Under federal law, the two design-build selection procedures are the two-step/two-phase process, which is preferred, and the single-step or "turn-key selection" process. The two-step/two-phase selection approach requires that the design team's qualifications be part of the evaluation process. This method ensures that competent and qualified design professionals are initially involved in the procurement process so that quality-based design considerations are incorporated into the drawings, plans, and specifications, consistent with the interests of the public health and safety.
The other design-build method, single-step, also known as "turn-key selection," is neither preferred nor does it provide the same quality considerations or efficiencies of the two-step process. Moreover, due to the substantial up-front costs, which can often exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, many engineering firms and companies are deterred from submitting proposals because of the very small likelihood of being selected. Small businesses in particular cannot spend their limited resources to compete for a project when their chances of being chosen may be significantly less than 10%.
In a letter of support to Chairman Graves, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE, writes, "The Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013 addresses these issues by restricting the use of single-step design-build to federal projects that are less than $750,000 and by requiring federal agencies to better justify why they short-list more than five finalists in the two-step design-build process." For more information or questions concerning the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013, please contact Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read President Green's letter to Chairman Graves.
For more information or questions concerning the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013, please contact Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser at email@example.com.
The National Society of Professional Engineers is the national society of licensed professional engineers from all disciplines that promotes the ethical and competent practice of engineering, advocates licensure, and enhances the image and well-being of its members. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 35,000 members and the public through 53 state and territorial societies and more than 400 chapters. For more information, please visit www.nspe.org.