Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on February 4, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 6, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) endorses selection of engineering firms/teams for projects based on design competition as one method of qualifications-based selection (QBS), provided that each competing engineering firm/team is equally and fairly compensated for reasonable competition costs as outlined in the request for proposals; the selection panel includes licensed engineers or practitioners who are competent in the technical aspects of the project and do not have a conflict of interest with any of the competing engineering firms/teams; and selection is based on design quality, not design fee or political influence.
Design competitions can provide innovative concepts that may result in preferred solutions for the project owner. Risks of design competitions are that the engineering firms/teams involved may not receive fair or equal compensation for their services, the selection panel may not include licensed engineers or practitioners who are competent in the technical aspects of the project, and the project owners are at liberty to use concepts from all firms to achieve the best overall solution.
Design competitions can be useful for selecting engineering firms/teams. Innovative ideas can be generated by engineering firms/teams, providing preferred solutions to project owners. The design competition selection process is more successful when the selection panel includes licensed engineers or practitioners who have the technical background and experience necessary to evaluate the designs presented, so that sound innovative technical solutions are identified and incorporated. Compensation to prepare a response should be determined prior to the competition. Each engineering firm/team should be compensated an equal and fair amount.
This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 439
First Approved in 1995