Design-Build Project Performance: Comparison between Commercial Building and Health Care Building Projects

Pramen Shrestha, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Medya Fathi, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


One of the most widely used alternative delivery methods in the United States is design-build (DB). Not only state and counties are using DB method to construct highways, bridges, and water and wastewater projects, but the private sectors are also using this method to design and build commercial buildings and health care facilities. There have been studies done to compare the performance of DB highway projects with water/wastewater and building projects. However, the performance of DB building projects, based on subcategory as commercial, apartment, residential, school, campus, or health care facilities, were not investigated. Moreover, in comparing apartment or residential building and other infrastructure projects, it should be noted that the owners of these two types of projects are different; one private and another public. While comparing the performance of DB commercial buildings and DB health care facilities, the effect of owner will be neutralized as both are private investors with the main objective of return on investment. Therefore, this study collected 28 DB commercial buildings and 25 DB clinics and hospital buildings (health care facilities) cost and schedule data to determine whether these two types of projects funded by the private investors had significantly different cost- and schedule-related performance metrics, including cost growth, schedule growth, and construction intensity. In addition, the study also investigated whether these two types of projects were using similar types of contracts and procurement methods. The results showed that the cost and schedule performance of DB health care facilities and commercial buildings was not significantly different. It was also found that the dominant contract types and procurement methods used in these two types of DB projects were lump sum and best value, respectively.