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February  2016
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  Wood & Lumber  

Meet the Expert: James Keller,
President of Armstrong Builders LLC.

The Merits of Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

By: James Keller (Armstrong Builders LLC), President of Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA)

Both Design-Build (DB) and Design-Bid-Build (DBB; often referred to as the "Traditional Method" of building) have strong positives when applied to the right project. If a client needs guidance on which is right for their project, here are some things to consider:
  • The client’s technical ability for building and their capacity to manage the design and building process.
  • Project drivers such as money, time, and project goals. Sensitivity to these influences, especially cost and schedule escalations, could determine how to build the project.
  • Ownership; some laws and regulations require you to use either DB or DBB.
  • Degree of comfort bearing risk, for both you and the client.
Although most clients will know what DBB is, there are a multitude of factors that can help determine if DB would suit them more:

Click to view larger chart

Both DB and DBB have their merits. A high level of trust and collaboration must exist to make the Design-Build process work effectively, and is best when the DB entity has a proven track record over time. Building the right team up front can save time and money over the life of the project.


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