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Washington, D.C. — Design-build used to be considered an “alternative” way to build. New research shows it’s now the fastest-growing and most popular method of delivering construction projects in America.

Industry analysts at FMI completed a comprehensive assessment of the nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater construction market. This research details how design-build is, literally, changing the way America builds.

“This research is incredibly important as design-build transitions from what used to be considered an ‘alternative delivery’ process, not so many years ago, to the preferred delivery method for a growing number of public and private owners. Collaboration and innovation are delivering better projects that also achieve cost and schedule savings, which is especially important as cash-strapped states and communities have to do more with less,” said Lisa Washington, DBIA Executive Director/CEO.

Data shows design-build is helping deliver vital infrastructure in all sectors and regions of the United States. Respondents report saving time and money, while more innovation and collaboration delivers better projects and leads to high design-build satisfaction and increased usage.

Here are highlights from the FMI Design-Build Market research:

  • Overall, design-build is anticipated to account for 44 percent of construction spending in the assessed segments (nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater) delivering $1.2 trillion in construction put in place by 2021.
  • Design-build spending is anticipated to grow 18 percent overall, with the highway/street and water/wastewater sectors seeing 30 percent growth by 2021.
  • Design-build spending in Manufacturing (16 percent), Highway/Street (14 percent) and Educational (15 percent) represent the greatest percentage of design-build construction spending by segment over the 2018-2021 period.
  • Experience with design-build was rated highest across all project delivery methods with 76 percent reporting very good and excellent experiences.
  • Opportunities to innovate and the ability to fast track a project were identified as top benefits associated with design-build.
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