The Benefits of Design-Build

The design-build project delivery method differs from the traditional design-bid-build delivery method in that it involves one contract between a design-build team and the project owner rather than two separate contracts between the project owner and a contractor and the project owner and a designer. This method streamlines the process, unifying the designer and contractor to enhance their collaboration and prevent conflicts.

Design-build is still in its nascent stages in New York, where agencies are beginning to recognize the benefits of this increasingly popular delivery method, which include more innovative designs, accelerated project delivery, lower project cost, and fewer change orders. ACEC New York endorses the design-build delivery method under the condition that it is a two-step procedure, “a process that best protects the interests of the owner, design professional, contractor, and the public.” This process requires a New York State registered and licensed design firm, independent of the project owner and teamed with an equally qualified contractor, be selected based on qualifications and experience during a two-phase Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) process with transparent selection criteria.

An example of one such design-build project is NYSDOT’s D900034 Region 8 Design-Build Project in Ulster County, for which the KC Team was shortlisted in the RFQ stage and subsequently selected as the most qualified in the final RFP stage, with a perfect technical score. This design-build project involves the full replacement of two bridges: BIN 1040750 NYS Route 209 (3-span continuous steel girder bridge with a total span of 402 feet) over Rochester Creek and BIN 1019700 NYS Route 28 (7-span continuous steel girder bridge with a total span of 994 feet) over Esopus Creek.

As Lead Designer, KC is performing the structural design of the two structures, including the three-span continuous multi-steel superstructure and seven-span continuous multi-steel superstructure, staged construction and work zone traffic control, geotechnical work, and hydraulic analysis. Because of our well-integrated team and fast-tracked design during the RFP stage, we were able to deliver an innovative solution that reduced the overall bridge span length while maintaining full structural stability and adhering to all applicable codes and regulations.

KC is thrilled to help pioneer design-build projects in our backyard, and we look forward to playing a key role in future projects as New York joins this growing trend in the design and construction industry.