The owner hires the design builder at the programming stage to provide all architectural, engineering, and design services. Single-source accountability and transparency between the owner, architect, construction team, and design assist subcontractors minimizes cost, streamlines schedules, and reduces overall risk.

Design Build features customizable options for each individual client. On larger and more complex projects, the owner may hire a bridging or criteria architect to define the program and schematic design. This brings clarity to the design builder regarding size, scope, schedule and key project elements. The design builder can also provide the owner with turnkey contracting, assisting a public or quasi public entity by providing a comprehensive design/build/finance package in exchange for future revenues under a public private partnership. Integrated Project Delivery is a variation of Design Build where the owner, architect, contractor, and design assist subcontractors share all project risks and rewards.