Design/Build Contract

  • Design/build is a method of project delivery in which the district contracts with a single entity to take responsibility for both the design and construction of a project. All design (including construction drawings) is done by a single entity, the design/build contractor.

    Districts should adopt general criteria to be used to determine which projects will be delivered using the design/build method. In accordance with the Texas Education Code, the district must publish in the request for bids, proposals, or qualifications for construction services the criteria that will be used to evaluate the offerors and relative weights given to the criteria. Additional criteria that may be used to determine when to use design/build include:

    • Time onstraints for delivery of the project

    • Capability and experience of potential teams with the design/build process

    • Suitability of the project for the use of the design/building process

    • Capability of the district to manage the project, including personnel to oversee the project who are familiar with the design/build process

    Districts should develop formal and documented guidelines and procedures for obtaining qualifications, evaluation, ranking and award of contracts for selecting design/build entities and for managing design/build projects. Formal documented and adopted procedures will allow the public and the design and construction communities to comment on the procedures and will assure that fair, uniform and effective procedures are followed.

    Design/build is an alternative to other competitive procurement options. However, the use of a design/build contract must be through request for qualifications, as described in Section 44.036, Texas Education Code, for selection of the vendor to provide the facility and/or financing. Districts should consider contracting with a separate construction manager to supervise design/build activities in light of the complexity of monitoring a design/build project.

    The goal of all procurement methods is to provide the best value to the district. Consequently, design/build should be carefully selected and monitored to ensure that the district receives the highest quality products and services at a fair value.

    Note: There are several legal considerations concerning the use of design/build contracts. See Texas Attorney General Opinion JC-0037 (1999).