Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Pramen P. Shrestha

Second Committee Member

Neil Opfer

Third Committee Member

Jee Woong Park

Fourth Committee Member

Ashok Singh

Number of Pages



The performance of construction projects is measured in terms of cost and schedule variation. Studies have identified that such variations are mainly due to design changes, which are more frequent on projects executed through the design-bid-build (DBB) delivery method. Thus, the design factor is identified as one of the major parameters affecting the performance of DBB projects. Despite the majority of road projects being constructed following the DBB method, the impact of design cost on the performance of road projects has not been sufficiently studied yet. Therefore, this study focuses on determining the effect of design cost on the performance of road construction projects in the United States, using three project performance metrics: cost growth, schedule growth, and construction intensity. This study intends to investigate the impact of the design cost percentage (DCP), out of total project cost, on the overall performance of DBB road construction projects. For this purpose, this study analyzed the data of 405 DBB road construction projects executed by the Texas Department of Transportation. This study conducted statistical analyses to determine the impact of the DCP on project performance metrics, separately for three cases: (a) all projects; (b) projects grouped based on partnering approach; and (c) projects grouped based on total project cost. In addition, for comparison purposes, the projects were also grouped on the basis of the cost and schedule performances into better performing and worse performing projects. Thus, inferential statistical analyses were conducted to compare the impact of design cost between the projects performing better and worse in terms of the three project performance metrics. The statistical test results demonstrated that the DCP significantly influences the cost performance of DBB road projects in all three cases of tests performed. However, the DCP was not found to significantly affect the schedule growth or construction intensity of DBB projects. Therefore, the outcome of this study is expected to assist state departments of transportations in taking preventive measures during the design phases of projects, by focusing on design details and more investment in design to minimize cost growth in DBB road construction projects.


Design Cost; Design-bid-build; Partnering; Project performance; Project size; Road Construction


Civil Engineering

File Format


File Size

1.6 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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