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Identifying design development factors in Australian PPP projects using an AHP framework


  • Peter Raisbeck
  • Llewellyn C.M. Tang


In Australia consortiums will come together and create an initial design concept or sketch design at the public--private partnership (PPP) bid stage. If the bid is successful this initial design is then developed further. However, a winning bid may have been evaluated on financial criteria alone and the consortium’s capability to develop the design through to project delivery may not have been thoroughly evaluated. In theory, design is a key process in PPP projects and the aim of the research was to understand what capabilities are important in the development of a design through this process. To clarify these issues, a range of activities and organizational factors linked to design development are proposed using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. This method was chosen in order to see which design development factors were ranked more highly by experts. In this research the hierarchy was designed employing the categories of exploratory and exploitative design development. Below each of these overarching categories, there were four design development functional distinctions: the two exploratory distinctions were Design (D) and Design Management (DM). The two exploitative distinctions were Design Support (DS) and Design Infrastructure (DI). A further list of 36 design development sub-criteria was developed under the above categories. These sub-criteria formed the basis of a survey of respondents drawn from a database of industry sources in the public domain as well as a list gathered from a large developer involved in PPP projects. It included relatively senior managers, PPP project managers and architects. Survey respondents identified a recent PPP project that they had worked on. From the 36 responses it can be seen that the exploratory Design (D) and Design Management (DM) activities were ranked more highly than the exploitative activities of Design Support (DS) and Design Infrastructure (DI) associated with a PPP project organization. This suggests that PPP frameworks should account for these exploratory factors as well as the exploitative factors associated with compliance, quality systems and project team infrastructure. This indicates that in PPP projects design development through the effective management of an initial design is a critical factor.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Raisbeck & Llewellyn C.M. Tang, 2013. "Identifying design development factors in Australian PPP projects using an AHP framework," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 20-39, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:31:y:2013:i:1:p:20-39 DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.729133

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