By - Jon Brown

Design Build: The Basics
July 18, 2016 | Denver, CO

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Public owners faced with planning, executing and successfully completing their first major construction project will likely be presented with a variety of project delivery approaches, including design-build. Design-build offers a single point of responsibility for both design and construction, and if properly approached, can potentially shorten the time for completion and help avoid many of the disputes related issues that arise on design-bid-build projects.  In evaluating the efficacy and applicability of the design-build approach to any specific situation, a basic understanding of the design-build process and its perceived advantages and disadvantages is essential.

Attendees will learn about the basics of design-build projects, along with the legal terminology involved with a design-build contract. This course will provide attendees with an unbiased look at the benefits of design-build projects and how to determine if design-build is the correct approach for their project. Finally, by the end of this course attendees will be able to know how to successfully execute a design-build project.

Who Should Attend

  • Public and private project owners and staff
  • Developers
  • Consultants
  • Project managers and owner representatives
  • Construction managers
  • Finance and investment personnel

Learning Outcomes

  1. Review the basic features of the design-build approach
  2. Evaluate design-build advantages/disadvantages compared to other project delivery approaches
  3. Develop an approach for basic project risk analysis and management
  4. Provide design-build contract drafting pointers
  5. Review practical management considerations for the owner’s team on a design-build project


Monday, July 18, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing:

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1. Design-Build Introduction
  • What is design-build?
  • Comparison to other project delivery systems
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Is it right for your project?
2. Basic Risk Analysis
  • Identify the risks associated with your particular project
  • Assess the likelihood the risk will occur and the impact if it does occur
  • Allocate the risk to the party most able to deal with it (“equitable risk allocation”)
3. Design-Build Procurement – Best Practices
  • Organization to support successful procurement and execution of the project
  • Assessment of any legal or other procurement restraints
  • Public procurement issues – fair, open and transparent
  • What information will owner provide up front?
    • Scope/needs development and definition
    • Performance specifications and criteria
    • Geotechnical investigation
    • Draft contract documents
  • Evaluation criteria
    • Design builder qualifications, experience
    • Technical concepts, approach
    • Price, value
  • Use of a two-phase process
  • “Progressive Design-Build”
  • Meetings with “short list” proposers
  • Confidentiality and protection of intellectual property
  • Consider stipends for unsuccessful proposers
4. The Design-Build Contract
  • Overall goals
    • Clear, understandable, unambiguous contract documents
    • Equitable allocation of risk
    • Coordination of the various contract documents
  • Drafting issues
    • Team approach
    • Specifically and clearly define roles and responsibilities
    • Detail performance criteria and guarantees
    • How will parties determine if performance criteria met? (performance testing)
    • Who warrants what information?
    • How will Differing Site Conditions (DSC’s) be handled?
    • Use of disclaimers and exculpatory provisions
    • Effective disputes resolution
  • Standard Form Agreements
  • DBIA General Conditions
5. Successful Execution of a Design-Build Project
  • Owner level of experience and organization
  • Owner’s level of involvement in the design
  • Owner’s ability to make prompt decisions
  • Effective use of a construction manager
  • Practices and procedures that foster a team approach and open communications
  • Effective disputes avoidance and real-time resolution of disputes that cannot be avoided


Randall Hafer, Senior Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Randy Hafer is a senior partner and leader of Kilpatrick Townsend’s Construction & Infrastructure Projects Team. The team was named 2015 Construction Team of the Year by Chambers USA, 2012 Team of the Year by U.S. News – Best Lawyers, and is consistently ranked Tier 1 by Chambers, Best Lawyers and Legal 500. Throughout his entire career Mr. Hafer has focused his practice exclusively on issues related to the construction industry. He has been involved in matters in most of the fifty states and internationally on a wide variety of construction projects, including tunnels, wastewater treatment plants, airports, power plants, mass transit systems, mining facilities, bridges and highways, hospitals, office buildings, sports arenas, resort condominiums, universities and schools, manufacturing and processing facilities, and military facilities. He is a panel member on the AAA’s roster of arbitrators and mediators, he is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL), a member of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Construction Advisory Committee, and the primary author of “Dispute Review Boards and Other Standing Neutrals, Achieving “Real-Time” Resolution and Prevention of Disputes” for CPR.


Keith Richardson, Partner, Partner/Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Keith Richardson focuses his practice almost exclusively on construction and government contracting law. Mr. Richardson has mediated, arbitrated and litigated a wide variety of construction disputes for owners, contractors and subcontractors on public and private projects. Mr. Richardson regularly counsels clients concerning risk management on projects and the drafting of design and construction contracts. Mr. Richardson began his career as a structural engineer with John Portman & Associates, where he designed the structural components of high-rise office towers, hotels and commercial marts, and performed contract administration for the structural portion of the projects. He was a registered professional engineer.


Hayley Ambler, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Hayley Ambler is a partner in the Construction & Infrastructure Projects Group of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in the Atlanta office. She focuses her practice on litigating construction disputes and alternative disputes resolution. She has represented owners, EPC contractors, and original equipment manufacturers in connection with a variety of domestic and international disputes arising from the construction of power plants. Ms. Ambler has handled disputes involving nuclear and coal-fired power plants, Heat Recovery Steam Generators, wastewater treatment facilities, and chemical production facilities, as well as a wide spectrum of other heavy industrial projects. She has been instrumental in achieving many successful results for clients, including obtaining a $26.3 million arbitration award for one of the largest contractors in the United States, which represented 100% of the contractor’s damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees. Ms. Ambler has extensive experience with arbitrations, mediations, and state and federal court trials. In addition to disputes resolution, a significant portion of Ms. Ambler’s practice involves front-end claims avoidance, including effective contract drafting and negotiation, contract management and administration, and project execution. She has served as project counsel for a major oil and gas exploration and production services company during its construction of an offshore production and storage unit. As project counsel, Ms. Ambler was the prime contact for the project team regarding compliance with the contract, disputes, and claims resolution. A primary part of Ms. Ambler’s role was to facilitate the claims resolution process, including the development of a secure client web portal where questions about claims could be posed from the project team for early intervention by counsel. Ms. Ambler’s previous experience includes serving as a judicial clerk to the Honorable W. Eugene Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She was named a 2007, 2008 and 2009 Georgia “Rising Star” in the areas of Construction Litigation, Business Litigation, and International by SuperLawyers magazine.


Daniel Swaja, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Daniel Swaja is a partner in the Construction & Infrastructure Projects Group of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in the Atlanta office. Mr. Swaja devotes 100 percent of his practice to construction litigation, government contracting and construction and engineering claims avoidance. Mr. Swaja advises public and private owners as well as local, national and international contractors and engineers regarding contract negotiation, contract management, project execution, claim submittal, bid protests and dispute resolution. Mr. Swaja has represented client’s in arbitration hearings, mediations, dispute review boards and trials. And, Mr. Swaja has extensive experience in all standard forms of contract (AIA, DBIA, AGC, etc.) as well as customized contracts. Mr. Swaja has been recognized as a Georgia “Rising Star” in Construction Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine in 2016 and the five years immediately preceding. Mr. Swaja received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and JD from the University of Georgia School of law. While in law school, Mr. Swaja was a staff member of the Georgia Law Review.


Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 E Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237

To reserve your room, please call 1-303-779-1234 or book online at
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $179.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.


A room block has been reserved for the nights of July 17 – 18, 2016.


Make your reservations prior to June 24, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Event Standard RateAttendees

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