Competitive Bid (Design/Bid/Build): In this method an architect is hired and completes the design process without the involvement of the contractor. When the construction documents are completed, the project is made available (advertised) for contractors to bid on. Contractors provide bids based on the total cost to complete the project and the selection of the contractor is based on price alone.
Construction Management at Risk (CM@Risk, CMAR, CM/GC): Under this delivery method, the contractor is usually selected based on their qualifications alone (although the contractor’s fee may be part of the consideration). The contractor may be selected before, at the same time as, or after the architect is selected. The contractor is usually heavily involved in the design process, working with the owner and architect to create the best possible project for the owner within their budget. Proponents of this delivery method believe that this collaboration helps the owner to get the best possible value for their dollar and reduces the owner’s risk. Under the CM@Risk delivery method, the general contractor holds the subcontractor contracts and works under a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) that is established once construction documents are completed.
Construction Management (CM) Agency: Under the CM Agency delivery method, the selection process and involvement of the contractor in the design phase are very similar to those under CM@Risk. One of the main differences in this delivery method is that the owner holds the contracts directly with the subcontractors (in addition to their contract with the general contractor). Under this method, the owner carries all the risk and contracts for design, subcontractors, performance, schedule, quality, safety, budget overruns, errors and omissions, etc.
Design/Build: Under this delivery method, the owner selects the architect and contractor as a team rather than making two separate selections. Proponents of this delivery method believe that it provides an assurance that the architect and contractor will work well together (since they chose to partner with each other). In many ways, this delivery method is similar to a CM@Risk contract after the selection is made.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD): A relatively new delivery method, IPD has many models, each with its own unique variations. The selection process is usually based on the contractor’s qualifications, and the architect and contractor are selected separately prior to the start of design. Under IPD, the owner, architect and contractor enter into a contractual agreement outlining how they will collaborate during design and construction. This often includes agreements on the use of design and collaboration tools such as Building Information Modeling (BIM).