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Ethical Issues in Design-Build

J. Paul Guyer, P.E., R.A., Fellow ASCE, Fellow AEI

Course Outline

1.  Introduction
2.  What is Design-Build?
3.  Construction Delivery and Construction Procurement Processes
4.  Subjective and Objective Criteria for Construction Procurement
5.  Ethical Issues
6.  Resolving the Ethical Issues
7.  The Road Forward

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers and architects employed by public agencies and private companies as well as those who are self-employed.  It will also be valuable for construction professionals who are concerned with the long-term health of their industry.

Benefit for Attendee

This course will illuminate ethical issues for engineers and architects arising from the design-build process, and will offer proposals for how the design and construction community can resolve these issues while retaining the positive aspects of the design-build process.

Course Introduction

This course examines the ethical issues faced by engineers and architects in the design-build process, and suggests steps that can be taken to respond to them.

About Course Author

Paul Guyer is a registered mechanical engineer, civil engineer, fire protection engineer and architect with over 35 years experience in the design of buildings and related infrastructure.  For an additional 9 years he was a senior-level advisor to the California Legislature on infrastructure and capital outlay issues.  He has designed and supervised the design of hundreds of construction projects requiring the preparation of detailed working drawings and specifications for federal, state and local public agencies and private companies.  He is a graduate of Stanford University and has held numerous national, state and local positions with the American Society of Civil Engineers and National Society of Professional Engineers.

Course Content

You need to view and study the following materials for this course:

1. Ethical Issues in Design-Build (slides handout in PDF, 14 pages, 0.74 MB )
2. Ethical Issues in Design-Build (video) (Request the link to video)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

This course discusses the fundamentals of design-build, the difference between construction delivery and construction procurement processes, the difference between subjective and objective criteria as a basis for design-build contract award, and the ethical issues engineers and architects are faced with when a design-build process is employed.


You need to print the quiz questions prior to viewing the videos. At the end of the viewing, you must complete the quiz and submit your answers online to obtain your PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.