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Accelerating Solutions: The Power of Progressive Design-Build

Updated: Apr 16

When it comes to infrastructure projects, it is important for owners to find the best project delivery method to suit the unique needs and challenges of the project. Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) and Construction Manager At-Risk (CMAR) methods can be ideal for complex projects but typically include a lengthy preconstruction phase. On the other hand, the Design-Build (DB) method reduces the design and construction timeline, but it also requires significant time to prepare contract documents and procure a design-build team. 

Progressive Design-Build (PDB) is an innovative, two-phased approach that maximizes the collaboration of CMGC/CMAR and the speed of DB. The PDB delivery method helps owners manage risk, encourage collaboration, and deliver high-quality projects faster. This is accomplished by bringing the owner, designer, and builder together as early in the project as possible to define the project scope, explore multiple conceptual designs, evaluate innovations, implement efficiencies, and mitigate risks. 

Graph showing project timelines in relation to project delivery methods.

What are the Benefits of Progressive Design-Build?

Managing Risk

One key benefit of PDB is the ability to manage risk. Engaging stakeholders early in the process allows potential issues to be identified and mitigated before construction begins. The owner of each risk is identified collaboratively during preconstruction and the project team decides how costs associated with risk are incorporated into the PDB contract. After the execution of the PDB contract, the design-builder assumes the majority of the risk for the project. However, these risks are minimized compared to DB, because the contractor has a better understanding of the risks.

Encouraging Collaboration

In addition to reducing the project risks, PDB provides greater predictability and control over the project's outcome.  It also promotes creativity and innovation, allowing for greater collaboration and problem-solving. With the entire project team working together from the beginning, everyone has a stake in the project's success, and ideas are heard and considered throughout the project. 

Delivering Faster

PDB reduces the time to deliver the project by developing the design and the Phase 2 PDB contract concurrently. This concurrent development can result in completing a project one to two years faster than DB or CMGC/CMAR. Reducing the time it takes to deliver the project also reduces the cost of the project due to inflation and general overhead charges.

Horrocks’ Alternative Delivery Experience

Horrocks has extensive experience in using alternative delivery methods to help owners manage a project’s risk, schedule, and budget. As a designer, program manager, or independent quality firm, we partner with owners, contractors, and stakeholders to achieve successful project outcomes through CMGC or CMAR, DB, and PDB delivery. 

Horrocks' PDB Experience

Horrocks was the lead designer for the first PDB delivery in Utah and has since successfully delivered additional projects with this innovative method such as US-89; Farmington to I-84 and I-15; 5600 South Progressive Design-Build. See below for more details on these projects. 

US-89; Farmington to I-84 PDB

The US-89; Farmington to I-84 project improved the safety and mobility on the corridor and in the project area by reconstructing and widening 12 miles of US-89 and converting it from a four-lane highway to a six-lane, grade-separated expressway. The project was designed and constructed using the PDB delivery method which allowed UDOT to select a design-build team at the beginning of the project and collaborate to build the desired project. As part of the Oak Hills Contractors Design-Build team, Horrocks served as the lead designer on this project for the preparation of final plans, specifications, right-of-way (ROW) deeds, ROW acquisition, and contract documents. Major elements of this project included new roadways and interchanges, new bridge structures, retaining walls, surveys, SUE, utility relocations, GIS mapping, and more.  

This project won the 2023 Utah Construction & Design Highway Project of the Year and both the 2024 ACEC Utah and National Grand Award in Transportation. Check out the feature on page 34 in the UC&D December 2023 Edition here: UC&D Magazine Archive

I-15; 5600 South PDB

Construction crews standing next to machinery.

The 5600 South PDB project is an interchange reconstruction and the 5600 South (SR-97) widening project. The new single-point urban interchange (SPUI) interchange will improve traffic operations and the widening of 5600 South will reduce congestion and improve safety from I-15 to 3500 West (SR-108). Horrocks is the lead designer teamed with Sand Ridge Constructors (JV). The major items of work include a new interchange with multiple structures, road widening (including replacing a structure over UPRR and UTA), frontage road reconstruction, intersection improvements, trail systems, utilities, drainage, survey, ROW, traffic modeling, ITS, lighting, signals, signing, environmental reevaluation, third-party coordination, and Hill Air Force Base coordination.  

Confluence Parkway PDB

Horrocks is a subconsultant to KPFF on the Confluence Parkway PDB project in Wenatchee, Washington. As part of the team, Horrocks is providing PDB coordination, bridge design, and right-of-way coordination services. As of April 2024, this project is currently in the initial scoping phase as the project team is collaborating with the owner to determine the scope based on the available funding. 

For more information on this project see the project website: Confluence Parkway PDB.

Learn More About Our PDB Experts

A bearded man

Matt Horrocks, PE

As Horrocks' Chief Operations Officer over Alternative Delivery, Matt brings 22 years of experience in transportation engineering and expertise in project management and roadway design to overcome unique challenges and meet tight deadlines. Specializing in cutting-edge contracting methods like Design-Build and Progressive Design-Build, Matt has led landmark projects for UDOT, ADOT, ITD, and NDOT.

A man in suit smiling

Richard Hansen, PE

With 22 years in the industry, Richard has experience from working on three Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) PDB projects and 18 DB/CMGC projects. He served as the design manager on UDOT I-15; 900 South PDB project and the 5600 South PDB project and as the structures discipline lead on the US-89 PDB. With a start-smart and start-fast approach, Richard leverages his alternate delivery experience to lead teams that focus on innovation, efficiency, risk mitigation, quality, cost reduction, and collaboration. He finds great satisfaction in working with the owner and contractor to find great solutions to challenges that benefit the project and make the entire team successful.  

A man in suit smiling

Brian Atkinson, PE

Brian is Horrocks' Chief Operations Officer of Transportation and Public Works with over 28 years of industry experience. Known for his modern approach to project delivery, Brian excels in managing transportation projects from planning to construction. With expertise in innovative contracts like Progressive Design-Build and CMGC, he navigates challenges skillfully, ensuring timely delivery without compromising quality or budget.  

Trilon: A Family of Companies

Trilon company logo: Smarter solutions, better communities

Horrocks is powered by Trilon with more than 15 partner companies across the United States. Several of our sister companies have served their local DOTs by providing PDB on large to small projects, bringing a national depth to our PDB expertise and bench of professionals.

Contact Horrocks to Learn More About PDB

Open communication, innovation, and flexibility between the owner, designer, and builder results in faster project delivery times, the most cost-effective project delivery, and higher-quality projects that better meet the needs of the community.

Contact us at to learn more about how our team can support your project through PDB delivery.


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