Council Reports Design-Build Market Thriving

The Water Design-Build Council, a not-for-profit organization representing the design-builders of municipal water and wastewater systems, said that the sales market for design-build grew nearly 80 percent in 2008 to $2.2 billion.

The council's report, which highlights the growth of the design-build method of project delivery for the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure projects, is based on a four-year analysis of member firms.

The growth in 2008 represents 89 new projects. Geographically, projects in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico represented 73 percent of all sales in 2008.

"Increasingly, municipalities are working with design-build firms to address the need to repair, improve, and expand their water and wastewater treatment facilities,” said Peter W. Tunnicliffe, president of the Water Design-Build Council and a senior vice president with CDM. "The growth of design-build project delivery in the municipal sector follows the significant use of design-build delivery in the federal sector. The council made recommendations to the Obama Administration and Congress that given the stimulus bill's priority to create jobs, the design-build approach allows states and municipalities to begin and complete their much needed water and wastewater projects more quickly than the traditional design-bid-build method.”

From 2005 to 2008, Water Design-Build Council members reported design-build revenue of $6.4 billion and a total of nearly 349 projects across the United States. On average, 82 percent of member projects were design-build, while 15 percent were construction management at risk (CM@Risk) and 3 percent were design-build-operate.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The average design-build contract duration from 2005 to 2008 was 1.8 years;
  • The median value of new projects was $3.3 million;
  • Projects in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas accounted for 65 percent of the design-build market sales since 2005; and
  • The number of water and wastewater projects was nearly equal, at 47 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

The following member firms participated in the report: AECOM, Brown & Caldwell, Black & Veatch, Carollo Engineers, CDM, CH2M Hill, The Haskell Company, HDR, MWH, and Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.