Procurement describes the merging of activities undertaken by the client to obtain a building. Cahalane Lynch Associates have experience of the many different methods of construction procurement. Outlined below is a brief summary of the typical methods of construction procurement used in the Irish Construction Industry. Please contact either Tim Cahalane or Austin Lynch directly should you wish to seek particular advice on the procurement method most suited to your construction project.
The most common types of procurement are:
1. Traditional (Design-bid-build)
2. Design and Build
3. Management Contracting
4. Construction Management
There is also a growing number of new forms of procurement that involve relationship contracting where the emphasis is on a co-operative relationship between the principal and contractor and other stakeholders within a construction project. New forms include partnering such as Public-Private Partnering (PPPs) aka Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) and alliances such as "pure" or "project" alliances and "impure" or "strategic" alliances. The focus on co-operation is to ameliorate the many problems that arise from the often highly competitive and adversarial practices within the construction industry.
This is the most common method of construction procurement and is well established and recognized. In this arrangement, the architect or engineer acts as the project coordinator. His or her role is to design the works, prepare the specifications and produce construction drawings, administer the contract, tender the works, and manage the works from inception to completion. There are direct contractual links between the architect's client and the main contractor. Any subcontractor will have a direct contractual relationship with the main contractor.
Design and build
This approach has become more common in recent years and includes an entire completed package, including fixtures, fittings and equipment where necessary, to produce a completed fully functional building. In some cases, the Design and Build (D & B) package can also include finding the site, arranging funding and applying for all necessary statutory consents. The owner produces a list of requirements for a project, giving an overall view of the project's goals. Several D&B contractors present different ideas about how to accomplish these goals.
The owner selects the ideas he likes best and hires the appropriate contractor. Often, it is not just one contractor, but a consortium of several contractors working together. Once a contractor (or a consortium/consortia) has been hired, they begin building the first phase of the project. As they build phase 1, they design phase 2. This is in contrast to a design-bid-build contract, where the project is completely designed by the owner, then bid on, then completed.
Management procurement systems
In this arrangement the client plays an active role in the procurement system by entering into separate contracts with the designer (architect or engineer), the construction manager, and individual trade contractors. The client takes on the contractual role, while the construction or project manager provides the active role of managing the separate trade contracts, and ensuring that they all work smoothly and effectively together.
Management procurement systems are often used to speed up the procurement processes, allow the client greater flexibility in design variation throughout the contract, the ability to appoint individual work contractors, separate contractual responsibility on each individual throughout the contract, and to provide greater client control.