Methods of Project Delivery System Definitions


A “Project Delivery System” (“PDS”) (also known as Project Delivery Method) is a system used by an owner’s agent or owner for organizing and financing design, construction, operations, and maintenance services for a structure or facility by entering into legal agreements with one or more entities or parties.

Project Delivery Systems Requirements & Types

PDS Requirements

A Project Delivery System is required on all General Building & Utility Dodge Reports; it should additionally be populated whenever available on all other Dodge Reports.

Project Delivery Systems may be selected as early as the Pre-Design stage of the life cycle.

Project Delivery System Types

Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

Design-Bid-Build is a project delivery system in which the agency or owner contracts with separate entities for each life-cycle stage of construction.

Design-Bid-Build may also be referred to as Design-Tender or Traditional Method

There are three main sequential phases to the Design-Bid-Build delivery system: Design, Bidding/Tender, and Construction.


Design-build (or design/build, and abbreviated D-B or D/B accordingly) is a Project Delivery System used in the construction industry. It consists of a procedure to deliver a project where, in contrast to “design-bid-build” (or “design-tender”), the design and construction aspects are contracted by a single entity known as the design-builder or design-build contractor. This system is used to minimize the project risks for the employer and to reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project.

The traditional approach for construction projects consists of the appointment of a designer on one side, and the appointment of a contractor on the other side. The design-build procurement route changes the traditional sequence of work. It answers the client’s wishes for a single-point of responsibility in an alleged attempt to reduce risks and overall costs. It is now commonly used in many countries and forms of contracts are widely available.

Design-Build is sometimes compared to the “master builder” approach, one of the oldest forms of construction procedure.

Design/Build is frequently confused with “Fast Track”, in which Design and Construction may occur in parallel with each other. While a Design/Build project may be Fast Track (parallel), it may follow the construction life cycle in serial form as well.

Construction Management

CM at-risk is a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), in most cases. The construction manager acts as consultant to the owner in the development and design phases, (often referred to as “Preconstruction Services”), but as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase. When a construction manager is bound to a GMP, the most fundamental character of the relationship is changed. In addition to acting in the owner’s interest, the construction manager must manage and control construction costs to not exceed the GMP, which would be a financial hit to the CM company.

CM at risk is a global term referring to a business relationship of Construction contractor, Owner and Architect / Designer. Typically, a CM At Risk arrangement eliminates a “Low Bid” construction project. A GMP agreement is a typical part of the CM and Owner agreement somewhat comparable to a “Low Bid” contract, but with a number of adjustments in responsibilities required by the CM.

There are two core types of Construction Managers: Construction Manager at Risk and Agency Construction Manager. A CM at-risk is a core functional member of the team in the Construction Management delivery system. Agency CM firms act as agents to the Owner, but typically will not have the inherent risk that a CM at-risk absorbs in their role. When a Agency CM is on the project, it is typically within another delivery system, and the firm acting in this role should be listed as “Agency Construction Manager” on a Dodge Report.

Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated Project Delivery (abbreviated IPD), is a collaborative alliance of people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.

There are eight main sequential phases to the Integrated Project Delivery method:
• Conceptualization phase [Expanded Programming]
• Criteria design phase [Expanded Schematic Design]
• Detailed Design phase [Expanded Design Development]
• Implementation Documents phase [Construction Documents]
• Agency Review phase
• Buyout phase
• Construction phase
• Closeout phase

Owner Sub-Contracting

When an Owner is acting as their own General Contractor, and selecting sub-trade contractors without the help of an outside firm, “Owner Sub-Contracting” will be listed as the Project Delivery System.

Owner To Use Own Forces

When an Owner is using on-staff internal workforces to complete a project, “Owner To Use Own Forces” will be listed as the Project Delivery System.

Project Delivery System Undetermined

When an Owner has not yet determined the Project Delivery System for a project, “Contract Method Undetermined” will be listed as the Project Delivery System..

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