RS&H Vice President Jim Avitabile has been a big part of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) in his home state of Florida. As region president, he helped expand DBIA membership, diversified initiatives and implemented a successful awards program that made the region financially sustainable.

It only make sense that Avitabile is being recognized on the national DBIA stage. Avitabile will receive a 2018 Transportation Leadership Award at the Design-Build Transportation Conference in March. It’s a conference that Avitabile has seen double in size since he became involved with DBIA.

“We have a good group of people who all have the same passion for design-build,” Avitabile said. “Once we started getting clients and owners involved – people with that same passion – we have seen our numbers grow and grow.”

Through his involvement with DBIA, Avitabile encouraged more owner participation in the transportation conferences along with an internal shift away from practitioner project presentations towards team presentations that encouraged integrated owner involvement. This has reflected heavily in the membership and participation of the DBIA Transportation Markets Committee where a high number of participants now include both federal, state and transportation agency representatives.

Avitabile currently serves as the DBIA’s Transportation Markets Thought Leader and Committee Chair, a position that he has held since 2012. He is a national leader in design-build project delivery, having worked extensively to develop a design-build practice at RS&H that includes a successful portfolio of design-build and public-private partnership (P3) projects across the country.

Under Avitabile’s leadership, DBIA drafted the first Transportation Sector Best Design-Build Practices documents. The Transportation Committee has developed white paper guidelines for industry specific topics such as right-of-way acquisition, utility relocations, environmental permitting, maintenance of traffic and the effective use of alternative technical concepts.

Avitabile has participated in DBIA Webinars on these subjects, made presentations at DBIA’s national conferences, and implemented the first national owner’s survey of the use of design-build by all fifty state DOT agencies.

“There are a lot of design-build projects being done, but we want to make sure everyone understands the benefits of design-build done right,” Avitabile said. “Through the shared education of lessons learned in DBIA, the industry is able to get better and better at delivering strong project results.”

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Joe VanHoose
Joe VanHoose
Joe is a storyteller with more than a decade of experience in media relations, with particular specialty in writing and promoting. He can be reached at