The completion of the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health marks a momentous occasion for the design-build delivery method and University of Washington Capitol Projects, as this is the first and largest integrated design-build project to complete on campus, changing the way future projects are delivered.

Prior to the Hans Rosling Center, the UW used the traditional GC/CM delivery method, where architects and general contractors were selected separately.  They worked through design with the architect, then construction with the contractor. Several elements of the traditional method caused repeated frustrations, a common and primary one being undesirable budget surprises (i.e. being over budget), usually resulting from a miscommunication between design and construction services. The UW was looking to integrate design and construction services, with a single source of budget and schedule responsibility shared between them.

At the start of the Hans Rosling Center, the UW selected the design-build team of Miller Hull and Lease Crutcher Lewis based on team qualifications, project approach and a mark-up percentage for fee. Once selected, the team partners were to create a design and move through construction to completion, also known as progressive design-build, progressing with the owner throughout the entire process.

In this model, the UW set a maximum total project cost – including the portion for design and construction – then reimburses the actual design and construction cost only up to that amount.

The UW also asked the design-build team to create a risk-reward partnership within the project team, meaning all key design-build disciplines and trades put their fee or mark-up at risk in the event that the project goes over budget.  However, the team also had an opportunity to earn an incentive fee, the reward, if the team can deliver on budget and create additional value for the university by finding ways to reduce waste in the process and “build a better (higher quality) mousetrap.” The UW put aside a few percentage points of the project budget to create this incentive fund.

Since 2017, the UW has used progressive design-build with 10 major projects, with the Hans Rosling Center being the first and largest. The UW continues to use this delivery method because they repeatedly see better success and better savings than their previous approaches.

Completed as of October 2020, the Hans Rosling Center was a groundbreaking project in all aspects. The project finished on time, much faster than previous projects, added about $8.8 million of enhancements during construction and completed $6.5 million under budget – all of which would have been almost unheard of previously. View the video here.