2022 Design-Build Institute of America Conference and Expo Highlights
DBIA Conference and Expo 2022
Left to Right: Josh Taylor, Director of Virtual Design & Construction; Ross Stockhausen, Senior Design Phase Manager;
Darl Flake, Senior Project Manager; Laura Wake-Ramos, Business Development Manager; Jeremy Wendt, Director of Business Development;
and Bill Morrison, Academy Energy Group-President

Twenty Mortenson leaders from across the nation attended the annual 2022 Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Conference & Expo on November 1 through 4, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV.  Mortenson received a DBIA Merit Award earlier in August and continued on to win the DBIA Excellence Award for the Ireland Army Health Clinic at Fort Knox at the awards dinner (featured above). Mortenson has received over 40 national DBIA awards. You can read more about the award-winning project here.

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is an organization established in 1993 that promotes education and best practices of the design-build  delivery method.  Members include practicing design-build professionals in architecture, engineering, and construction, as well as owners, students, and academics.  The Designated Design-Build Professional (DBIA™) is a premier credential for design-build professionals requiring 2+ years of design-build project delivery experience, DBIA educational seminars, and continuing education.

From this year’s conference, Mortenson has identified three major trends in the design-build conversation:

1) Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) is essential for design-build

The DBIA national conference held the inaugural Design-Build VDC Leadership Exchange to provide education, networking, and best practices among VDC leaders and design-build professionals.  The VDC seminar topics included case studies on technologies that enhance the flow of information, collaboration tools, and analyses and metrics of data gathered in the project process.  The future of project delivery is data driven, which includes data-informed decisions through data-gathering metrics. One of the presentations was called “Structured Information Flows for Design-Build Collaboration,” presented by Ken Powelson of EHDD and Christopher Crowe of McCarthy Building Companies.  At the outset of the project, the team followed DBIA Best Practices of establishing processes of effective communication, collaboration, and issue resolution.  The team used custom technology tools to map complex decision-making, digital pull planning, continuous cost estimating, a team-wide meeting documentation, and even a staffing calculation based on the number of submittals.


2) Design-Build is not an “alternative delivery”: it is a delivery of choice

Design-build is expanding across the country, not just by happenstance.  According to 2021 DBIA Design-Build Utilization Update researched by FMI Corporation, the greatest influencing factor in selecting the delivery method is achieving owner goals and objectives, and delivery schedule.  Over 50% of owners surveys indicated that design-build exceeded expectations.  Design-build enabled greater team collaboration that resulted in a high-quality end-result, compared to other delivery methods.  The design-build team can identify and better address the owner’s goals and objectives, by involving key stakeholders early in the process.

As a result of this trend of more owners preferring design-build, it is estimated that up to 47% of all construction spending by 2025 will be delivered design-build, according to the same study.  As an organization, DBIA is encompassing “all design-build,” which includes traditional design-build, progressive design-build, and public-private-partnerships (P3) with design-build delivery.  The seminars and case studies at the recent conference covered all three of these design-build methods, including an 8-hour pre-conference workshop focused on design-build in P3.


3) Design-Build relies on the current and future workforce

DBIA is at the forefront of preparing the current and future workforce for design-build as we approach 2025 when nearly half of construction will be design-build.  There was an inaugural university student roundtable event, integrating DBIA fellows and DBIA mentors from the DBIA Mentorship Program with university students involved in DBIA student chapters. 

Dr. Barbara Jackson, FDBIA, President and CEO of Barbara Jackson, LLC, hosted a one-hour seminar called “Why Women, Why Now: Leveraging Gender Intelligence to Optimize Design-Build Success.”  Dr. Jackson introduced the science of gender intelligence, how to leverage gender intelligence in design-build, and why women are the solution to the construction industry’s talent shortage.  Gender intelligence is the understanding and appreciation of brain structure and chemistry, and how that influences thoughts and actions.  A typical female brain has more neural connections going side-to-side across the left and right hemispheres.  Scientists attribute this characteristic to increased verbal skills and intuition, both essential skills in Design-Build delivery. 

In addition, Dr. Barbara Jackson, organized a 4-hour pre-conference workshop titled “Women Leading Change,” integrating gender intelligence and high-performing teams research to prepare women professionals to lead design-build delivery to the next level.


If you have questions on design-build delivery with Mortenson, please contact Jeremy Wendt.