Jim defines a construction project management delivery method as being the system and method used to get a construction project designed and built. He also describes the traditional design-bid-build system, as well as some alternative project delivery methods (APDM).
- When an owner undertakes a construction project, they have to decide how and who will manage the project and act on their behalf, and they have to choose a project delivery method. What I mean by choosing a project delivery method is that the owner has to decide how a project will be designed and built. And this is one of the most important decisions an owner will make. An owner has a number of different choices when it comes to selecting a project delivery method, but I'm going to say that they're all generally derived from four basic models.
Design-Bid-Build is often referred to as the traditional method of project delivery and construction. It follows a very linear progression of design, procurement, and then construction. Design-Build attempts to streamline that process a little bit by combining design and construction services into a single contract. Construction Manager At Risk, or CMAR, is a sort of hybrid system where the construction company assumes the role of a consultant to the owner during the design phase, but then changes roles to become the general contractor during the construction phase.
This delivery method is newer to the construction industry, and it might be less familiar to people than Design-Bid-Build. Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD, is the newest model for construction project delivery, and it's very unique in that it requires each of the parties, the owner, the designer, and the builder, to collaborate and collectively manage and share risk, responsibility, and liability. The contractual obligations involved in IPD are really unique and are going to be less familiar to construction companies than any of the other three delivery methods.
Many people who have been involved in the construction industry for a while will refer to Design-Bid-Build as, like I said, the traditional method of project delivery, and they'll refer to all of the other methods as alternative project delivery methods, or APDM. And in fact, Design-Bid-Build has been by far the predominant method of project delivery throughout the entire construction industry. The other project delivery methods have been derived to fix what many people see as the shortcomings in Design-Bid-Build.
For one thing, that linear or sequential progression of design, then procurement, then construction really never facilitated much collaboration between the different parties. Now, a lack of collaboration tends to lead to a lack of innovation. And as construction projects and facilities and structures become more complicated and more sophisticated, a lack of innovation is not a good thing in the construction industry. Each of these four methods of project delivery and the different variations that come out of them all have their strengths and weaknesses, and a project owner really has to weigh out how a delivery method will impact things like design, budget, schedule, and risk.
Each project will have its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing a delivery method, and an owner will need to address each project's unique goals, requirements, and challenges to really determine the method that is best for each particular project.
- Payment and procurement methods
- The design-bid-build method
- The design-build method
- Construction manager at risk (CMAR)
- Integrated project delivery (IPD)
- Selecting a project delivery method
- Procurement laws
- Delivering the best value to the owner
- Qualifications-based selection
- Changes in the way you are paid