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Typical Construction Procurement Methods

Here are descriptions of three basic methods of construction procurement.

1. Traditional approach with General Contractor

  • Owner has two Contracts - one with the Architect and one with the General Contractor
  • Architect designs building and prepares construction documents
  • Owner selects GC(s) for negotiating construction contracts or soliciting bids.
  • General Contractors (GC) submit bids to owner.
  • GC contracts with subcontractors (plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.)
  • Upon Architect's certification, Owner makes payments to GC, who pays subcontractors.

Merit: Best for owners who want least involvement in construction process.

2. Construction Management

  • Owner has multiple contracts - with Architect, Construction Manager (CM), and contractors
  • Architect designs building
  • Architect prepares construction documents with the involvement of the CM.
  • CM seeks bids from contractors of various trades.
  • Owner contracts directly with each tradesman.
  • CM schedules and manages the construction.

Merit: Best for owners who desire more involvement in the construction process.

3. Design/Build

  • Owner has one contract - with design/build (D/B) firm.
  • D/B firm handles design and construction.
  • All subcontractors work for D/B firm

Merit: Best approach when cost is the most important factor.

 Knapp Schmidt Architects provides Architectural services for the traditional General Contracting method, as well as for the Construction Management method.

KSA also provides Construction Management services for select projects and owners. Please refer to additional KSA literature for a description of this service and the advantages it may have for your project.