An Owner’s Primer to Design-Build Best Value Selection

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   April 21, 2017
An Owner’s Primer to Design-Build Best Value Selection

Owners who are new to Design-Build (D/B) project delivery will need to adjust from the former Design-Bid-Build strategy of hiring segregated services. D/B offers advantages in hiring one integrated services team, using a procurement method that focuses heavily on the qualifications of key team members instead of just price.

One method of selecting a D/B team is Best Value Selection (BVS), with the first step focusing on team qualifications and concludes in shortlisted teams, and the second step concentrating on the proposal and leads to Contract Award.

In preparation for the two phases of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) the Owner must do careful homework and develop a clear project description in functional terms, define the operational/quality requirements in performance terms, and outline the performance/acceptance tests required to demonstrate quality level.

Step One: For the Owner, the RFQ process should evaluate and rank the D/B proposers’ qualifications. Typical evaluation criteria of the Statements of Qualifications include:

  • Team’s past performance record of on-budget and on-schedule projects
  • Experience and expertise of firms
  • Experience and expertise of key individuals
  • Organizational structure and management capabilities
  • Experience in the relevant building type(s)
  • Design-Build experience
  • Team dynamics

This process narrows the field so the Owner can develop a shortlist of three D/B teams which advance to the RFP.

Step Two: The RFP process focuses on performance-based requirements. While price may be a factor in the competition, it should not be the dominant factor. The Owner may offer stipends to encourage participation in this process.

The typical evaluation criteria include:

  • Team confidential meeting(s)
  • Team interview
  • Architectural image/character
  • Technical innovation, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency
  • Functional efficiency and flexibility
  • Operation and maintenance cost
  • Cost/value comparison
  • Completion schedule

The evaluation of step two leads to the Owner’s ranking of the shortlisted teams to identify the winning D/B team.

Further information is available at Design-Build Institute of America: