IMF predicts that design-build will continue to grow, despite challenging economic environment


Dive brief:

  • The consultancy firm IMF released an updated design-build spending study last week, showing a positive outlook for the delivery method.
  • While overall construction spending is expected to total up to $ 7.9 trillion by 2025, design-build spending is expected to reach $ 1.7 trillion, or about one-fifth of spending in assessed market segments, according to the study. These segments include industries such as manufacturing, education, and healthcare.
  • Overall, design-build spending is expected to increase by 34%, with the water and wastewater sector posting the highest annual growth (11.1%) of all sectors, which include highways / streets (9.4%), health care (8.8%), education (7.8%) and office (5.0%).

Dive overview:

Despite tough economic forecasts, supply chain issues and a labor shortage, design-build is trending upward.

IMF has released the results of its Design-Build Use Update, forecasting a 7.6% CAGR from 2021 to 2025, according to the study. The survey is an update of a 2018 article on the same topic and consists of electronic records, market models, and industry interviews.

While national construction spending for 2020 and 2021 has seen a decline, design-build spending in recent years has increased by 1.3% in 2020 and an estimated increase of 0.5% in 2021. It is predicted that design-build will also surpass national growth rates by 1.6% over the 2021-2025 window, according to the press release.

Design-build is not a new way of creating projects, but it is one that is gaining ground. While a traditional delivery method would require the owner to manage separate contracts with both a designer and a general contractor, a design-build method puts the owner working alongside a design-build company to achieve the two objectives on a single contract, depending on the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).

“In my agency, only 10 to 15 years ago, we recommended, somewhat officially, that design-build be used only for simple or direct projects. It was not appropriate for complex projects. And in my old agency. , even we changed our mind, “said Laura Stagner, owner of Stagner Consulting and former deputy commissioner of the General Services Administration, during a recent webinar hosted by DBIA. Stagner went on to say that the design projects- construction are more accepted than they were before.

The IMF survey focused on the United States and used geographic data from census tracts to divide and group regions. According to the study, the census divisions of the Central-Southwest (8.8%), the South Atlantic (8.6%) and the Mid Atlantic (8.2%) are expected to produce the highest annual growth for design-build. The South Atlantic, Central Southwest and Pacific regions are expected to account for the largest volume of design-build spending during the forecast period 2021-2025.


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