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  • Writer's pictureMolly Jones

Design-Build Owner Advisors: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: Jun 22, 2023


Design-Build is a construction delivery method that has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ability to provide a single point of responsibility for the entire project. However, it can be challenging for owners to navigate the Design-Build process, especially if unfamiliar with the construction industry.


That's where an Owner Advisor comes in.


An Owner Advisor is a trusted advisor who assists the owner in selecting the Design-Build team, negotiating the contract, and overseeing the project's progress to ensure that it meets the owner's expectations. This blog post will discuss the importance of choosing and using an Owner Advisor in Design-Build, as outlined in the Design-Build Institute of America's (DBIA) "Primers for Owner Advisors."


Why Choose an Owner Advisor?


Choosing an Owner Advisor is crucial to the success of a design-build project. The Owner Advisor has the knowledge and experience to guide the owner through the design-build process, from selecting the design-build team to negotiating the contract and overseeing the project's progress.


The Owner Advisor acts as the owner's advocate, ensuring that the owner's interests are protected and that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the owner's satisfaction.


Selecting an Owner Advisor


Selecting an Owner Advisor is a critical step in the design-build process. The Owner Advisor should have a thorough understanding of the construction industry and experience in managing design-build projects.


The DBIA recommends that the owner consider the following factors when selecting an Owner Advisor:


  • Experience: The Owner Advisor should have expertise in managing design-build projects similar in size and complexity to the owner's project.

  • Qualifications: The Owner Advisor should have the necessary qualifications and certifications, such as a Professional Engineer (PE) or Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.

  • Reputation: The Owner Advisor should have a reputation for providing excellent service and delivering successful projects.

  • Compatibility: The Owner Advisor should be compatible with the owner's project team and share the owner's vision for the project.


Using an Owner Advisor


Once the owner has selected an Owner Advisor, the next step is to use the Owner Advisor's services effectively. The Owner Advisor's role is to act as the owner's advocate and guide the owner through the design-build process.


The Owner Advisor should be involved in the following stages of the project:


  • Selecting the Design-Build team: The Owner Advisor should assist the owner in choosing the design-build team based on the team's experience, qualifications, and compatibility with the owner's vision for the project.

  • Negotiating the contract: The Owner Advisor should review and negotiate the contract to ensure that it reflects the owner's expectations and protects the owner's interests.

  • Overseeing the project: The Owner Advisor should oversee the project's progress to ensure that it meets the owner's expectations, is completed on time and within budget, and complies with all applicable regulations.


An Owner Advisor is an essential part of a successful Design-Build project. The Owner Advisor acts as the owner's advocate and guide throughout the design-build process, ensuring that the owner's interests are protected, and the project is completed to the owner's satisfaction.


By selecting the right Owner Advisor and using their services effectively, owners can achieve a successful design-build project that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.


Jones Design Studio is a nationally recognized and award-winning Owner-Advisor, also known as A/E1 or criteria consultant. Our President and CEO, Molly Jones, is the Chair of the DBIA’s Owner Advisor Committee.


We specialize in helping owners through acquisition, design implementation, and construction using the design-build project delivery method and Design-Build Institute of America's (DBIA) Design-Build Done Right™ Best Practices.


Our ultimate goal is to assist owners in selecting the best team with the best solution for their projects. Contact us today.

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