Construction delivery methods in the United States Air Force



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This report analyzes construction delivery method use in the United States Air Force (USAF) and determines which methods prove to be more effective and efficient and which construction delivery methods should be pursued. The construction delivery methods undergoing analysis are design-bid-build (DBB), design-build (DB), construction manager at risk (CMAR), and integrated project delivery (IPD). A literary review of previous studies on the aforementioned construction delivery methods, particularly regarding studies performed within the United States (US) federal government and US military branches is presented. The benefits for each construction delivery method is discussed, as well as the common obstacles and problems with each one. A survey was conducted in which 145 contracting officers in the USAF responded, and the survey results are analyzed and compared to those found in the literary reviews. Two major conclusions drawn from the literary review and survey are that DB should be used over DBB in most cases, and IPD should be examined as a viable USAF construction delivery method candidate. With the literary review, DB is seen as superior to DBB in almost every regard, and the surveyed contracting personnel tended to favor DB over other construction delivery methods. For higher complexity or large projects DBB can offer more control but sacrifices timeliness. IPD has data that suggests it can be a construction delivery method that is better than DB and DBB but currently cannot legally be used for USAF construction contracts because the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) restricts it. DB should be defaulted to as the go to construction delivery method if the project is a viable candidate and there are not extenuating factors that suggest another method be used. It should be explored what parts of IPD can be implemented for now, while larger legislative changes to the FAR are made at the congressional level.



Construction delivery method, United States Air Force

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Master of Science


Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science

Major Professor

Kimberly W. Kramer