November 18, 2011

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is pleased to announce the selection of a design-build team for the build-out of its new headquarters offices located at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. DPR Construction will partner with the full-service architecture and interior design firm Envision, the design-build MEP firm Shapiro & Duncan and the electrical design-build firm M.C. Dean in the complete design and construction of the 9,598 square foot office space. The new headquarters allows for 40% more space for DBIA, a direct response to the growth of the organization which mirrors the growth in design-build as a tested and proven project delivery method. The work will be carried out under a DBIA Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Design-Build Contract. As the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build, DBIA is committed to applying those best practices throughout the process including in the development of the RFQ, selection of the project team and the owner/team interface. The Institute relied on a one-step, two-phase Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) and used performance based requirements to describe its needs in the RFQ, noting in the scope of work the need for full design and construction services including architectural, structural, technological, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and interior design. The RFQ outlined the number of current and anticipated future employees, the need for a highly professional and contemporary design that both embodies the values of the organization, but provides optimal functionality and flexibility for the high volume of output produced by the DBIA staff. While the requirement for USGBC LEED-CI certification was stipulated, DBIA provided very general aesthetic and operational guidelines to allow the successful respondents to use creativity and innovation in the design and construction of the space. “This space not only provides DBIA with room to expand and grow as an organization, it also represents an opportunity to practice what we teach at DBIA,” said Executive Director Lisa Washington, CAE. After reviewing the responses, DBIA shortlisted three firms who were interviewed and scored based on their responsiveness to the requirements contained in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The criteria DBIA considered included how well the teams conveyed their understanding of the experiential aspects of the project and how well they defined their expectations of DBIA in its role as the owner of this project. Each of the shortlisted firms was extremely well-qualified, making the decision a difficult one. At the visioning session held yesterday, DBIA employee stakeholders toured the new space and met the entire design-build team including project executives and managers, the architectural and interior designers and the practitioners who will design and install the systems. Together, the team explored possibilities for the new space. DBIA staff members explained how they work now and how they would like to work in the future. The designers and engineers listened and responded with potential solutions. One of the agenda items was an assessment of the potential LEED certification level. With LEED Accredited Professionals from every discipline at the table to engage in discussions and calculate the trade-offs required, the team decided to aim for a minimum of LEED Gold Certification. “It was invaluable for me and my key staff to experience first-hand the value that an integrated design-build team brings to a project and this experience further strengthens my personal commitment to helping all owners – novice and experienced, big or small – be responsive to their design-build project teams,” said Washington. The DBIA Headquarters project demands a high level of commitment from everyone: The organization is scheduled move to its new space in March of 2012.