Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Chris M. Stoppel, PhD.


The objective of this study is to investigate the performance of the design-bid-build and design-build project delivery methods in Air Force military construction (MILCON). Project delivery performance is measured through quantitative cost, schedule, and change order metrics for 264 design-bid-build and 316 design-build MILCON projects from 2003-2014. The average response measures were statistically compared within each delivery method using three independent variables: time, facility type, and major command (MAJCOM). The historical analysis revealed that the current working estimate programmed amount ratios improved over time for design-build projects, and an overall consistency in schedule growth and project duration performance occurred across both delivery methods. The facility type analysis revealed that design-bid-build airfield pavement projects had significantly lower average unit costs and fewer modifications than other facility types. Dormitories, officer quarters, and dining halls were constructed (design-bid-build) and delivered (design-build) more rapidly than other facility types. While the study revealed significant differences across individual performance measures, no overall trend in project delivery performance was identified in the MAJCOM analysis. Finally, the current methods used by Air Force project managers to gather project data does not allow for meaningful project delivery performance comparisons. This study recommends the following eight key performance indicators be tracked to effectively compare the performance of project delivery methods: cost growth, unit cost, award growth, project duration, schedule growth, project delivery speed, modifications per million dollars of project scope, and percent modifications due to deficiencies.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number