SOURCE: Water Design-Build Council

Water Design-Build Council

August 26, 2009 17:15 ET

Design-Build Projects for Water and Wastewater Are Completed on or Below the Contract Price Twice as Often as Design-Bid-Build Projects and Are Completed Ahead of or on Schedule More Often

University Study Provides Performance Data for Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build Project Delivery for Public Water and Wastewater Facilities

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - August 26, 2009) - Ewire -- New survey results show that design-build projects for water and wastewater have a shorter duration for design and construction than design-bid-build projects and come in ahead of or on schedule more often than design-bid-build projects. Additionally, design-build projects are delivered at, or below, the owner's budget almost twice as often. Most importantly, these efficiencies are realized with no significant difference in quality. These findings come from a new study performed by a consortium of universities commissioned by the Water Design-Build Council.

Municipal agencies utilize a variety of project delivery methods to build or upgrade their water and wastewater infrastructure. The traditional delivery method is design-bid-build, but changes in procurement laws and the successes of alternative delivery methods are leading owners to choose other methods more often, including design-build. The public depends on these facilities, and utility owners have a responsibility to deliver facilities that excel in terms of cost, schedule, and quality.

Professors Susan Bogus Halter of the University of New Mexico, Keith Molenaar of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Jennifer Shane of Iowa State University were the main researchers for the one-year comparative evaluation. The team collected data on 100 projects (31 design-build and 69 design-bid-build) completed since January 2003, each with total project costs of at least $3 million.

The conclusions from this study of water and wastewater projects are consistent with similar studies performed for building projects and transportation projects. In the previous studies, projects completed using design-build were found to save both time and money compared to projects completed using design-bid-build.

A summary report is available as a free download for visitors to the Water Design-Build Council's website at

For more information about the Water Design-Build Council, please visit or contact Sarah Chittenden at 202 833 1950 ext. 4 or by email at

About the Water Design-Build Council

The Water Design-Build Council is a not-for-profit organization seeking to advance the development and rehabilitation of the nation's municipal water and wastewater systems through the use of the design-build method of project delivery. This process integrates both the design and construction phases to optimize innovation, speed, quality control, and single-point accountability. The WDBC's mission is to promote the best design-build practices to facilitate productive and collaborative relationships between service providers and local governments.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Sarah Chittenden
    Water Design-Build Council
    Phone: 202-833-1950, ext. 4
    Email Contact