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  • Question

    Can a procurement method (strategy) on a firm fixed price DBB AE contract change at different phases of the contract?


    Answer

    Changing procurement methods at subsequent phases of the facility design and contruction is more likely to be a problem of funding than a matter of design approach.  Each "phase" must reach the standard of "complete and useable" in its own right.  Failure for a phase or stage to reach this operational capability raises the very specific question of incrementing your project so to remain under a statutory funding threshold - which violates most every one of the fiscal laws 31 USC 1301 / 1502 / 1341. 

    On a more practical note,  the two main techniques Design-Bid-Build uses the Brooks Act to contract for the professional design services; design build uses the construction contractor as the prime and the AE as a sub or partner (but the AE cannot lead see FAR 36.209). 

    Changing from DBB - wherere the design is final before soliciting a construction firm - to DB does not generally make sense late in a project.  Although not prohibited, as a practical matter this becomes Build-(and then finish the)- design.  The almost inevitable result is a poorly concieved building.

    The benefit of starting a project as a DB is in recieving the construction/designer synergy throguht the life of the project.  Starting late or with an almost fully designed project, leaves very little room for creativity. 


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