Jan. 20, 2003: State Laws Impede Design/Build In Public Sector

January 20, 2003
NATICK, Mass. — State procurement laws are continuing to be an impediment to the use of the design/build method in the public sector, according to ZweigWhite's newly released 2003 Design/Build Survey of Design & Construction Firms.

According to the survey, nearly half (46 percent) of survey respondents report that procurement laws in their state have effectively shut them out of acquiring public-sector design/build work. ZweigWhite says this is the highest percentage in the six years it has conducted the Design/Build Survey. Firms headquartered in the Middle Atlantic (63 percent), Mountain (57 percent), and North Central (54 percent) regions of the U.S. are most likely to report being shut out of public-sector design/build projects due to state procurement laws.

Respondents are still optimistic about design/build's future in the public sector, however. More than three-quarters of respondents predict there will be an increase in the use of design/build in the public sector in the next five years.

Other findings from the 2003 Design/Build Survey include:

  • Design/consulting firms experienced significant growth in design/build revenue between 2000 and 2002. Design/build revenue as a percentage of gross revenue for design/consulting firms grew a median of 60 percent over the past three years. Construction companies saw a median growth of 25 percent, and design/build firms a median growth of 12 percent.

  • Thirty percent of design, construction, and design/build firms' gross annual revenue was derived from design/build projects in 2002. Both design/consulting firm and construction company respondents derived a median of 10 percent of their gross annual revenue from design/build projects in 2002, while design/build firm respondents derived a median of 60 percent of their revenue from design/build projects in 2002.

    The 2003 Design/Build Survey of Design & Construction Firms is available for $345, plus $4 shipping and handling. Contact ZweigWhite, P.O. Box 8325, One Apple Hill Drive, Natick, MA 01760; 508-651-1559; 508-653-6522 (fax);;

    Publication date: 01/20/2003