Research Shows Design-Build Delivers Nearly Half of all Projects Nationwide

Design-build used to be considered an alternative way to build. Research shows it’s now a growing method delivering construction projects in America.

Industry analysts at FMI have completed an assessment of the nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater construction market. This research details how design-build is changing the way America builds.

“This research is important as design-build transitions from what used to be considered an alternative delivery process, not so many years ago, to the preferred delivery method for a growing number of public and private owners. Collaboration and innovation are delivering better projects that also achieve cost and schedule savings, which is important as states and communities have to do more with less,” states Lisa Washington, DBIA executive director/CEO.

Data shows design-build is helping deliver infrastructure in all sectors and regions of the U.S. Respondents report saving time and money, while more innovation and collaboration delivers quality projects and leads to high design-build satisfaction and increased usage.

Here are highlights from the FMI Design-Build Market research:

    Market Growth – Now and Into the Future

  • Overall, design-build is anticipated to account for 44 percent of construction spending in the assessed segments (nonresidential, highway/street and water/wastewater) delivering $1.2 trillion in construction put in place by 2021.
  • Design-build spending is anticipated to grow 18 percent overall, with the highway/street and water/wastewater sectors seeing 30 percent growth by 2021.
  • Design-build spending in manufacturing (16 percent), highway/street (14 percent) and educational (15 percent) represent the greatest percentage of design-build construction spending by segment over the 2018-2021 period.
  • Owners Give Design-build High Satisfaction Rankings

  • Experience with design-build was rated high across all project delivery methods with 76 percent reporting very good and excellent experiences.
  • Opportunities to innovate and the ability to fast track a project were identified as benefits associated with design-build.

What is design-build, exactly? See project examples and learn how it’s saving communities time and money on infrastructure at

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