California now permits school districts to utilize design-build project delivery, joining eight other states with specific legislation that allows this format to be used in the public education sector. Fifteen additional states have broad public agency authority to use design-build, according to the Design-Build Institute of America.
California's new law authorizes school districts to enter into a single contract for the design and construction of schools costing more than $10 million. In awarding contracts, officials may now take into account factors other than price. The law lists some of the elements that must be included in the request for proposals, including evaluation factors and the relative weight assigned to each.
The statute stipulates that the final selection procedure for the design-build contractor must be based on either of two criteria: lump-sum bids by prequalified offerors on the basis of the lowest responsible bid, or "best value" on the basis of performance or other criteria.
The following factors must collectively be at least 50 percent of the total weight for all criteria: price, technical expertise, life cycle costs for at least 15 years, the availability of a skilled labor force and a good safety record.