Quantitative methods for design-build team selection

Mounir El Asmar, Wafik Lotfallah, Gary Whited, Awad S. Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The use of design/build (DB) contracting by transportation agencies has been steadily increasing as a project delivery system for large complex highway projects. However, moving to DB from traditional design-bid-build procurement can be a challenge. One significant barrier is gaining acceptance of a best-value selection process in which technical aspects of a proposal are considered separately and then combined with price to determine the winning proposal. These technical aspects mostly consist of qualitative criteria, thus making room for human errors or biases. Any perceived presence of bias or influence in the selection process can lead to public mistrust and protests by bidders. It is important that a rigorous quantitative mathematical analysis of the evaluation process be conducted to determine whether bias exists and to eliminate it. The paper discusses two potential sources of bias-evaluators and weighting model-in the DB selection process and presents mathematical models to detect and remove biases should they exist. A score normalization model deals with biases from the evaluators; then a graphical weight-space volume model and a Monte Carlo statistical sampling model are developed to remove biases from the weighting model. The models are then tested and demonstrated using results from the DB bridge replacement project for the collapsed Mississippi River bridge of Interstate 35W in Minneapolis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-912
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bids
  • Construction industry
  • Design/build
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative methods for design-build team selection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this