delivery methods

Choosing a Project Delivery Method for Your Construction Project

Every project has different challenges and needs, that’s why contractors must consider which construction delivery method is best for the project. Within construction, as with many industries, there are many possible project delivery methods. While there are many methods, most projects use the same one. Owners should choose the best construction delivery method for their project regardless of popularity. Here are the more common delivery methods and why stakeholders benefit.

5 Factors to Consider Before Selecting a Project Delivery Method


Budget is extremely important when considering which PDM to select. Setting a budget as soon as possible allows you to discuss the potential design with your construction team members. Your team members will help you determine if the figure is realistic and the wiggle room needed for change orders. Once a project is underway, change orders are an inevitable occurrence and are commonly from cost overruns.

Project Delivery Method


You typically have a basic and rough idea of how your project will look like. Still, it’s crucial to visualize both the functionality and the general design of your project. When choosing a design, hiring an architect or engineer is necessary to draw up schematics for consideration. You should also have a meeting with the client and your team to walk through requirements and design goals. Depending on the project delivery design your team decides, it is important to determine the unique features of the site itself, including the landscape and the setting of adjacent properties.

Owner Expertise

To help determine which project delivery method to choose, keep in mind the owner and their expertise. It’s important to keep in mind your company’s knowledge of construction, especially in regards to projects in similar scope and size. In addition, staff members that help oversee the process should be familiar with the construction processes. Extensive expertise is not critical for the success of a construction project, but it will help choose the best project delivery method for your building.


Without understanding where risk can come can from, it opens up an opportunity for cost overruns and other issues. As a PM, sometimes you don’t mitigate risk due to personnel, environmental, safety, and other factors. Identifying and evaluating risk should be investigated before any construction project begins. When identifying risks, there are many different areas where they can occur. There are eight types of risk



In terms of project performance, accurately estimating a schedule for your construction project is crucial. Things to keep in mind with a schedule:

 Schedule and costs are related, if you speed up construction, you also increase costs

 Conflict and claims are avoidable if your team firmly sets plans and goals before constructing

 Drawings and documents may have to be completed in order to estimate construction duration and schedule

Every project has different challenges and needs; that’s why contractors must consider which construction delivery method is best for the project. Within construction, as with many industries, there are many possible project delivery methods. While there are many methods, most projects use the same one. Owners should choose the best construction delivery method for their project regardless of popularity. Here are the more common delivery methods and why stakeholders benefit.


Design Bid Build

The Design-Bid-Build (DBB) method is the traditional way of delivering a project. One of the critical components is that it creates a distinct difference between the design and building process. Owners are at the center of this model. The owner hires an architect or engineer to design the project. Once the project completes the design phase, the owner opens it up to bids.

The architect or engineer will stay with the project to answer questions and the like; however, they hand construction of the project over to a general contractor. In addition, the general contractor might hire subcontractors depending on the size of the project and their expertise. The general contractor takes control of the project and reports back to the owner. This is best for simple scope projects without a time crunch and a limited budget.


The DBB method is supposed to be the most cost-efficient construction delivery method. By having contractors bid on the project, the owner is likely to get the best price.


DBB method projects tend to have cost overruns and quality control issues, especially if there is a conflict between the design documents and actual constructibility of a project.

Construction Manager at Risk

Construction Manager at Risk

CMAR is similar to the DBB; however, instead of selecting a general contractor or several contractors to complete the work, an owner selects the construction manager. The construction manager then chooses contractors they wish to work on and are responsible for completing the project. The construction manager manages cost, estimating, overall schedule, and should check documents for constructibility. This method is best for projects with a broad scope and a high pressure to finish at the right amount of time.


There is a set guaranteed the maximum price for the owner, which contains the costs for labor and materials, along with the construction manager’s fee. The owner is a compelling voice on the team.


Owners might not know whether the construction manager set a reasonable price.

Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a newer delivery method that is gaining in popularity. In the method, the owner selects an architect or engineer and a construction manager before the design of the project. They sign a contract which states the collective goals and objectives. The IPD method requires input from the general contractor at the beginning of the project. This method requires increased collaboration between the construction manager, owner, and architect/engineer. IPD is the best method for private sector projects with a tight schedule without a strict scope. Additionally, IPD integrates modern technology with Building Information Modeling (BIM) to increase efficiency in operations and improve creativity and sustainability.


The three parties share the risk, making projects less risky for stakeholders. Involving the general contractor early in the process has shown promise.


Many general contractors rely on subcontractors and trade contractors for highly specific portions of a project, and these voices are missing from the design phase.

Integrated Labor Delivery

Integrated Labor delivery method project

Integrated Labor Delivery (ILD) goes a step further than IPD. In this method, the owner would choose an architect or engineer and construction manager. The construction manager would involve trade contractors and subcontractors before the design process takes place. A joint contract is still reached between the entities after goals and objects for the project are created. The architect or engineer can quickly determine the constructability of a design before they are obligated to construct it. This is best suited for private projects rather than public, and mostly undefined ones.


Involving the general contractor and the trades reduces the time and rework on a project. The risks and rewards between all of the parties keep projects on track.


All stakeholders split the rewards.


Multi-Prime Delivery method

Multi-prime (MP) is when the project is divided into three stages of development – design, engineering, and construction. When carrying out an MP project delivery, the owner composes separate contracts with those in charge of the separate stages. In this design delivery method, the main contractors are the “primes.” For example, the owner will establish contractual agreements with the GC and contractors of other trades (ex: electricians, plumbers, carpenter). The trade supervisors may oversee the work of the contractor, such as a GC of electricians.


Owners’ expertise is highly valued because they gain greater control over their projects. In some states, they require maximum control of contractors at all levels. MP may be the only choice for public projects.


Some project owners choose this delivery method not to enhance construction and design quality, but to hire the lowest cost contractors with uncoordinated staff and unqualified labor. This can result in a lack of leadership for the overall design and construction, which can ultimately lead to extra costs, delays, disruptions, and errors. Moreover, these results can make the client unhappy.


Owners must choose the best project delivery method for their circumstances. However, it can be difficult to break with tradition. As a result, projects are built using one delivery method, even if it isn’t beneficial to the project. In conclusion, like with other industries, the construction industry must choose the right construction delivery method for each project.