Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Christopher J. West, PhD


The design-build method for construction project delivery continues to grow in both the private and public sector. Several government agencies have observed, through experience with design-build, positive results which give “anecdotal” credibility to design-build methods. The objective of this study is to compare the performance of the design-build delivery method with traditional design-bid-build approaches for Air Force (AF) military construction (MILCON). Data related to 835 (278 design-build, 557 traditional) MILCON projects were gathered from the Automated Civil Engineer System – Project Management Module (ACES-PM) for Fiscal Years 1996-2006. The design-build method had better performance for six of eight metrics with highly significant results for cost growth and number of modifications per million dollars. The traditional method experienced a highly significant advantage for the metrics of construction timeline and total project time. The historical analysis revealed that design-build MILCON has improved significantly for cost growth, modifications per million dollars, construction timeline, and total project time. The traditional method also improved for the cost growth and modifications per million dollars metrics. Finally, the facility type analysis revealed that the design-build method was best suited for seven of the nine facility types. This study provides empirical evidence of where the design-build delivery method provides an advantage to the traditional method for AF MILCON execution.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number