Construction Curiosities #18 – 4 Project Delivery Methods & a Secret City that’s the Grandfather of Prefabrication

Hey, Hey! Happy Saturday! Matt here. Welcome to the Construction Curiosities newsletter. Especially to the New Subscribers.

We continue to grow each week! We’ve had a 20% increase in subscribers over the last 2 weeks. Thank you to everyone who has vouched for me and the newsletter by sharing it on Social Media and with your friends and coworkers.

This weekly Newsletter explores my Curiosities around the Construction Industry. It’s meant to make you think, smile, and become a better, more well-informed Construction Professional.



This week we will look at:

  • One Musing: 4 Project Delivery Methods
  • One Article: The Secret City
  • One Quote: Your Life a Year from Now
  • One Meme: Build It Like The Blueprint

One Musing

Last week we looked at the 6 Phases of a Construction Project. In the comments, Brian Winningham correctly pointed out that these phases of Design and Construction are “mostly associated with a single delivery method, Design-Bid-Build (DBB).” I agree that those phases are the “traditional way” and methods such as Integrated Project Delivery have a different process.

Anyways this comment and interaction made me think, we should look at 4 of the Most Common Construction Delivery Methods. Perryn Olson from (you may remember him from Construction Curiosities #16) gave me permission to use some verbiage and the graphic from an awesome blog post they have on their website.

It’s important to remember that the different delivery methods are just tools and you need to choose the correct tool for the job.

4 Common Construction Delivery Methods

1. Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

Design-Bid-Build is the “traditional” project delivery method. Just as the name suggests there are 3 distinct phases and the next cannot start until the previous is complete. The owner hires an Architect/ Design Team and they complete the Design for the project. Then the project is Bid out and the owner selects their preferred contractor either by low price or a combination of price and qualifications. Then the Build phase occurs.

In this method, the Project Owner holds separate contracts with the Architect and the Contractor. All trade contractors are subcontractors to the Prime Contractor.

2. Design-Build (DB)

Design–build is where the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor.

3. Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR)

Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) is where the owner hires a Construction Manager (CM) to oversee the project from design through construction. The CM sets a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) during the design phase. Typically around the 100% DD phase. During the “Bid” phase the CM is collecting subcontractor bids.

The owner has separate contracts with the Architect and Construction Manager but they are to collaborate throughout the process.

4. Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated project delivery (IPD) is a construction project delivery method that seeks efficiency and involvement of all participants (people, systems, business structures and practices) through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. IPD combines ideas from integrated practice and lean construction.

The owner selects the architect, engineer, and construction manager before the design of the project. All parties sign a contract stating the collective goals and objectives of the project, then collaborate as a joint venture throughout the project to achieve those goals and objectives. 

Thanks again to Perryn and REX Construction Services for their contribution to this week’s newsletter. To check out their full blog post on the Delivery Methods, head HERE.

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One Article

The Secret City that Paved the Way for Modern Prefabrication

“Oak Ridge, Tennessee is one of the three cities built in the 1940s in complete secrecy as part of the Manhattan Project: the highly classified research credited for the creation of the world’s first nuclear weapon and the establishment of the US nuclear weapons arsenal.”

Thanks to Nolan Browne for sharing this article on LinkedIn. If you are interested in Prefabrication (especially in housing) go give him a follow. He posts lots of interesting nuggets on LinkedIn.

One Quote

What are you doing right now to set yourself up for Next Year?

One Meme

Want to be featured in an upcoming Reader Spotlight?? Shoot me a message at [email protected] and let’s chat. It can be anything construction related! Look forward to seeing and sharing what you all are working on!

Let me know in the comments or send me an email ([email protected]) about what you liked, didn’t like, want to see more of in the future, or have suggestions! Look forward to hearing from you.

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