Bridging: an alternative project delivery method



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Texas Tech University


The most common project delivery methods, design/bid/bulld and design/build, have flaws in them that raise issues with each of the methods. These project delivery methods have, "Systematic contradictions ... [that] have taken a toll on clients who must ultimately be satisfied if the architectural profession is to continue to flourish." Some of the issues also stem from the way most architectural firms practice architecture using these project delivery methods. The first issue concerns the extended length of time and the extensive cost required to get a fixed construction cost for a project. The next concern affecting project delivery is that architects are not at the forefront of understanding the most current building technology and often do not consider construction technology during the design process resulting In higher construction costs for a given quality level. These extensively used project delivery methods also open the possibility for change orders and litigation throughout the process which can result in a project costing much more than it should cost.

Bridging addresses these issues and others because it Is a hybrid of the better parts of design/build and the traditional design/bid/bulld approach. Bridging consists of an owner's architect defining requirements and developing schematic design, and performance requirements. A contractor is then brought in through a bidding process or other arrangements, and the contractor's architects and engineers work with the contractor and the owner's architect to produce final construction documents and specifications. The owner's architect monitors and oversees this work and approves payments for the work. The contractor then builds the owner-approved plans while the owner's architect administers the contract and approves payment.