Middlebury Boys & Girls Club

Middlebury, IN

3 Approaches to Project Delivery – Which One is Right for Your Company?

In DJ Construction’s 60+ year history, we have delivered over 5,600 projects in many different types of delivery processes.

How we choose to build for each client is tailored to their particular requirements. However, we can narrow those categories to three main approaches, each with the capability to be tailored to each client’s unique desires and goals.

1. Design Build / Sole Responsibility

2. Partnering

3. Competitively Bid

Which project approach is right for your company? To find out, read through each of the three approaches to help you decide.

1. Design Build / Sole Responsibility

Fairhaven MOB - Evening Exterior 2

In the DesignBuild / Sole Responsibility delivery process, DJ takes the lead role in assembling the team and overseeing the process of design and construction. Some of the key elements include:

• The owner holds a single contract with DJ and has one point of responsibility
• DJ’s involvement early in the planning and design process allows for cost accountability to be maintained, ultimately saving you money as the process is streamlined.
• Schedules can be accelerated because of the team approach.
• Change orders are minimized because of the contractors early involvement
• Design professional selected based on expertise with similar types of projects and willingness to represent the owner’s best interests.

The owner derives the benefit of having an experienced team working hard for his project while also offering differing opinions about aesthetics, functionality, constructability and cost, but in the end, with one main point of accountability of all aspects of the process.

Interra - Shipshewana Ext 1

In 2014, DJ Construction built an Interra Credit Union branch office in Shipshewana, IN with the DesignBuild model. Here’s what Senior Vice-President Sanford Miller had to say about the project:

I greatly appreciate the long-term relationship between our organizations, a relationship built on trust, integrity, and honesty. Our last branch project encountered some difficult obstacles, but DJ found the solutions to overcome them and helped us through each step of the way. You went above and beyond with being fair in the additional cost to overcome the problems with the site. Your whole team was great to work with in completing another successful building project.

2. Partnering

Eby Ford Renovation - 6

In the Partnering delivery process, the general contractor and a design entity are selected by the owner to work together as a team throughout the design and construction process.

Some of the key elements include:

• The owner holds a contract with both general contractor and the design entity. This may require the owner to mediate differences between the builder and designer.
• The contractor’s involvement early in the planning and design process allows for cost accountability to be maintained.
• Schedules can be accelerated because of the team approach.

Similar to the DesignBuild / Sole Responsibility process, the owner derives the benefit of the team working together throughout design and construction. The success of the project depends heavily on the ability of the builder and design entity to work together successfully.

The Centre PC - Interior 3

In 2010, DJ built a 10,000 sq. ft. medical facility for The Centre, P.C., using the Partnering process. The Centre’s Executive Director Lain Ruch Downs said about the project:

DJ Construction does superior work and their craftsmanship is remarkable. We gave them pictures and ideas of what we’d like our practice to look like and they created “the look and feel” we were striving for. We didn’t worry about a thing, which was critical for us as we continued to manage the normal course of business of the practice.

3. Competitively Bid, or “Plan & Spec”

Moontree - Exterior 1

Two types of plan & spec situations can present themselves: Complete Documentation, or Limited Documentation.

Complete Documentation
• The owner has hired a design professional to prepare a complete set of construction documents for bidding by multiple contractors.
• The contractor does not become involved until the documentation is complete and ready for bid, thus eliminating any “value engineering” to take place during the design process.
• Many public projects use this method of delivery.
• Bids can be significantly affected by the quality of the documentation.
• Many times, the owner must mediate disputes between the parties during the construction process.

Limited Documentation
• The owner has some documentation prepared and asks multiple general contractors to “bid” on the work.
• The challenge with this process is in defining the total “scope of work” for the project and whether the contractor has included all of the scope in his proposal.
• The owner evaluates potentially complex “proposals for work” from multiple contractors and must decide who has covered all the necessary items at the best cost, typically a challenging review process.
• Unfortunately, the Limited Documentation approach leaves open many opportunities for lower quality construction and shortcuts taken during the design and construction process.

Mutual Federal Savings Bank 6

Max A. Courtney, former senior vice president at Mutual Bank, shared about the 2008 project using the competitive bid approach:

Their price was competitive and we are very pleased with the quality of the craftsmanship of our building. We felt DJ had total control of the project from day one, and with their every other week construction meetings, we always felt well informed and that they were on top of the project.

As you think about how to approach your next project, consider one of these categories. Or, just give us a call or send an email, and we will take you through the process.