You may have heard about many of the main methods of construction delivery. When you begin a commercial or residential construction project, there are, in fact, a collection of processes and planning methods to choose from. The most common methods in today’s market include general contracting (or design-bid-build), design-build, construction management at risk, and construction management as an administrator.  

Each of these options is unique while at the same time, each is similar. All are roles of leadership, all are tied to the construction process, and all should have a direct contract with the client. After that, it gets different. So, which process is best for your project? Let’s dive a bit deeper into each one. 

General Contracting

General Contracting occurs when a 3rd-party professional service organization completes the construction documents and then issues those documents out to bid. The owner and architect are responsible to ensure that the scope of work is accurate. This is often competitively bid but takes substantial investments of time with the architect, engineers, and owner to get the process ready. 

Clients often choose this type of delivery system in the public market where the lowest, qualified bid will be accepted. They are often more versatile, opening your project up to a large network of subcontractors. While this can be a benefit, it might open your project up to less qualified or experienced contractors, so be sure that the owner of your project is confident in any subcontractors and has the testimonials to back them up.

Design-Build

Design-build occurs when the contractor is hired directly by the owner and will be responsible for architecture, engineering (if applicable), and delivery of the project. From there, it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the scope of work is accurate. Design-build is traditionally a negotiated style of delivery and requires a substantial amount of knowledge of the contractor regarding service delivery and the construction process. It also takes a substantial amount of time for the owner and design-builder to get this process started. 

Clients often choose this avenue when budget and schedule are key factors in their qualification process. Plenty of planning upfront often reduces missteps, project delays, and unexpected expenses further down the road.

Construction Manager at Risk

When the client hires the architect and the contractor as partners to deliver the project, this is known as Construction Manager at Risk. The notion is to select and negotiate trusted partners to deliver the project considerate of schedule, costs, design intent, and quality in unison. Both groups are responsible for ensuring the scope of work. 

Clients often choose this delivery when they want to strike a balance between design, costs, and schedule while ensuring that the contraction and the architect are working together as partners.  

Construction Manager as Administrator

Construction Manager as Administrator occurs when a client hires a knowledgeable person or company in the construction trade to act as a liaison and represent their best interest. This role is negotiated as a consultant, often hired in conjunction with the architect of record to the owner but bears little risk as the owner will be directly contracted with one (1) master or multiple prime contracts for the delivery of the project. 

The role of construction manager as administrator is often used in public markets where clients traditionally don’t house the proper tools to thoroughly lead a construction process.  

Each of these delivery systems has its best time and place based on the size of the project, timing needs, and delivery. The regulation overseeing the project and other unique variables may also play into consideration. Some contractors are capable of delivering multiple systems, but most require contractors to complete processes in a very different manner.  

In an effort to truly be solution-oriented, BCI Construction is one (1) of the contractors in our region and state able to deliver, guide, and liaise in multiple construction systems. To learn more about what BCI Construction can do for your project, contact our team of experts