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Section I-1
Project Delivery Systems

There is a wide range of delivery systems available to Owners embarking on a design or construction project. Some are more appropriate to a particular project type and some are more appropriate to a particular Owner. 

Every project has a series of stages through which it passes. Different project delivery systems allow for different levels of participation by the Owner, the Design Team, and the Construction Team in these various phases. Following this introductory section are descriptions of numerous project delivery systems. There, recommendations are made for the selection of the delivery method, and for the structure of the project team. Pros and cons are based on the attributes of the project and the desired level of participation and control of the process by the Owner.

The Joint Committee recommends careful consideration of all potential project delivery systems very early in every project.  Early consideration is essential to gaining the greatest benefit from each of the alternatives.  Early consideration and selection of the project delivery method are especially critical in participatory and collaborative methods.  Planning and design of building systems, methods, and materials can be greatly optimized by early collaboration efforts between the Owner, Designer, Contractor, and Suppliers.


The Project Delivery Systems discussed in the following sections are:

Following are some issues that should be evaluated by the Owner when determining which delivery system should be selected. They are addressed, where appropriate, within the sections on each delivery system.

Project type:

  • Size
  • Complexity
  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Repetitive / prototypical
  • One time construction project or part of an overall master plan
  • Site conditions
  • Budget-driven
  • Signature building


  • Public or private
  • Familiarity with construction
  • Staff available for input during design
  • Staff available for input / oversight during construction

Design professional:

  • Familiarity with Owner / facility
  • Familiarity with project type
  • Staff available
  • Compatibility with Owner's and Constructor's team
  • One-time project or long-term commitment


  • Familiarity with Owner / facility
  • Familiarity with project type
  • Staff available
  • Compatibility with Owner's and Design professional's team
  • One-time project or long-term commitment

Glossary Terms for the Best Practices Guide

History of Recommendation:
Reviewed March, 2011
Approved July, 2010

Revised March, 2014

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