Client Alert- AB 400 / Design Build Contracting

AB 400 (Rubio) would extend the sunset provisions for the use of design-build contracting by local government agencies from January 1, 2025 until January 1, 2031.

The California Public Contract Code currently authorizes cities, counties, and specified special districts and transit agencies to use design-build contract procurement for specified public works contracts in excess of $1 Million using either a low bid or best value process. These public projects exclude roads, but include buildings, utility improvements associated with buildings, flood control, underground utility improvements, bridges, and other specified projects. AB 400 would extend the sunset provision of this section of the Public Contract Code  until January 1, 2031, allowing local agencies to continue the use of the design-build contract mechanism.

With respect to this proposed bill, the following definitions apply:

  • “Design-build” means a project delivery process in which both the design and construction of a project are procured by a single entity.
  • “Best value” means a value determined by evaluation of objective criteria that relate to price, features, functions, life-cycle costs, experience, and past performance. A best value determination may involve the selection of the lowest cost proposal meeting the interests of the local agency and meeting the objectives of the project, selection of the best proposal of a stipulated sum established by the procuring agency, or a tradeoff between price and other specified factors.
  • “Design-build entity” means a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, or other legal entity that is able to provide appropriately licensed contracting, architectural, and engineering services as needed pursuant to a design-build contract.

On May 18, 2023, the California State Assembly voted unanimously in favor of AB 400. The bill will be heard in the California State Senate Committee on Governance and Finance on June 21, 2023.


Aleshire & Wynder LLP provides unparalleled legal representation to local communities throughout California.  Our attorneys have been loyally serving public agencies for over 35 years. 

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