Analysis of selection criteria for design-builders through the analysis of requests for proposal

Bo Xia, Ping Chuen Chan, Jian Zuo, Keith Molenaar

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Selecting an appropriate design-builder is critical to the success of design-build (DB) projects. The objective of this study is to identify selection criteria for design-builders and compare their relative importance by means of a robust content analysis of 94 requests for proposal (RFPs) for public DB projects. These DB projects had an aggregate contract value of over US$3.5 billion and were advertised between 2000 and 2010. This study summarized twenty-six selection criteria and classified them into ten categories, i.e., price, experience, technical approach, management approach, qualification, schedule, past performance, financial capability, responsiveness to the RFP, and legal status, in descending order of their relative importance. The results showed that although price still remains the most important selection category, its relative importance has declined significantly in the last decade. The categories of qualification, experience, and past performance, by contrast, have become more important to DB owners for selecting design-builders. Finally, it is found that the importance weighting of price in large projects is significantly higher than that in small projects. This study provides a useful reference for owners in selecting their preferred design-builders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Content analysis
  • Design/Build
  • Request for proposal
  • Selection criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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