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Design-Build Through the Eyes of the Builder

November 20, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 9:30 am PST

Free – $15.00


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Design-Build Through the Eyes of the Builder: What Architects Need to Know – Part 1.

An AIA|LA Practice Committee Roundtable Discussion


As this topic has significant potential for discussion, we will attempt to develop a high-level understanding of this topic, and revisit in a more detailed way at a future date.

  • Better understand the critical success factors for the builder, our client, in the DB delivery model.
  • Understand how a builder goes about building a team for a DB pursuit.
  • Define the commitment the builder makes to the owner, how the architect and other design professionals are impacted by that commitment, where the builder’s risk lies, and where the design professionals risk lies.
  • Differentiate between traditional and progressive DB pursuits and how the expectations for the architect change.
  • Expectations for the architect and design team pre- and post- award.
  • Discussion of the full life cycle of the project through delivery, and how the architect’s responsibilities and liability are different all the way through documentation, construction and completion.
  • Why teaming history matters, how can we work towards building the best teams for projects, and not just the one that the client will give points for teaming history.
  • How can smaller Architectural practices get involved- SBE/DVBE/MBE provisions.
  • Do builders treat design professionals contractually like any other subcontractor?.

In the traditional design-bid-build model the owner “furnishes” a set of plans to the builder with an “implied warranty” that the plans are complete and buildable (the Spearin doctrine). If the plans are not buildable the builder will make a claim against the owner based on the inadequacy of the plans for construction.

In the DB model the builder “furnishes” the design to the owner. And the builder is the architect’s client. The builder will be responsible to the owner for any design deficiency. This is a fundamental paradigm shift .


Jamie Awford, DBIA – Principal, BN Builders

Jamie brings nearly 30 years of experience in construction with expertise in alternate delivery methods, including design-build, negotiated general contracting, and CM-at-Risk. As Principal, he is part of the Executive Leadership Team at BNBuilders responsible for strategic growth, business development, and operations, working closely with owners and designers to lead project teams through pre-construction and construction. He has worked on a variety of design/build projects ranging from $5 to $500 million, including higher education, life sciences, healthcare, aviation, and public works. Recent design/build projects include the Caltech Wang Laboratory Renovation, UCLA Geffen Academy, UC Irvine Research Facilities, Fullerton College Instructional Building, Scripps Health MD Anderson Radiation Therapy, Sharp Healthcare Infusion Therapy Center, San Diego Regional Airport Authority Terminal 2 Expansion, and several other projects throughout SoCal.

Andy Feth, DBIA, LEED AP – Project Executive at CW Driver

Andy is a Registered Professional Engineer (Civil), a LEED Accredited Professional, a Design Build Institute of America Designated Professional, and a past member of the DBIA National Innovation Committee. He is a native San Diegan and has spent his entire 33 year career in the Southern California market. As a Project Executive with C. W. Driver, Andy is an integral part of the Company’s Design Build pursuits including the formation of the project team and facilitating the crucial collaboration between estimating and the design team required for a successful response to an RFP. Upon award, he actively shepherds the project from inception of design to final Owner occupancy. He has successfully delivered Design Build projects for a variety of clients including UCSD, UCI, CSU San Diego, both the County and City of San Diego, and the City of El Cajon.

Thai Nguyen – Manager, Special Projects at PCL Constructions Services, Inc.

A client-focused professional who colleagues say promotes partnerships and collaboration, Thai Nguyen manages PCL’s Special Projects Group for the California Buildings Group, a division that focuses on delivering projects ranging from $100,000 to $10 million -a division that the company says requires responsive managers who can administer all aspects of a project. He is one of the youngest PCL employees to take on this position. He has led many Design Build projects with his most recently completed project, The UC Irvine Transmission Electron Microscope Facility, winning the Award of Merit and Excellence in Industrial/Process/Research category as well as being named the winner of the Excellence in Design-Engineering award at the 2018 DBIA National Conference. Outside of the office, he mentors young students to follow design and construction careers. Because of this community involvement, he was one of just four people nationwide selected for the ACE Mentor Program’s National 2013 Exemplary Mentor Award. In 2016, Thai was named to ENR California’s Top 20 under 40 list because of his strong leadership skills and community involvement.

Agenda/ Format:

7:30am – coffee, breakfast & networking (provided by the host firm)
8:00am – welcome & introductions
8:15am – Brief 5-minute introduction/ presentation from each of the GUEST SPEAKERS
8:30am – Q&A and interactive discussion.
9:15am – concluding remarks
9:30am – end

The Mission of the AIA|LA Practice Committee:

The mission of the AIA|LA Practice Committee is to advance the knowledge and skills of architects and emerging professionals, to enable a better understanding of, and ability to adapt to, the changing landscape in a rapidly evolving industry. Today’s design and construction industry must grapple with rapid technological change in the tools and process of design,  project delivery methods, construction  techniques and processes, and new and constantly changing building materials, products and systems. Parallel to these rapid technological changes, changes in the economic, environmental, governmental and legal environment, and life style changes, add additional and challenging layers of complexity to the design and construction process, all of which impact our practices in ways that are not readily apparent. Our goal is for the AIA|LA Practice Committee to be a forum for discussion, thinking, and sharing of information and ideas, to help architects adapt and evolve their practice and manage risk in this complex and fast changing environment.


Our meetings will be quarterly and will address both new and cutting edge developments as well as a review and reexamination of existing practices, focusing on how to work better, smarter, and avoid or mitigate and manage risk. Membership will be open to practicing architects, allied professionals, contractors, subcontractors and others involved in the design and construction industry. We are looking for talented and forward thinking professionals in the design and construction industry to participate in the meetings and contribute to the advancement of our collective practice. We appreciate and encourage suggestions for topics.


Photo Credit: LAX Terminal Cores and APM Interface Project, a Design-Build collaboration between AC Martin + Austin Commercial and Los Angeles World Airports



November 20, 2018
7:30 am - 9:30 am PST
Free – $15.00
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AC Martin
900 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2800
Los Angeles, CA 90017 United States
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