What is Progressive Design-Build?

By AIA Contract Documents

March 20, 2024

In the world of construction and infrastructure development, innovative approaches constantly emerge to streamline processes, enhance collaboration, and deliver projects efficiently. One such approach gaining traction is Progressive Design-Build (PDB). PDB represents a departure from traditional construction methods, offering a dynamic and collaborative framework that promotes innovation and flexibility throughout the project lifecycle.

Progressive Design-Build combines elements of both design-build and the traditional design-bid-build approach. Unlike the traditional design-build model, where the owner contracts with a single entity responsible for both design and construction, Progressive Design-Build fosters a phased approach, allowing for greater collaboration and adaptability.

At its core, Progressive Design-Build is characterized by the following key features:

  1. Early Collaboration: Unlike traditional procurement methods where the design team is engaged after the procurement phase, PDB encourages early collaboration between the owner, design team, and builder. This early involvement enables stakeholders to collectively establish project goals, identify challenges, and explore innovative solutions from the outset.
  2. Flexibility and Iterative Design: Progressive Design-Build embraces flexibility and iterative design processes. Rather than finalizing all design elements upfront, the project evolves through successive phases, allowing for adjustments and refinements based on feedback, emerging requirements, and evolving priorities.
  3. Transparent Communication: Effective communication is essential in Progressive Design-Build projects. Open lines of communication among all stakeholders foster trust, promote transparency, and facilitate informed decision-making throughout the project lifecycle. Regular meetings, workshops, and collaborative tools help ensure alignment and minimize misunderstandings.
  4. Risk Allocation and Management: In Progressive Design-Build, risks are allocated and managed collaboratively among the owner, design team, and builder. By sharing risks and rewards, stakeholders are incentivized to work together towards shared project objectives. This collaborative approach encourages innovation, problem-solving, and value optimization.
  5. Performance-Based Selection: Rather than solely focusing on price, Progressive Design-Build emphasizes qualifications, experience, and performance criteria during the selection process. This enables owners to prioritize selecting teams based on their capabilities, track record, and alignment with project goals, fostering long-term partnerships and project success.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Progressive Design-Build promotes a culture of continuous improvement and learning. Lessons learned from previous projects are incorporated into future endeavors, driving innovation, efficiency, and excellence in project delivery.

In summary, Progressive Design-Build represents a paradigm shift in project delivery, emphasizing collaboration, flexibility, and innovation. By fostering early engagement, transparent communication, and shared risk, PDB enables stakeholders to collectively navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and deliver exceptional outcomes. As the construction industry continues to evolve, Progressive Design-Build stands out as a promising approach to meet the complex demands of modern infrastructure projects.

View this free AIA Contract Documents webinar to learn more: The Progressive Design-Build Delivery Method

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AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.