The most noteworthy and heavily discussed trend in the construction industry over the last several years has been the meteoric growth of design-build project delivery methods. Projecting current tends, several construction industry publications have predicted that design-build will be the majority project delivery method before the end of this decade.

Yet, despite its increased popularity, it is astonishing how few construction industry professionals, and particularly construction lawyers, truly understand and are experienced in the business and legal issues that arise from design-build.

I have been involved in design-build projects of all sizes: from representing the City of Chicago in the planned $1 billon design-build expansion of O'Hare Airport, to representing design-builders and owners in single-family design-build renovation projects.

As an adjunct professor in the Architecture School at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I have analyzed and written about design-build from a theoretical standpoint, particularly from the point of view of the design professional. Collected on this Web site are some of the more interesting and useful materials that I have written or published about potential design-build construction.

In particular, I have created a detailed, step-by-step business plan for design professionals who desire to become design-builders, leading the design-build team. As far as I know, it is the only business plan of its kind in existence for designer-led design-build, and it works as well for smaller firms that specialize in single-family residential projects as for multi-national architecture and engineering firms.

I encourage your comments and feedback.

    Mark C. Friedlander
    Schiff Hardin LLP
    233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 6600
    Chicago, IL 60606-6473
    t 312.258.5546
    f 312.258.5600
    mfriedlander@schiffhardin.com

* I have had the good fortune of winning two number 1 rankings by lawyer evaluation groups this year. US News/Best Lawyers ranked my Construction Law Group here at Schiff Hardin LLP the number one construction litigation group in the country. And I was personally ranked the number one construction lawyer in the Chicago area by Leadings Lawyers Network of Illinois, which is affiliated with the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Gratifying as these accolades are, I fully realize that these rankings are not scientific and that all of the "top tier" construction lawyers and practice groups are more or less equally talented and capable. Still, the rankings are the product of comments and opinions from our peers, and I am grateful that they thought highly enough of my practice group and me to have given the ranking agencies such positive feedback.

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