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Water & Wastewater

Progressive Design Build - Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) and Project Management Office at the Houston Airport System

May 2, 2024

Breakout Session 2

7:40 PM

Breakout Rooms

1 DBIA Credit Hour, 1 AIA LU

The panel discussion will be centered on two projects: Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) and the Project Management Office at the Houston Airport System. The 5 panelists will be covering all major aspects of Progressive Design-Build.

Progressive Design-Build (PDB) is a project delivery method that combines elements of both design-build and traditional design-bid-build approaches. It is a collaborative and iterative process that allows for flexibility and involvement of the owner, designer, and builder throughout the project.

In a traditional design-bid-build approach, the owner contracts separately with a designer/architect for the design phase and then with a contractor for the construction phase. However, in a progressive design-build approach, the owner selects a design-build team early in the project, typically based on qualifications, experience, and a conceptual design proposal.

The key characteristic of progressive design-build is the involvement of the owner in the design development process. Unlike traditional design-build, where the owner hands over most design decisions to the design-build team, in PDB, the owner actively participates in the design process alongside the design-build team.

The PDB process typically follows these stages:

  1. Pre-Qualification: The owner evaluates and shortlists design-build teams based on their qualifications, experience, and expertise.

  2. Request for Proposal (RFP): The owner issues an RFP to the shortlisted design-build teams, outlining project requirements, goals, and evaluation criteria. The RFP may also include a preliminary design concept.

  3. Proposal and Selection: Design-build teams submit proposals, including their qualifications, approach, schedule, and cost estimates. The owner evaluates the proposals and selects a preferred team.

  4. Design Development: The owner and the design-build team collaborate to develop the design further. This stage involves refining the conceptual design, addressing technical details, and incorporating the owner's input.

  5. Cost Estimating and Value Engineering: Throughout the design development process, the design-build team works closely with the owner to ensure the project remains within budget. Value engineering techniques are employed to optimize costs and identify potential cost-saving measures.

  6. Construction: Once the design is sufficiently developed and all necessary permits and approvals are obtained, the construction phase begins. The design-build team executes the construction work based on the developed design.

Progressive design-build allows for ongoing collaboration, transparency, and innovation. The early involvement of the design-build team and the owner helps in streamlining the decision-making process, reducing change orders, and fostering a cooperative working relationship. It also enables the owner to have greater control over the project's design and budget, resulting in a final product that better meets their needs and expectations.


  1. Summarize Progressive Design Build Benefits: Participants will be able to summarize the benefits of Progressive Design Build (PDB) and compare these advantages with other project delivery methods such as Design-Build and CMAR.

  2. Identify Owner Engagement Strategies: Participants will be able to identify the requirements for owner engagement in the PDB process, ensuring effective collaboration and project alignment with the owner's vision and goals.

  3. Evaluate Project Suitability: Participants will be able to analyze and determine which types of projects are most suitable for the Progressive Design Build approach, using criteria discussed during the panel session.

  4. Compare Delivery Methods: Participants will be able to compare and contrast PDB with other delivery methods such as Design Build and CMAR, in terms of owner involvement, risk management, cost control, and overall project management.

Sponsored by

May 02, 2024, 7:00 AM CDT
Houston, TX
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