Design-Build Effects on a Construction Company: A Case Study

James Ernzen, Cliff Schexnayder, Gwen Flora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A comparative study of the design-build and non-design-build project delivery experiences of one construction company was conducted to measure the advantages and disadvantages of both delivery methods. Five categories - business practices, employee satisfaction, safety, labor costs, and profit margins - were selected for study. The categories gave a broad analysis of the effect each project delivery method had on the construction project team. The business practice review revealed four categories of importance in design-build practices: team member roles and relationships, risks, strategies, and owner relationships. The employee survey targeted the contractor's field-level management and consisted of seven open-ended questions. The respondents were consistently optimistic about design-build practices within the company. The contractor's design-build and non-design-build safety records, from 1991 through 1997, were compared. The results indicated that the design-build projects experienced more minor accidents but fewer major accidents. Labor reports from two similar highway projects, one design-build and one design-bid-build, were compared. The design-build project had lower labor costs but increased quantity and cost variability. The profit margin analysis revealed that design-build project average profit margin was 3.5 percent greater than non-design-build.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1654
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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