Design-Build

Overview

Design-build is one of the hottest trends in the construction industry, popular for the way it streamlines project delivery through a single contract between the project owner and a unified team providing design and construction services. Several construction industry publications have predicted that, if current trends hold, design-build will be the majority project delivery method before the end of this decade.

Yet despite the growing use of design-build contracts, few construction industry professionals — and particularly construction lawyers — truly understand, and have experience dealing with, the business and legal issues that arise from them.

We have this knowledge and experience. We have been involved in design-build projects of all sizes, from representing the City of Chicago in the planned $1 billion expansion of O’Hare Airport, to representing design-builders and owners in single-family residential renovation projects.

We are also leaders in approaching design-build from a theoretical standpoint. Mark C. Friedlander, a founding partner of the firm’s Construction Law Group, has written extensively about design-build issues, particularly from the point of view of design professionals. An adjunct professor in the Architecture School at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he has developed a new business structure for design-build projects in which the design professional leads the design-build team.

Mark's lectures from the Professional Practice class that he taught for many years at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago have received national acclaim and been downloaded hundreds of times by architecture students and practicing architects. His analysis of the AIA contract documents has been described as the “go-to source material” for the documents portion of the Architectural Registration Exam. These lectures can be found under the “UIC Graduate School of Architecture” tab below and are available for download and use without any charge.

  • Designer-Led Design-Build

    A/E-Led Integrated Project Delivery (.pdf - 465 KB)
    This webinar clears away the confusion surrounding IPD and explains the essence of how and why it works.

    Advantages of Integrated Project Delivery (.pdf - 80 KB)
    This presentation provides a fairly comprehensive list of the advantages of integrated project delivery for the owner, architect and contractor.

    Architect-led Design-Build: Return of the Master Builder
    This presentation given at the American Institute of Architects 2007 Convention, instructs architects on:

    • Creating and establishing a feasible, profitable, and personally rewarding business structure, reverting to the architect's traditional role of master builder
    • Bifurcating design-build practices into separate design and construction companies that reduce overall liabilities to less than what architects presently incur in traditional practice

    Structuring and organizing an effective design-build team with contractors to perform the construction for your projects using your newly developed design-build capacity to market and sell your services more effectively

    Architect-led Design-Build: A Practical Business Plan (Paper)
    This article outlines the benefits of using an architect-led design-build business model. The presentation instructs architects on how to structure their businesses to contract directly with owners as the prime member of a design-build team, subcontracting the actual construction to a general contractor teammate. (From The American Institute of Architects 2007 Convention)

    Architect-led Design-Build: A Practical Business Plan (Podcast)
    Part One (.mp3 - 26.6 MB)
    Part Two (.mp3 - 17.1 MB)
    This podcast outlines the benefits of using an architect-led design-build business model. The presentation instructs architects on how to structure their businesses to contract directly with owners as the prime member of a design-build team, subcontracting the actual construction to a general contractor teammate. (From The American Institute of Architects 2007 Convention)

    Architect-led Design-Build: A Practical Business Plan (.pdf - 107 KB)
    This page includes the written description of the Podcast. (From The American Institute of Architects 2007 Convention)

    Architect-led Design-Build: Return of the Master Builder
    This presentation was given at the The American Institute of Architects 2006 Convention and Design Exposition.

    Design-Build Options for Public Projects
    This presentation accompanied a video lecture, sponsored by a Michigan engineering firm, that I gave simultaneously to several Michigan municipalities on the subject of how design-build methods of project delivery would solve or prevent many of the problems with public construction about which municipal officials complain. It also describes a variation of designer-led design-build which complies with most jurisdictions' public procurement laws.

    A New Solution for Public Construction Projects: Sequential Designer-Led Design-Build
    A groundbreaking article recommending use of designer-led design-build in the public sector, which includes a 50-state survey of public procurement laws impacting design-build.

    A Blueprint for Designer-Led Design-Build
    An article/editorial solicited by Engineering News Record describing in general terms the need for designer-led design-build and how to implement it.

    Designer-Led Design-Build: Overview
    This article provides a good overview of the designer-led design-build process.

    Designer-Led Design-Build: Advantages, Risks and Limitations
    This is an article for architects and engineers who are considering adopting a business plan which would allow them to lead design-build teams with a general contractor as their 100% subcontractor for construction. The article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of such a delivery system from the A/E's standpoint and concludes that there are significant reasons to adopt such an approach in appropriate circumstances.

    Designer-Led Design-Build: Overcoming the Obstacles
    An article for Dateline, the newsletter published by the Design-Build Institute of America, that focuses on the commonly perceived problems with and obstacles to designer-led design build and how to overcome them.

    Designer-Led Design-Build: Frequently Asked Questions
    This article is a typical frequently asked questions list focusing on designer-led design-build where the architect or engineer teams with a general contractor.

    Engineer-Led Design-Build: A Practical Business Plan for Engineers to Lead Design-Build Teams
    This was an article submitted for a monograph series published by The American Consulting Engineers Council which describes a business plan for engineers to lead design-build teams.

    Speak Out — Design-Build Provides an Opportunity for Architects to Return to the Status of Master Builders
    This is an article/editorial published in the "Dialogue" section of Architectural Record in which I advocate that architects embrace design-build methods of project delivery as the leader of the design-build team.

    Build What You Design: A New/Old Approach to Architecture and Construction
    This presentation accompanied a lecture that I gave at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture on March 10, 2004, which discussed the pro's and con's of design-build project delivery methods with the architect as the prime member of the design-build team and a general contractor as its 100% subcontractor for construction. It also discusses a step-by-step approach for an architect to develop design-build capacity and to transition into design-build from a project that is initially being performed in a traditional manner.

  • Design-Build: Legal Issues

    A New Solution for Public Construction Projects: Sequential Designer-Led Design-Build
    A groundbreaking article recommending use of designer-led design-build in the public sector, which includes a 50-state survey of public procurement laws impacting design-build.

    Advantages of Integrated Project Delivery
    This presentation provides a fairly comprehensive list of the advantages of integrated project delivery for the owner, architect and contractor.

    A Primer on Industrial Design-Build Construction Contracts
    This article published in the April 1994 edition of The Construction Lawyer, explains the basics of EPC (Engineer-Procure-Construct) contracts to lawyers who are familiar with construction but not specifically with design-build in an industrial context.

    Legal Issues Unique to Design-Build
    An article for Dateline, the newsletter published by the Design-Build Institute of America, intended to remove some of the mystery surrounding the law of design build by identifying the legal areas in which it differs from traditional design-bid-build construction.

    The Law and Business of Design-Build
    This presentation accompanied a national lecture series, sponsored by a major construction publisher, that I gave in six cities. It assumes that the viewer/attendee was an experienced construction professional, knowledgeable about traditional project delivery methods, but unsure about the differences between traditional methods and design-build. The lecture and its PowerPoint accompaniment identified seven legal/business issues in which there were significant differences between traditional and design-build methods of project delivery.

    This file should be viewed in conjunction with the paper titled Legal Issues Unique to Design-Build available elsewhere on this page.

    Design-Build Options for Public Projects
    This presentation accompanied a video lecture, sponsored by a Michigan engineering firm, that I gave simultaneously to several Michigan municipalities on the subject of how design-build methods of project delivery would solve or prevent many of the problems with public construction about which municipal officials complain. It also describes a variation of designer-led design-build which complies with most jurisdictions' public procurement laws.

    Checklist of Recommended Contractual Provisions for Design-Builders
    An outline from the design-builder's perspective of the issues that should be included in a complete design build contract.

    Design-Build Update
    A newsletter from Schiff Hardin's Construction Law Group regarding recent developments in the law of design-build construction.

    Design-Build — The Single Entity Option
    An article published in Independent Energy magazine describing the advantages and disadvantages of design-build methods of project delivery for power plant construction.

    Design-Build — Legal Obstacles and Solutions
    This is an article published in the Journal of Management and Engineering that describes the differences between design-build and traditional project delivery methods.

    Don't Proceed Too Fast For Conditions
    This is a description of the Marshall Contractors, Inc. v. Brown University case where the Supreme Court of Rhode Island was faced with the problem of deciding what the parties' contract was when the design-build project proceeded more quickly than the contract negotiations.

  • Teaming Agreements

    Design-Build Teaming Agreements
    This article describes what questions to ask and issues to consider when working with a contractor on a design-build team.

    Risk Allocation in Design-Build Construction Projects
    The purpose of this paper is to discuss, in a theoretical framework, how risk allocation in design-build projects differs from risk allocation in more traditional construction projects.

    Issues for Design-Build Teaming Agreements
    This presentation is an adjunct to a service that I frequently provide to design professionals and contractors who are contemplating forming a team for a design-build project. I often work with the team members behind the scenes to identify the business and legal issues that they need to resolve between themselves in order to draft and negotiate a teaming agreement.

    Checklist for Design-Build Teams
    This is an article published in Contractor Marketing Magazine which consists of a list of issues and topics that contractors should be sure to discuss with a potential design professional teammate before entering into a teaming agreement for a design-build project.

  • Construction Law: A/E Issues

    Critical Issues to Consider (.pdf - 207 KB)
    This webinar focuses on risk management.

    Contract Review (.pdf - 122 KB)
    This webinar focuses on negotiating professional agreements.

    The Practice Toolkit (.pdf - 148 KB)
    This webinar focuses on forming or reshaping your practice.

    The 2007 AIA Documents: New Forms, New Issues, New Strategies —
    A Practical Guide to New and Controversial Issues in AIA B101 — 2007

    A paper delivered to the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry January 31, 2008 which describes in detail and analyzes the changes in and other carryover problems with the new AIA B101-2007 Owner-Architect contract, including appendices with important supplemental provisions for both owners and architects.

    Responsibilities And Liabilities Of Architects And Engineers For Construction Failures
    Construction Litigation, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (September 2006)

    The Impact of Moorman and its Progeny on Construction Litigation
    This is an article published in the Illinois Bar Journal and is the second of three articles that discusses the economic loss rule in Illinois as it applies to claims against design professionals.

    The Indemnity Dilemma
    This is an article published in Focus Magazine describing the difficulties facing architects and engineers in Illinois who try to obtain indemnity in their contracts from their clients or from contractors in light of Illinois legislation barring a party from seeking indemnity for its own negligence. It also discusses the exclusion in general liability policies that permits insurers to avoid covering claims for malpractice against design professionals.

    Starting Your Own Practice
    This is an article for Consulting Specifying Engineer written for engineers who are employees of other companies who are interested in going into business for themselves. It is written in typical FAQ format raising the most commonly asked questions that engineers typically pose to their lawyers.

    Design Professional's Rights and Remedies When Owner Breaches Contract
    (Chapter 24 of Design Professional's Handbook of Business and Law) A chapter containing advice for architect and engineers (and contractors) on how to maximize their chances of collecting their fees from potentially recalcitrant clients, including recommended contract provisions and post-dispute tactics.

  • Construction Law: Other Issues

    Construction Project Delivery Systems — What They Really Mean, and How They Really Work
    A powerpoint presentation to contractors, design professionals, and other members of the construction industry explaining and comparing the various ways to structure a construction project, and identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    The 2007 AIA Owner-Architect Agreements
    A powerpoint presentation used in a webinar sponsored by Hobbs/AVA Insurance to educate architects and other members of the construction industry on the changes made in the 2007 edition of the AIA documents.

    Arbitrator-Directed Arbitration: A Different Approach to ADR
    A new and radical proposal to return binding arbitration to its original goals of speed and efficiency by transferring much of the control of the evidenciary process from the attorneys to the arbitrator.

    The Waiver of Consequential Damages in the A201 General Conditions
    This article analyzes the mutual waiver of consequential damages provision found in AIA Document A201-1997 (and also in the 2007 edition), describing its origins, philosophy and potentially troublesome results in construction disputes.

    Contractors' Construction Warranties
    An article published in the December 1994 issue of Construction Briefings which surveys virtually all of the warranties which may be made by a construction contractor or a design-builder during the course of a project, written for construction industry professionals as well as lawyers.

    Law and Practice: Contractor Marketing — Penalty Clauses
    This is an article published in Contractor Marketing Magazine that addresses the legal consequences and misconceptions concerning contract clauses specifying liquidated damages — sometimes misnamed "penalty clauses."

    Questioning Project Web Sites
    This is an article for Consulting Specifying Engineer on the growing phenomenon of project Web sites which identifies and raises potential legal concerns over how project Web sites will affect the application of traditional rules of construction law.

    Design Professional's Rights and Remedies When Owner Breaches Contract
    (Chapter 24 of Design Professional's Handbook of Business and Law) A chapter containing advice for architect and engineers (and contractors) on how to maximize their chances of collecting their fees from potentially recalcitrant clients, including recommended contract provisions and post-dispute tactics.

  • UIC Graduate School of Architecture