The design-bid-build process begins when an owner, after determining the need for the built space, enters into a contract with a designer to produce descriptive drawings and written specifications of the proposed building.
Upon completion by the designer, these documents are distributed to the general contractor, who will submit bids to perform the work. The expectation is that the lowest bidder will be selected to enter into a construction contract with the owner. This contract limits the cost of construction to one "lump sum" that was proposed. The design-bid-build lump sum project delivery system is traditional, relatively simple, and widely understood.