Determining the appropriate proportion of owner-provided design in design-build contracts: Content analysis approach

Bo Xia, Ping Chuen Chan, Keith Molenaar, Martin Skitmore

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The request for proposal (RFP) with the design-build (DB) procurement arrangement is a document in which an owner develops his requirements and conveys the project scope to DB contractors. Owners should provide an appropriate level of design in DB RFPs to adequately describe their requirements without compromising the prospects for innovation. This paper examines and compares the different levels of owner-provided design in DB RFPs by the content analysis of 84 requests for RFPs for public DB projects advertised between 2000 and 2010 with an aggregate contract value of over $5.4 billion. A statistical analysis was also conducted to explore the relationship between Ae proportion of owner-provided design and other project information, including project type, advertisement time, project size, contractor selection method, procurement process, and contract type. The results show that the majority (64.8%) of the RFPs provides less than 10% of the owner-provided design. The owner-provided design proportion has a significant association with project type, project size, contractor selection method, and contract type. In addition, owners are generally providing less design in recent years than previously. The research findings also provide owners with perspectives to determine the appropriate level of owner-provided design in DB RFPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1022
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


  • Content analysis
  • Design and build
  • Owner-provided design proportion
  • Request for proposals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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