methods are Design-Bid (also called Design-Bid-Build) and Design-Build.


The traditional U.S. project delivery method typically involves three sequential project phases: The design phase, in which the owner contracts with a designer or architect who will be the “designer of record” for the project; the bid phase, when a contractor is selected; and a build or construction phase, when the owner contracts with a general contractor. This sequence usually leads to a sealed bid, fixed-price contract.

Things to consider:

• This traditional method is well understood, and has established and clearly defined roles for the parties involved.

• The owner has a significant amount of responsibility for the success or failure of the end product, particularly since the facility’s features are fully determined and specified prior to selection of the contractor. In other words, the owner “owns” the details of the design.

• The contractor works directly for the owner. The designer works directly for the owner.

• The process has a longer duration when compared to other delivery methods since all design work must be completed prior to solicitation of the construction bids.

• Construction cannot not begin until the design phase is complete.

• There is no opportunity for collaboration during the design phase.

• The absence of construction input into the project design phase may limit the cost effectiveness and constructability of the design. Important design decisions affecting the types of materials specified and the means and methods of construction may be made without appropriate consideration from a construction or price perspective.

• There is no contractual relationship between the contractor and the designer.

• The owner generally faces exposure to contractor change orders and claims over design and constructability issues since the owner accepts liability for design in its contract with the contractor.

• Change orders: owner is liable for any “gaps” between the plans and specs.

• This approach may promote adversarial relationships rather than cooperation and coordination among the contractor, the designer and the owner.

In the Design-Bid delivery method, you as the owner, will be negotiating and executing two contracts. One to design your project, and one to construct it. This is simple fact illustrates the disconnect between the design of the project and its actual construction.


This integrated method of project delivery includes one entity – design-builder – and a single contract with the owner to provide both architectural/engineering design services and construction. This is an integrated process that overlaps design and construction. This approach is also called “Fast Track”.

There are two prime players: the owner and the Design-Build entity. One contract is executed – owner to design-builder with single point of responsibility. The Design-Build Entity can take on many forms including: Integrated design-build firm; contractor led; designer led; joint venture; or developer led. The most common form for the Design-Build entity is the contractor-led, as seen here at Peoples Construction. Integrated firms do not exist in Mississippi because of prohibition in the State Board of Architecture member rules. Designer led and developer led entities are rare.

The design-builder is solely responsible to design and construct the project to meet the performance standards set forth by the owner. The owner has a single contract to execute, a single point of contact, and a single source of responsibility for the entire project’s design and construction.

This streamlined approach to the construction process, and more focused accountability on the construction entity from beginning to end, is the driving force behind the sharp rise in Design-Build construction that has taken place in the industry in recent years.

Things to consider:

• Cost efficiencies can be achieved since the contractor and designer are working together throughout the entire process. This results in:

· Fewer changes, fewer claims and less litigation;

· Earlier knowledge of firm costs; and

· Change orders typically being limited to owner changes.

• Design-Build can deliver a project more quickly than conventional Design-Bid.

• The owner can, and should, specify performance requirements in lieu of prescriptive specifications.

• Project coordination is enhanced.

• Project claims are reduced.

• Project costs are reduced.

• Design-Build team qualifications are essential for project success; the owner must be willing to place a heavy emphasis on the qualifications portion of the selection process. This is why Peoples Construction ensures that our qualifications and training are always current and up-to-date with the top standards in our industry.

Peoples Construction is a general contractor that does commercial projects mainly in the Jackson Mississippi metro area. We are a 50 year, third generation company that specializes in medium sized projects built with the Design Build delivery method. With this method, Peoples Construction can work with a client from the very beginning, taking their ideas and give them a finished product with the execution of only one contract for all facets of the design and the construction. This is the quickest and most cost effective way to build a new commercial building.


We serve the central Mississippi region and beyond, including Jackson, Ridgeland, Gluckstadt, Flowood, Pearl, Brandon, Richland, Florence, Byram, Clinton, Madison, Hinds County, Madison County & Rankin County.

Peoples Construction & Builder/Contractor Jackson Mississippi

3913 Underwood Drive,

Flowood, MS 39232

Phone. 601-932-1111