This is an interesting question. APD has been broadly used in the public sector over the last two decades. During that time, we have seen successful projects and those with “challenges.”
We see industry organizations such as the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) all producing guidance and educational opportunities to build upon lessons learned and present best practices. Indeed, the greatest success is gained through developing long-term partnerships between the parties and establishing trust among the team.
Risk must be appropriately identified and managed by the party best able to handle that risk. Anyone looking to engage with APD projects needs to look for a proven partner who can mentor through the process. An inexperienced owner should consider bringing on an advisor, designers, and contractors with experience to facilitate a learning process.
It’s good to remember that not every project can be delivered through design-build or another APD method. Similarly, not every individual or firm is cut out for APD.