4 Common Project Delivery Methods in Construction

Choosing a Construction Project Delivery Method

Different types of project delivery methods

These project delivery techniques frequently focus on the financial requirements, design components, and schedules of various construction projects. Common types of project delivery methods include:


This approach is frequently used by businesses because it enables efficient cooperation between all parties during the construction process. This includes engineers, architects and construction workers. When working on larger commercial projects, a lot of construction workers prefer to employ this strategy. The three phases of the design-bid-build approach make it one of the lengthier approaches.

The three phases of design-bid-build are:


The design-build approach might be the best choice if you have a tighter deadline. The designer-builder in this process serves as both the contractor and the designer. They could be an architect, contractor, or engineer who oversees the entire design and construction process on their own Additionally, designer-builders act as the point of contact for contractors and the project owner.

This approach begins with the project owner providing the client’s preferred initial project design. They’ll ask for proposals from design-build companies, who will submit a bid and design notes. In these notes, the designer-builder can describe the modifications and additions that they would make if given the project. The best proposal that is both affordable and has designs that satisfy the needs of the client will then be selected by the project owners. Once they decide on the proposal, the designer-builder and their team will build the facility, with the designer-builder simultaneously supervising and carrying out the project.

Construction manager at risk

This is typically a variation of the design-bid-build method. The main distinction is that a construction manager, rather than a designer, is hired by the project owner to oversee the project. This is typically a great option if the project owner has little experience overseeing the construction process. The majority of construction managers in this position have extensive experience managing construction projects, and they frequently take over the entire process on behalf of the project owner.

With this approach, the project owner typically receives the client’s initial product design and presents it to a construction manager of their choosing. To create the project’s plans, they will collaborate. The project will then be taken over by construction managers, who will create a budget, also known as the guaranteed maximum price (GMP). The project manager uses this as the budget limit they guarantee the client they’ll adhere to throughout the project.

Construction managers then review the bids from contractors and select the one that best fits the client’s needs while staying within the predetermined budget. Following that, the construction manager closely collaborates with the contractor to develop the construction schedule, monitor the project’s progress and quality, and keep them updated on any client developments. The owner rewards the construction manager with a cost-sharing agreement if the project’s overall costs remain below the predetermined level. The construction manager runs the risk of having to pay more if it does.

Job order contracting

This approach entails completing multiple projects within one lengthy contract, making it an excellent option for those with a lot of ongoing projects each year. At the beginning of the contract, project owners will participate in this process by accepting bids from contractors. As they take on new projects, they’ll examine these offers to determine which one best meets their unique project needs. This eliminates the need to obtain and evaluate fresh bids for each individual contract.

Anytime the project owner requests it, the chosen contractors can complete the work. A joint scope meeting will establish the needs, objectives, and tasks for each individual project before work on it begins. The contractor reviews this and then submits a price proposal outlining the anticipated costs for the upcoming project. Typically, this approach is most effective for small to medium-sized projects, such as routine maintenance, repairs, and renovations.

What are project delivery methods in construction?

The various ways a construction company organizes and carries out the services it provides clients are known as project delivery methods. Services like designing, building, planning, and implementing make up the majority of projects. The steps that businesses will take to provide these services from beginning to end are outlined by project delivery methods. It’s crucial for businesses to select the project delivery approach that best suits the unique requirements, preferences, and objectives of the project they’re working on.

How to choose the right project delivery method

A thorough examination of the project’s requirements, timelines, and specifications is necessary to choose a reliable delivery method. To select the best project delivery method for you, follow these steps:

1. Define the projects purpose

Before choosing a delivery method, you should thoroughly assess the project and determine its objectives. You can meet with the client to learn about their objectives while also creating specific benchmarks for yourself. When you’re asking for bids and proposals, knowing the project’s overall goal and what you hope to accomplish with it can help you communicate this clearly to team members, designers, and contractors.

2. Decide on the budget

Setting the project budget helps you decide which bids to accept and the size of the team you can hire. For instance, using the design-bid-build method may be difficult if your budget is limited because you’d need to hire both contractors and designers. Consider factors like the number of employees you can hire, the tools you’ll need, and the software systems you’ll be using as you estimate budgets.

3. Elaborate on the complexity of the design

You should take into account how intricate and detailed you want your project’s design to be. Choose a strategy with a structured design phase if your clients demand a unique design. If not, you might think about employing a construction manager-only approach, which puts more of an emphasis on construction than on designing the entire structure. For projects like maintenance or repair that don’t call for additional designs, this might be the best option.

4. Build a timeline

Establish deadlines for the projects various tasks. You can typically retrieve this information from the client. You can select a strategy with multiple design and build phases to support this lax schedule if the client accepts flexible deadlines. You can choose a method that requires fewer phases if you have a tight deadline. Before beginning construction, make sure to discuss this timeline in detail with the contractors and agree on it with the clients.

5. Review the expertise level needed

Typically, the approach you select will depend on your level of expertise. If you have little experience overseeing construction projects, think about a strategy that involves a more hands-off approach and delegates control to the construction manager. If you have the time, you could still employ this strategy while observing the construction manager to gain practical knowledge and direction. This gives you the choice to pursue strategies that give you greater control over upcoming projects.


What are four major project delivery methods?

The five most common project delivery methods include:
  • Design-bid-build.
  • Design-build.
  • Design-negotiate-build.
  • Construction Manager At-Risk.
  • Construction Manager Agent.

What is the most popular project delivery method used in the industry?

An explanation of the four most popular methods for delivering construction projects: Design Bid Build, Design Build, Construction Manager at Risk, and Construction Management Multi-Prime

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