Best Value Design Build

Our Best Value Design Build (BVDB ©) procurement system is based on the work of Dr. Dean Kashiwagi and his Performance Based Studies Research Group at Arizona State University.  Their work has shown the benefit of utilizing experts in their field and allowing them to use their expertise to identify the best solution for construction related problems.

This process shifts the task of determining the best solution to the Contractor, the real expert. Performing contractors are constantly in the marketplace, staying on top of the latest developments and technologies in their area of practice. Performance-based contracts focus on the outcome and not on the process. This allows the Contractors to be innovative and present the Owner with the best ideas possible from multiple perspectives.

In a Design-Bid-Build environment, specifications become minimum requirements, but when the project is awarded they become the Contractor’s maximum obligations.  Anything not clearly included in the specifications, or necessary to meet the Owner’s objectives, becomes an extra and there are additional costs incurred.  Instead of issuing a set of minimum requirements, awarding a project to the lowest bidder, and then having to manage, direct and control them to TRY and get the desired results, why not hire an expert in the first place? Then, allow them to demonstrate their expertise.

As demonstrated below, a Design-Build project delivery system has significant advantages to Design-Bid-Build, which is usually really Design- LOW Bid- Build.  However, Design-Build can be a challenging process for Owners that do not have a construction or development background.

At Shane & Associates, we overcome that challenge by utilizing our experience and expertise in working closely with Owners to develop a set of project goals and objectives.  These are then incorporated into a Request for Proposals (RFP), which is shared with a select group of prequalified contractors that are experts in their field.

Our prequalification process focuses on performing contractors, not just available contractors, and includes collecting past performance information on the Contractors selected to submit a proposal for our projects.  This information includes but is not limited to the following:

SAFETY - Safety does not only affect your contractor.  Accidents that occur on a job site may not involve only the contractor’s employees.  Collateral damage could include damage to the structure, personal belongings or even injuries to residents, tenants, employees and guests of the facility.  Accidents can also affect the financial stability of a contractor by incurring unforeseen and unpredictable expenses.  For these reasons we place a reasonable degree of importance on working with contractors that have a proven record of operating safely.

Workers Compensation Experience Modification Ratio (EMR) - This data is indicative of the costs of Workers Compensation claims incurred by a contractor over a given period of time.

OSHA Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) - This data documents the number of injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid incurred over a given number of man hours.

FINANCES - Most of the construction firms in our industry are privately held and short of Dun & Bradstreet reporting, there is typically little information available regarding their finances.  Some firms are willing to share financial statements, however, in lieu of requesting what amounts to very personal information, we rely on the contractors business partners. They are in a position to request that information as a part of their business relationship and we can extrapolate what we need from decisions they make based on that information.

Bonding Capacity - The bonding capacity of a company is indicative of the assets and financial health of the organization. A surety issuing a bond wants to make sure that the contractor has the financial resources to complete all the work they have on hand, not just one particular project.

Bonding rate - Bonds are like insurance and the rate is like a premium.  The lower the rate, the lower the risk the surety perceives they are taking when they are issuing a bond for a contractor.

INSURANCE - Shane & Associates retains a current Certificate of Insurance for all of our prequalified contractors.  This allows us to compare coverages and ensure that the contractors selected to submit a proposal on your project have sufficient coverage relative to the size of the project, the nature of the work and the potential for a claim.

Every Owner has their own priorities and every project has its own challenges.  By prequalifying our contractors and using a performance-based, design build approach, Shane & Associates provides the best value solution for our clients.




  • Familiarity – this is how it has always been done.
  • Allows more firms to bid, which is acceptable for simple projects.
  • Initiallypresents the lowest potential cost for the project.


  • The low bidder may not understand the Owner’s goals and objectives, they are simply pricing a set of minimum requirements spelled out in the documents.
  • This fragmented approach invites opportunities for finger pointing between the design team and the construction team.
  • There is a high potential for change orders and adversarial relationships.
  • Multiple contracts with the design team and the construction team make the Owner liable for, and the mediator of, conflicts between the documents and construction.
  • The linear process of survey, specifications, bidding, etc. delays start of construction.
  • The Owner does not benefit from the contractor’s expertise/experience until construction, at which time that experience may result in additional costs.
  • There is not an opportunity for shared savings.



  • Proponents are provided goals and objectives, not minimum requirements. Performing contractors are constantly in the marketplace, staying on top of the latest developments and technologies in their area of practice, allowing them to develop innovative solutions.
  • No fragmentation or finger pointing; design and construction are on the same team.
  • Change orders only result from changed conditions or by the Owner’s request.
  • The D/B team takes responsibility for errors in planning, costs, materials or construction.
  • The Owner has a single contract and a single point of contact for design and construction and is no longer required to act as a mediator.
  • The process is significantly faster than design-bid-build.
  • The Owner receives the full benefit of contractor’s expertise and experience, which is necessary for projects with specialized or technically complex scopes.
  • The Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) provides an opportunity for shared savings.


  • There needs to be checks and balances between design and construction.
    • Design and construction are now on the same team and Shane and Associates acts as the mediator of any conflicts between the D/B team and the Owner.
  • Design-build is a sophisticated process where the Owner must have a clear idea of the requirements before proceeding.
    • Shane and Associates provides over 30 years of practical experience and industry knowledge to clarify the Owner’s goals and objectives.
  • It may be difficult to establish criteria for selection of the design-build team.
    • Shane and Associates utilizes current and past performance data to prequalify proponents and objectively evaluate their proposals.
  • The process may not team the best designer and the best contractor.
    • The contractors select a design professional that they know has the requisite expertise and the contractor’s trust.  Shane and Associates then utilizes project specific evaluation criteria to determine the best value proposal for the Owner.


  • Incorporates all of the advantages of Design-Build project delivery.
  • Contractors are objectively prequalified based on safety, financial stability, insurance and a track record of quality and service.
  • Contractors are selected by their past performance on similar projects, the true indicator of their value.
  • Contractors are provided the owner’s performance objectives; not a set of minimum requirements.
  • Contractors submit a risk assessment, a scope of work, a schedule, a value-added plan and a GMP.
  • Proposals are weighted by prequalification, previous experience, the risk assessment, interviewing key personnel, scope, value added plan, and price.
  • High score is awarded the project, not low bid. "Price is what you pay.  Value is what you get."*

*Warren Buffet

where Problems meet Solutions

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Shane & Associates, LLC / 8437 Tuttle Avenue / Suite 417 / Sarasota, FL 34243 / 941-356-8722