Project Delivery Methods and the Design Team

It is worth noting the role being played by design team towards designing and building a particular project. A lot of hours of work and effort can be overshadowed without adequate knowledge of applicable project delivery method as already determined by the owner in conjunction with the Partner or Project Manager.

To get the maximum efficiency from design team, we need to remind ourselves on the concept of project delivery.

What is project delivery?

In simple terms, it is the process by which the drawings are put together for the ultimate result of building the project to its complete state or form.

Why the need?

It is apparent that a gap in communication often exists between Project Manager/Job Captain and the remaining team members regarding the type of project delivery for that particular project. 


Team members may mix-match delivery methods based on previous knowledge and projects when there is no defined method communicated to all.

This can affect project time and cost both positively or negatively. Preferred option will be to match the project with the right delivery method as per the contract with the owner.

Types of delivery methods:

  1. Design-Bid-Build
    • Two separate contracts, Owner with Architect and Owner with Contractor.
    • Sequential process, process can not overlap
    • Contractor selection based on lowest bid after design stage completed.
    • Can prolong project time if lowest bid goes beyond budget causing adjustment to drawings.
  1. Construction Management (CM)

                    i.            Agency CM

    • Construction Manager acts on the best interest of the owner.
    • Three separate contracts are involved, Owner with Designer, Owner with Contractor and Owner with Construction Manager.
    • CM is an advisor.

                  ii.            At risk CM (Construction Manager/General Contractor)

    • Contractor takes the role of CM as well the role of GC.
    • Guaranteed maximum Price (GMP) is applicable.
    • General Contractor involved with design process.
    • Two separate contracts, Owner with  Designer and Owner with at risk CM

Benefits of Construction Management can include:

    • Value engineering,
    • Life cycle cost analysis
    • Conceptual estimating among others.
  1. Design – Build
    • Usually overlap design and construction, a process referred to as Fast Track.
    • One main contract, Owner with Designer/Builder.
    • Designer/Builder can operate under one roof or as one company, often referred to as full service design-build.
    • Builder may hire Designer under separate contract.
    • Designer and Contractor Partnerships.
    • Joint Venture. It applies on project by project basis.
  1. Integrated Project Delivery
    • Maximize efficiency and reduce waste.
    • Integrates people, systems, structures and practices into a process.
    • It integrates the participation of the CM at the design stage.
    • Both forms of Construction Management (CM) are integrated project delivery.