The Rise of Design-Build Contractors in Public Works Projects

In recent times, local agencies in California have witnessed a significant uptick in the adoption of design-build projects. This shift is lauded for its flexibility, particularly when compared to conventional low bid contracts, as design build contractors bring a more adaptable approach to handling complex public works projects. The multifaceted advantages associated with design-build contribute significantly to more efficient project management.

A key highlight, as noted by industry experts, is the accelerated pace of project completion facilitated by design build contractors. Their efficiency fosters a quicker delivery timeline for public works projects, often resulting in lower overall project costs—an important consideration in today’s budget-conscious environment.

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The decrease in change orders and claims further strengthens the case for design-build as a preferred project delivery method.

Another notable aspect is the unique ability of design-build to engage key subcontractors early in the design and pre-construction phases. This early collaboration brings valuable insights, enhancing the final design and promoting a more cohesive and efficient project execution. Such collaboration benefits both contractors and involved agencies.

For those contemplating design-build adoption, a thorough review of statutory authority is crucial. Understanding procedural requirements helps navigate the intricacies of this project delivery method. Additionally, paying close attention to organizational conflicts of interest, especially regarding consultants in the project’s initial stages, is paramount for a successful and conflict-free execution. Design build contractors, with their versatile and collaborative approach, are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for addressing the evolving landscape of public works projects in California.


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