1) Design/Bid/Build (D/B/B) – In this approach, the church hires an architect to complete the construction drawings. Those drawings are then offered for contractors to review and submit bids at an assigned time and place. This is probably the approach that’s most widely known because it was the most prevalent approach until about the mid-90s.
2) Negotiated – This approach is similar to A1, except that the bid process is held prior to the completion of the construction documents - usually between the schematic and design development stages of the drawings. This approach adds input from the contractor on the development of the design, though it still positions the architect and contractor in adversarial roles.
B) Construction Management (CM): A fourth entity is added (in addition to the church, architect and contractor)
1) CM as Advisor – In this approach, the church hires someone to simply advise them. The Advisor has no legal authority or responsibility.
2) CM as Agent – The Agent, on the other hand, does have legal authority to sign contracts on behalf of the church. He is hired in addition to the architect and contractor, essentially to oversee their efforts.
3) CM at Risk – This approach is contracted very similar to Traditional/Negotiated. Here the Construction Manager takes on the liability and responsibility of the general contractor as the prime contractor by creating multiple bid packages.
C) Design/Build (D/B): In this approach, the church deals with a single entity for design and construction. The architect and contractor work as a team to develop the project. They may be part of the same company or united through appropriate agreements. D/B has grown over the past few decades, finally overtaking D/B/B over 10 years ago as the most popular approach. There are two other forms of Design/Build, D/B as Developer and Bridging, but you will rarely if ever see these in church projects.
The outline above is meant only as an introduction to the primary approaches a church can take to develop needed ministry facilities. There are pros and cons for each of the approaches and even nuances within each approach. They each have unique characteristics and vary widely in risk and responsibility for the church. But by recognizing that there are, in fact, different ways to go, you can better investigate the approach that’s right for you. NOTE: Don’t confuse project delivery methods (above) with contract methods. Contract methods such as “time and materials”, cost-plus, GMP, lump sum, etc. can be employed with almost any project delivery method, however, certain contract methods are often associated with a particular project delivery method.
Please feel free to comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like a deeper discussion.
Also, you may be hearing the phrase “Integrated Project Delivery”. If someone is telling you they’ve done IPD, it’s likely not true. They either have a lack of understanding of what IPD actually is, or they are using the term to try to say they’re “IPD-ish” (i.e. they work closely as a team). Real IPD involves combined, shared risk contracts and has only been done in some commercial projects. IPD-ish is good if it really represents an integration of a quality team. However, IPD is definitely on the horizon, and you can find out more by reading The Real Estate Revolution by our friend, Rex Miller. Also, keep your eyes on BIM (Building Information Modeling). BIM is a revolutionary design tool that will make IPD and other forms of deeper collaboration possible.
Any of the approaches above are capable of delivering a building (though I am convinced that some have a much greater chance of success than others to develop the right ministry facilities). But my nearly 30 years of experience has proven to me that the real difference is made with the industry partners you select to make up your team. The right project delivery method can serve the team well, but no project delivery method is strong enough to overcome the wrong partners. So…
…Check back next week for “The Secret to Selecting the Right Partner”