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Chapter 7: Design-Build Project Delivery Method

This Chapter outlines the procedures for design and construction procurement using the Design-Build project delivery method.

  1. Professional Services
    The procurement process for Technical Consultant services is similar in most respects to the processes followed for professional design services in the Competitive Bid procurement method. See Chapter 6, section I, for detailed requirements, with the below listed modifications.
    1. Professional Services Fee
      1. Process: For Type I projects, professional services fees shall be established before the RFQ is issued according to the Fee Guidelines, see below. For Type II projects, the Project Manager will negotiate fees using reasonable and fair judgment. If the University and the consultant cannot agree, the negotiations will be ended. The Project Manager will justify any fee higher than the maximum listed in the guidelines, and document the extenuating circumstances.
      2. Fee Guidelines: Consultant Fees to prepare Design/Build proposal documents are estimated using the Basic Services curves and then factored for the level of bridging documents required. For example, bridging through Design Development would be factored by 35%. Services for proposal package preparation, responding to questions during the proposal phase, proposal evaluation services, and construction administration support are then added as not to exceed fees estimated based of the level of effort anticipated
    2. Engagement Limitations
      1. A firm acting as a Design-Build Technical Consultant is not eligible to be on any team that submits a Design-Build Statement of Qualifications or Proposal, nor may the Technical Consultant later engage in that project for any team that is selected for or awarded a Design-Build contract.
  2. Pre-proposal Process
    The project pre-proposal process can begin once the Technical Consultant agreement is executed. The University's Project Manager (PM) is the Owner’s Representative during the pre-proposal phase of the project. All instructions and approvals come to the Technical Consultant from the PM. The PM manages the total project budget and requires the consultant to manage the construction budget. The PM will manage internal University approvals and instruct the consultant accordingly.
    1. Meetings and Stakeholders
      1. University projects normally involve many academic, student, and service groups as stakeholders in a project. The PM arranges for and coordinates the Technical Consultant’s contact with these groups.
      2. Campus Facilities Management organizations provide in-house design & construction related services at each campus. The PM will arrange for and coordinate the Technical Consultant’s contact with these groups.
      3. Meeting minutes are kept by the Technical Consultant and reviewed by the PM before issue. Meeting minutes should be issued to all participants within five working days.
    2. Proposal Documents
      1. Programming: See Chapter 4 for information regarding Programming and Planning Studies (PPS). Program verification may be required prior to assembly of the Project Requirements, especially if a significant period of time has elapsed between completion of the PPS and the Pre-proposal phase.
      2. Design Criteria: The Technical Consultant develops documents that illustrate the University’s expectations for the project. Narrative and graphic materials are used to convey the project quantitative and qualitative requirements to proposers. The project budget should be confirmed once this data is compiled.
      3. Bridging Documents: The campus may elect to issue Bridging Documents as part of the Design-Build team selection process. The use of Bridging gives the University more control over the final product, but also may lessen the benefits derived from the Design-Build process. Content of the Bridging Documents is flexible, but is usually comparable in detail to anything from Conceptual Design to Design Development, depending on the level of control the University wishes to assert on a given project.
      4. Request for Qualifications (RFQ): When utilizing a two-step selection process, the Technical Consultant develops an RFQ. The RFQ is publicly advertised according to the advertisement rules in the Collected Rules & Regulations as a minimum. This allows the University to prequalify the firms to be allowed to submit price and quality proposals.
      5. Request for Proposals (RFP): The Technical Consultant develops the RFP for issuance to Proposers. This document includes the Design Criteria and Bridging Documents (if any), along with the Bidding Documents. When utilizing a two-step selection process, the RFP is only issued to prequalified proposing firms.
    3. RFP Review and Approval
      The Project Manager shall schedule an RFP Review Meeting to give stakeholders the opportunity to review and approve the Request for Proposal documents, including Design Criteria and Bridging Documents (if any).
      1. The Project Manager will require the Technical Consultant to provide 100 percent complete Proposal Documents at least one week before a scheduled review meeting. Large projects, as identified by the Project Manager, may require additional review time.
      2. The Technical Consultant is responsible for preparing and assembling all portions of the contract documents except those specifically supplied by the University.
  3. Selection Process
    Selection of the Design-Build Team can be made using either a one-step or two-step process. A two-step process is sometimes preferred because it allows the University to only request proposals from those firms who are best qualified for the project while meeting the public advertisement rules in the Collected Rules & Regulations. This is particularly useful when a stipend is offered to the unsuccessful proposers to increase the detail and quality of the proposals received. The two-step process begins with an RFQ which is open to all interested parties. Respondents are shortlisted to arrive at a group that will receive the RFP.
    1. Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
      1. The Technical Consultant develops an RFQ with input from the Project Manager, and includes basic project scope information, including building purpose, size, and projected construction budget. Evaluation criteria for shortlist selection should also be included. It should be made clear that the purpose of the RFQ process is to identify the most qualified teams for the particular project at hand; potential design solutions should not be received at this stage. The RFQ is then publicly advertised according to the advertisement rules in the Collected Rules & Regulations.
      2. Once consensus is reached, the Project Manager issues the RFP to the shortlisted teams.
      3. When using a one-step selection process, the RFQ/shortlisting step is eliminated.
      4. After qualifications are received from the potential Design-Build Teams, the Project Manager and Technical Consultant review the information and recommend a list of firms to receive RFPs to the selection committee. Only the most qualified teams are invited to receive RFPs, but it is recommended that 3-5 teams be shortlisted.
    2. Request for Proposals (RFP)
      The Technical Consultant develops an RFP with input from the Project Manager, and includes the following information:
      1. The Information for Proposers states procedures to be followed and provides data about the project. It covers the preparation and submission of bids, and such details as bonds, bid security, Proposer’s Statement of Qualifications, award of contract, time of completion, liquidated damages, and any special bidding conditions that apply to the project. The Information for Proposers is maintained by UM Facilities Planning and Development; an example is contained in the Consultant Procedures and Design Guidelines manual.
      2. The Proposal for Lump Sum Contract (Proposal Form) is a document furnished to a Proposer to be completed, signed, and submitted as the Proposer’s Proposal. The Proposal Form provides blank spaces to be filled in by the Proposer and a place for the Proposer’s signature to indicate the Proposer agrees to all the provisions in the Form. The Proposal Form is maintained by UM Facilities Planning and Development, and shall conform to the example in the Consultant Procedures and Design Guidelines manual.
      3. The Supplier Diversity compliance evaluation bidding documents help the University to determine whether a Proposer has achieved the Supplier Diversity contracting goal or has made a good faith effort to achieve the goal. The Information for Proposers sets forth bidder requirements for completing these forms. The forms are maintained by UM Facilities Planning and Development, and examples are found in the Consultant’s Procedures and Design Guidelines manual.
      4. Contract Documents: The Contract Documents contain the legally enforceable requirements which become part of the contract when the Construction Contract form and other related contract forms are signed. These documents are included in the RFP to inform the Proposer of the contract they will be expected to execute with the University. See section ___ for further information regarding the Contract Documents.
      5. Space Program.
      6. Design Criteria.
      7. Bridging Documents (if applicable).
    3. Design-Build options
      There are currently two types of Design-Build processes in use by the University. “Design-Build with Bridging” provides a project design to the proposers, and the successful proposer is selected primarily based on cost and various detailed information described in the proposal. “Design-Build Competition” provides Design Criteria to the proposers, and their various design solutions are scored in addition to cost.
    4. Proposal Process; Design-Build Competition
      This is a two-phased competitive approach. In Phase One, a “short list” of the most highly-qualified Proposers results from an analysis of their qualifications for the project. In Phase Two, the owner issues technical performance criteria and other project requirements to the short-listed teams in the form of a request for proposals (RFP). Each Proposer responds with a qualitative proposal and firm price. The owner employs an evaluation system that appropriately balances qualitative features and price. The owner reviews each qualitative proposal and price, and makes selection based upon an integrated assessment of what constitutes the “best value” (a combination of qualitative factors and price). As a best practice, the Design-Build Team (DBT) selection should always begin with a qualifications-based first phase, followed by a best-value oriented second phase
      1. Work session: The Evaluation Committee and the Technical Consultant may meet separately with each DBT in a work session, to review initial concepts developed by the DBT, to answer questions and provide feedback to each team regarding the Evaluation Committee’s priorities and expectations.   DBT concepts and questions will be treated as confidential and exclusive by the Evaluation Committee.
      2. Interviews:  Interviews should be held at least one week after Proposals are received to give the Evaluation Committee ample time to become familiar with each proposed solution and formulate questions for the Proposers. Proposers should be given sufficient opportunity during their interview to present their proposed solutions and answer questions from the Evaluation Committee.

        The DBT’s ability to involve the Evaluation Committee in the development of the proposal through the work session and to incorporate committee reactions and feedback will be scored as part of the final evaluation. A maximum of five (5) Proposer Representatives should be permitted at the interview session.  One of the representatives should be the Proposer’s Project Manager responsible for construction of the proposed structure, one should be the Prime Professional’s design manager for the project and the remaining three are the Proposer’s option

    5. Evaluation procedures - Design-Build Competition
      1. The purpose of the evaluation process is to establish the apparent best proposer through the application of uniform criteria. The Evaluation Committee prepares a detailed review of each proposal and assigns a Quality Point Value to each item indicated in the Technical Evaluation Criteria. The Committee may, in the course of their review, find that some clarification of a proposal is necessary and required for a fair and objective evaluation.  In that event, such clarification will be requested in writing through the Project Manager and the proposer will be given an opportunity to respond in writing. 
      2. Criteria:  Both the proposed price and non-price (qualitative) factors are considered. The following is an example of qualitative evaluation point values for a new freestanding building project. These must be customized to reflect the needs of the particular project. Price/cost proposals are opened after completion of the qualitative evaluation to avoid having price influence the qualitative evaluation.
        Category Points
        Design Quality/Technical Proposal  
        Site Design  

        A. Site Design/Planning Factors

        Building Design  

        A. Visual/Aesthetic Factors


        B. Program & Functional Relationships


        C. Interior Design Development

        Building Systems  

        A. HVAC and Plumbing Systems


        B. Electrical and IT Systems

        Subtotal for Technical 400
        Interview/Presentation 50
        Team Qualifications 50
        Cost 500
        Total 1,000
      3. Non-responsive proposals:  During the evaluation process it may become apparent that one or more of the proposals do not qualify for consideration on the basis of technical evaluation deficiencies.  If so determined by the Evaluation Committee, these proposals will be returned to the Proposer as non-responsive.  Also, any proposal with less than 350 quality points or which exceeds the Design/Build budget will be considered non-responsive.
      4. Establishment of apparent best proposal: After the review of proposals the following equation will be used.
        (Lowest Cost Responsive Proposal) x 500 + Quality Points = Total Points
        (Proposer’s Cost Proposal)

        Proposal 001 – ($13,500,000) x 500 + 400 + 10 = 895
        Proposal 002 – ($13,500,000) x 500 + 380 + 5 = 870
        Proposal 003 – ($13,500,000) x 500 + 365 + 0 = 865
        Proposal Number 001 is determined to be the apparent best proposal.  Note that in this example the low cost proposal does not represent the highest point proposal submitted.  The highest point total must meet both budget and quality minimum point requirements. Award of contract will be to the apparent best proposer.

        Upon award of contract, the Technical Proposal and other proposal documents submitted by the apparent best proposer will be available for review by all interested participants.  Detailed analysis and technical evaluation data for all other proposals will be retained by the University in confidence and will not be available for review.

    6. Proposal/Evaluation Process; Design-Build with Bridging
      This method of selection closely resembles the design-bid-build process. The owner’s design concepts are developed and communicated to the Proposers in the RFP. The selected firm’s role in design is more that of a detailer than of an actual design-builder. Proposals are evaluated to determine if each submission meets the base criteria, and award is made to the lowest responsive Proposer.
    7. Contract Execution
      The process for Contract Execution is similar in most respects to the processes followed for the Competitive Bid procurement method. See Chapter 6, section M, for detailed requirements.
  4. Design Management
    The completion of the project design process can begin once the Contract for Construction is executed. The remainder of the design process is managed similarly in most respects to the processes followed for professional design services in the Competitive Bid procurement method. See Chapter 6, section II, for detailed requirements, with the below listed modifications.
    1. Design Phases
      1. The processes required to complete the remainder of the project design depends on the level of Bridging provided and/or the progress and accuracy of the design documents provided by the successful proposer. Depending on these factors, the project may only require completion of Construction Documents, or could be at a level of completion that is less than Schematic Design. The level of completion of the project design should be stipulated in the RFP, and must be agreed to prior to Contract execution. Reviews through the remainder of the design phases should be similar to those followed for professional design services in the Competitive Bid procurement method.
      2. The Design-Build Team should update project costs at the conclusion of each design phase. The project design should not be considered approved for proceeding with the next phase until the project budget is aligned with the Campus’ expectations.
    2. Final Review and Approval
      The Project Manager shall schedule a Final Document Review Meeting to give stakeholders the opportunity to review and approve the Contract Documents, Drawings and Specifications. Documents should be carefully reviewed to confirm compliance with the DB Proposal.

Reviewed 2019-08-11