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We analyse the behaviour of a Propose & Revise architecture in the VT elevator design problem and we show that this problem solving method cannot solve all possible cases covered by the available domain knowledge. We investigate this problem and we show that this limitation is caused by the restricted search regime employed by the method and that the competence of the method cannot be improved by acquiring additional domain knowledge. We therefore propose an alternative design problem solver, which integrates case-based reasoning and heuristic search techniques and overcomes the competence-related limitations exhibited by the Propose & Revise architecture, while maintaining the same level of efficiency. We describe four algorithms for case-based design, which exploit both general properties of parametric design tasks and application specific heuristic knowledge.