To insure maximum efficiency to
all elements involved in any construction project, it is important to bring organization
and structure together, in .the planning, design, estimating and project management
for any project.
Each project has a delivery method
that is optimum for its unique environment and the business conditions in which
it must be delivered. Owners and project managers must carefully analyze those
conditions before selecting the specific method by which each project is to be
delivered. Not doing so is the single largest problem in today's construction
and real estate industry.
Since the early 1980's, Owners and developers of construction projects have been
putting greater pressure on the Architecture & Engineering/Construction community
to increase quality, decrease cost, and more importantly compress the period it
takes from concept to completion. As a result, Owners and the industry have experimented
with various forms of project delivery methods. Perhaps the most challenging concept
to develop at the start of a project, is exactly what does the Owner require and
what is the true definition of the project delivery method that was ostensibly
been selected. As a result, the industry needs a set of standard definitions for
project delivery as a basis for communicating the technical requirements for bringing
a new project from the Owner's concept to operation.
Project Delivery Methods
The Construction Industry Institute maintains that there are really only three
fundamental project delivery methods: Design/Bid/Build, Design/Build, and Construction
The different methods are distinguished
by the way the contracts between the Owner, the Architect, and the Contractor
(or builder) are formed and the technical relationships that evolve between each
party inside those contracts. The definitions and a brief explanation is included
herein. (For a more detailed review of these methods along with a graphic displaying
the contractual relationships, please click here after reviewing the following.)
1. Design/Bid/Build (DBB)
This is the traditional project delivery method in which an Owner retains an Architect
to furnish complete design services and then advertises and awards the separate
construction contract based on the Architect's full construction contract documents.
The Owner is responsible for the details of design and liable to the construction
Contractor for the quality of the Construction Contract Documents.
DBB projects can also be awarded on a negotiated basis and a best value basis.
In both cases, the probability that the project will be awarded to a Contractor
who has submitted a mistakenly low bid is reduced. Additionally, the motivation
of the Contractor in both cases is to complete the project in a manner that will
get it invited back to do the next negotiated contract. Regardless of the award
method, DBB is distinguished by no Contractor input during the design phase. Thus,
the Owner must rely on the Architect's team alone for constructability review,
if there is any at all.
2. Construction Management
CM typically comes in two variations: Construction Manager Agency and Construction
Manager at Risk.
Construction Manager Agency (CMA)
CMA is a method whereby the Owner retains the CM at the same time as the Architect
and receives continuous technical services throughout the life of the project.
The CMA does not assume liability for the actual construction. Thus, this method
is very similar to DBB with an additional technical professional furnishing the
Owner construction management services only.
Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMR)
Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMR) projects are characterized by a contract between
an Owner and a construction manager (CM). in which, the Owner authorizes the CM
to handle all the details of a project's life cycle. The idea of CMR is to furnish
professional management of all phases of a project's life to an Owner whose organization
may not have those capabilities. Typically, CMR contracts contain a provision
in which the CMR stipulates to a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) above which the
Owner is not liable for payment. Often these contracts include incentive clauses
in which the CMR and Owner split any cost savings realized below the GMP. CMR
contracts can contain provisions for the CMR to handle some aspects of design,
but most commonly, the Owner retains the traditional responsibility by keeping
a separate design contract and furnishing the CMR with a full set of plans and
specifications on which all construction contracts are based.
3. Design-Build (DB)
Design/Build (DB) is a project delivery method in which the Owner procures both
design and construction services in the same contract from a single, legal entity
referred to as the Design/Builder. The method uses Request for Qualifications
(RFQ)/Request for Proposal (RFP) procedures rather than the DBB Invitation for
Bids (IFB) procedures. There are a number of variations on the DB process, but
all involve three major components.
The Owner develops (with
or without the aid of a professional) an RFQ/RFP that describes essential project
requirements in performance terms. Next is the evaluation of those offering proposals,
and finally, with evaluation complete, the Owner must engage in a contract award
for both design and construction services. The DB entity is liable for all design
and construction costs and normally, must provide a firm, fixed price and delivery
schedule in its proposal, generally from schematic phase designs; sometimes prior
From the Owner's standpoint
the project's chain of responsibility has been considerably simplified. Again,
the Contractor has early constructability input to the design process. The Design/Builder
literally controls this project delivery process. As a result, DB is the delivery
method which has the greatest ability to compress the project delivery period
and as a result is often used for "Fast-Track" projects.
This is a term that encompasses a detailed review of drawings,
specifications and construction processes before a project is put
out for bids. The benefits of constructability are reduced costs,
improved quality, enhanced safety and better risk control.
This term covers all parties
in a design, construction contract
that will be mutually beneficial. It can also be called a synergistic
relationship, maximizing the effectiveness of each participant's
Each project has its own unique delivery requirements and one of the three methods
will be MOST appropriate for each individual project. The path to successful project
delivery must start by selecting the best delivery method for the given project
and then by applying the principles of constructability and partnering, completing
that project in a highly professional manner.
Barretta & Associates professionals
will assist you in understanding your needs, explaining in more detail the options
available to you, outline the pros and cons of each method and selecting the most
appropriate method of delivery for your specific project. There is a MOST appropriate
method for your project. Do not allow selection by default!
Design Build Specialty