Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring 2020

52 • Colorado Public Works Journal ACEC ENGINEERING FORWARD Brad Doyle Project Delivery Methods Selection Factors to Consider The choices for project delivery vary greatly with traditional delivery, design-build delivery, construction manager/general contractor, and the full spectrum of everything in between. Owners and the engineers representing them must assess the project requirements and determine which method is most appropriate given the needs of the project. But what is the best method and how do you go about figuring it out? Owner-guided Selection Tools Some owners have developed tools to help determine the project delivery method. For example, the Colorado Depart- ment of Transportation has created a Project Delivery Selec- tion Matrix that helps guide a team through three primary options with a consideration of project risks, schedules, and budgets. A team answers the questions in the matrix and the results help guide the decision. Variations Within Methods However, does it have to be one way or the other? Absolutely not. There is a full range of options to determine how to most efficiently deliver all aspects of a project. Engineers can setup a bid-build project with design-build components or vice- versa. The important concept is to know that there is a wide range of tools available for decision makers to use. The goal is to optimize the project results to deliver the scope of the project in the most efficient manner possible with considera- tion to budgets, schedule and quality for the stakeholders. Understanding Project Requirements As consulting engineers, our responsibility is to clearly under- stand what is required and what is being asked. Everyone can work within all contract methods, if you understand what is at stake. The key aspect is knowing your client and the contract that you are committing to. There is a big difference between working for the owner versus working for the contractor. They think differently on how the work is completed and how the scope is treated based upon how the work is bid. For example, design-build components of projects are often bid on a lump-sum basis, and, thus, a consultant’s piece of this work will also be lump sum, so knowing the scope is crucial. Additionally, working directly for the contractor also means you are working under all of their contract terms, in- cluding the requirements for retainage. Dependent upon the subcontract executed, these clauses may flow down and the design work that the consultant completed upfront may not be fully paid until many years later when the construction con- tract is closed out. Consultants need to think like contractors under this method and factor this into the estimates and rates for the work being completed. Balancing Risk and Opportunity With risk comes opportunity. Opportunity to innovate, oppor- tunity to be more efficient, and opportunity to improve. When considering any new method of project delivery, seek the advice of those who have done it before. Do not be afraid to try alternative methods but know what you are committing to. Every project can be a success, or a disaster and the only difference is how the project is setup and managed. Seek the advice of professionals who have experienced each of the various delivery methods by reaching out to your fellow ACEC Colorado members. There is much to be discussed in each of these methods so look for future conversations by ACEC Colorado as we delve into these subjects. The author Brad Doyle, PE, is Project Director at Atkins

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