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Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA testifies on Capitol Hill on May 23, 2013 for Design-Build reform

Federal Design-Build Legislation Introduced
By Jessica Salmoiraghi, Director, Federal Relations

    Addressing concerns raised by the AIA, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, has introduced legislation to improve design-build competitions in the federal marketplace. 

    The Design Build Efficiency and Jobs Act 0f 2013 (H.R. 2750), which has been cosponsored by nine other members of Congress from both parties, will make it harder for the federal government to expand DB finalists on projects beyond the current five in a two-stage project.  It will assist in making it easier for firms to gauge their business risk on the DB procurement while also limiting the amount of money that the federal government spends on reviewing submittals.  Moreover, it limits the use of single-step DB to projects that are valued at less than $750,000 than the cost of construction.

    This bill’s introduction follows testimony by Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, 2013 First Vice President, in May before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce.  At that hearing, Dreiling spoke about the challenges that architecture firms face when trying to compete in federal design-build competitions.  Subcommittee members from both parties had expressed support for the AIA’s proposed reforms. 

    While this bill only affects federal construction, it will create a precedent for local and state design-build reforms.  During the August recess, AIA members can contact their members of Congress to ask them to cosponsor the bill.

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This content is published by the AIA Government and Community Relations Department, 1735 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20006. To contact the AIA’s Government & Community Relations team, send an email to


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