Municipalities are turning to innovative project delivery methods that promise improved collaboration, accelerated schedules and cost effectiveness. Among these approaches, the phased design-build delivery method has emerged as a game-changer, providing municipalities with a dynamic way to enhance projects and better serve communities.

The phased design-build delivery method is a construction approach in which the project is divided into phases. This allows construction to begin in one phase while design work continues in subsequent phases, facilitating faster project delivery.

This approach is gaining traction as municipalities seek to streamline construction processes and deliver projects that better serve residents' needs. Unlike traditional contract delivery methods, phased design-build combines elements of both design-build and traditional design-bid-build methods, allowing for a more iterative, collaborative and expedited design and construction process.

Florida Legislature Paves the Way for Phased Design-Build

Recent changes to Florida Statute 337.11 highlight the growing acceptance and utilization of the phased design-build approach. The state legislature's decision to embrace this method showcases its potential to reshape how construction projects are managed and executed. This move demonstrates that departments of transportation and municipalities are eager to explore alternative methods that provide better outcomes for all project stakeholders.  

Empowering Communities Through Collaborative Improvement

At its core, phased design-build offers municipalities an exciting opportunity to actively participate in the design development process. This method encourages open communication and collaboration among the design-build team, owners and the community, allowing residents to contribute valuable insights and ideas. Because this delivery method provides a single point of contact and responsibility, municipalities can see that improvements are not only desired but also achievable within the given budget.

Projects that demand flexibility, incorporate complex design elements or require substantial owner input are prime candidates for the phased design-build approach. Municipalities often choose this method for projects in which the desirable improvements must align with a tight budget and a specific timeline. The ability to address constructability concerns early in the process minimizes risks and maximizes project success.

Benefits Amplified

  • Collaboration. Phased design-build brings owners and the design-build team together in a way that fosters collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Owners play a direct role in design development, seeing that projects reflect the community's needs and aspirations.
  • Accelerated schedule. The approach enables proactive scheduling by identifying material lead times and releasing bid packages early. This streamlined procurement process accelerates project timelines.
  • Bid transparency. The phased design-build method streamlines the procurement process, encourages competition and exposes unit cost between qualified contractors. Work package proposals tailored to local conditions create transparency in bidding, promoting value assurance and supporting local contractors.

Engineered Success

Municipalities are finding newfound success in the phased design-build delivery method, leveraging its collaboration-focused approach, accelerated schedules and transparent bidding processes. As this innovative approach gains traction, it promises to revolutionize how projects are planned, executed and delivered, ultimately benefiting not only the municipality but also the people in the community. Phased design-build stands as a testament to the power of innovation in shaping the modern engineering and construction landscape.


Client success can be found with phased design-build projects. This unique approach involves meticulous project administration, seamless collaboration and experienced project management.

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Chris Martin is a section manager within the Transportation Group at Burns & McDonnell. With more than 25 years of experience, he brings practical knowledge to his role guiding clients through complex transportation challenges.