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FORT LAUDERDALE -- When the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center opened in September 1991, its culmination marked a milestone in the construction industry.
It was a rare joint public-private development project erected in record time, below cost, under the concept of design-build.
Less than 20 percent of government projects today are design-build, even though industry experts say the process saves both time and money. The drawback to governments signing more design-build contracts is the fact that with design-build, one developer has total authority and accountability from conception to completion. The contract, therefore, may not go to the low bidder, because only a handful of firms have the capability to design-build.
The process of design-build is nothing new, but in the 1990s, with its emphasis on penny-pinching …