There is a dire need to rebuild existing infrastructure with strategic and efficient methods. Design-build (DB) becomes a potential solution that provides fast-tracked delivery as a more time and cost-efficient project delivery method. Past research studied factors influencing DB but without providing a holistic analytic approach. This paper fills this knowledge gap. First, a systematic literature review is performed using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses techniques, and a set of factors affecting DB projects are then identified and clustered, using k-means clustering, based on the whole literature discussions. Second, a graph theory approach, social network analysis (SNA), is conducted methodically to detect the understudied factors. Third, the clustered factors are analyzed using association rule (AR) analysis to identify factors that have not been cross-examined together. To this end, the findings of this research highlighted the need to investigate a group of important understudied factors that affect DB decision-making and procedures that are related to management, decision-making and executive methods, and stakeholder and team related aspects, among others. Also, while the majority of the existing research focused on theoretical efforts, there is far less work associated with computational/mathematical approaches that develop actual DB frameworks. Accordingly, future research is recommended to tackle this critical need by developing models that can assess DB performance, success, and implementation, among other aspects. Furthermore, since none of the studies evaluated DB while factoring in all 34 identified relevant factors, it is recommended that future research simultaneously incorporates most, if not all, these factors to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive analysis for DB decision-making. In addition, future studies need to tackle broader sectors rather than focusing over and over on the already saturated ones. As such, this study consolidated past literature and critically used it to offer robust support for the advancement of DB knowledge within the construction industry.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1943-7862; 0733-9364

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 American Society of Civil Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023