Construction Delivery Methods

Construction delivery methods are the way to connect the owner, contractor, and the designer throughout the project process. The common types of construction delivery methods are General Contracting (GC), Construction Management (CM), and Design Build (DB). The key to success for any construction projects lies in the quality of coordination between the owner, designer, and the builder. Because of this need for coordinated teamwork, choosing the proper construction delivery method is critical.

Understanding the Construction Delivery Methods

A construction delivery method involves the project processes from its initial stage to its delivery. Let’s review each.

General Construction

When talking about construction project delivery methods, General Construction is the most common method. With this delivery method a contractor is provided with plans and contracted by the owner or developer for construction services. As a result, the contractor may self-perform or subcontract services. The project scope is fully defined in both design and construction before the project begins. The GC method offers a linear process of management for the owner with the designer and contractor. The cost, including contractor fee and overhead, is bid competitively to achieve the “best price” for review and acceptance. However, it has drawbacks, such as the highest risks of litigation, and the contractor has no input to the project.

Design Build

The second most popular construction delivery method is Design Build. It is gaining popularity among the construction industry rapidly. Design Build is a construction delivery method in which one entity is the single source for all design and construction services. As compared to the GC, the control of the owner is not as much in DB. It is a cost-effective delivery method that allows the contractor to have tighter control of the budget. It is an efficient method as it helps in resolving the design and construction issues in the early phases of the project. DB has its disadvantages, such as the few checks and balances regarding subcontractor negotiations, change orders, and payment requests. Also, removing the bidding process can increase preliminary estimates. However, the final cost is often of minimizing unforeseen complications during construction.

Construction Management

With this delivery method, the owner or developer hires a construction professional to manage the project from pre-planning through completed construction with the option to hold trade contracts and provide a guaranteed final cost. There are two types of construction management, including CM at Risk (CMAR) and the CM Multi-Prime (CMMP). Many construction companies incorporate the CMAR and CMMP in their projects because it helps them retain control of the and flexibility in pricing the project. Also, teamwork coordination is better between the owner, architect, and construction manager, allowing changes in design and scope to be handled more efficiently. One disadvantage of CM is each party holds a separate contract with the owner, increasing the potential for adversarial relationships and disputes.

FI•CON Fabrication & Construction services can meet the most challenging fabrication or construction projects. By combining these two services and our strategic engineering partnerships, we can design, construct, and customize a project to meet your building and fabrication requirements. We work in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, ports, mining, education, warehousing, health care, retail, and water treatment. To discuss your next project contact us at or (386) 792-3060.


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