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BARRIERS OF TRADITIONAL PROJECT DELIVERY SYSTEM IN ACHIEVEMENT OF PROJECT GOALS

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Although traditional project delivery system is one of the project delivery systems that is preferred by both public and private owners, characteristic of the system constitutes some barriers in the achievement of the project goals. In the scope of this study, the barriers caused by the traditional project delivery system were revealed for achieving the basic project goals which are quality, time, and cost. For this purpose impact of the relationships between the participants and the workflow process of the system were examined in the achievement of the quality, time, and cost goals of the project. It is found out that impossibility of contractor`s involvement to the design process, adversarial relationships among the participants, the impossibility of using fast track and uncertainty of final project cost because of the unexpected project changes are the main barriers that have impacts on main project goals.
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Interaction between Theory and Practice in Civil Engineering and Construction
Edited by Komurlu, R., Gurgun, A. P., Singh, A., and Yazdani, S.
Copyright © 2016 ISEC Press
ISBN: 978-0-9960437-2-4
381
BARRIERS OF TRADITIONAL PROJECT
DELIVERY SYSTEM IN ACHIEVEMENT OF
PROJECT GOALS
IKBAL ERBAS
Akdeniz University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dept of Architecture, Antalya, Turkey
Although traditional project delivery system is one of the project delivery systems that
is preferred by both public and private owners, characteristic of the system constitutes
some barriers in achievement of the project goals. In the scope of this study the
barriers caused by traditional project delivery system were revealed for achieving the
basic project goals which are quality, time and cost. For this purpose impact of the
relationships between the participants and workflow process of the system were
examined in achievement of the quality, time and cost goals of the project. It is found
out that impossibility of contractor`s involvement to design process, adversarial
relationships among the participants, impossibility of using fast track and uncertainty
of final project cost because of the unexpected project changes are the main barriers
that have impacts on main project goals.
Keywords: Traditional system, Relationship between participants, Workflow process,
Project goals.
1 INTRODUCTION
A project delivery option is defined as a method for procurement by which the owner`s
assignment of ‘‘delivery’’ risk and performance for design and construction has been
transferred to another party (parties) (Clough 1981, Mahdi and Alreshaid 2005).
Traditional project delivery system is the most common procurement system and it is
referred to as “design-bid-build” option (Mahdi and Alreshaid 2005). This system is
also known as hard bid or the low bid method. This is still considered the traditional
project delivery method for design and construction where the design precedes the
construction and the contracts provides either a lump sum or unit price bid to obtain the
work (Ohrn and Rogers 2008).
Although traditional project delivery method is one of the main alternative delivery
methods that is usually preferred by public and private owners, it is clear that
traditional system has some weaknesses in terms of project performance. Project
performance can be measured and evaluated using a large number of performance
indicators that could be related to various dimensions (groups) such as time, cost,
quality, client satisfaction, client changes, business performance, health and safety
(Cheung et al. 2004, DETR 2000, Enshassi et al. 2009). Time, cost and quality are,
however, the three predominant performance evaluation dimensions (Enshassi et al.
2009). In the scope of this study barriers of traditional project delivery system in
Komurlu, R., Gurgun, A. P., Singh, A., and Yazdani, S. (Eds.)
382
achievement of quality, time and cost goals were revealed. Due to the complexity of
the construction work, relationships between the participants and workflow process of
the system have important influence on achievement of these project goals. Therefore
barriers were determined by explanation of these two main problem areas in the scope
of the study.
2 RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PARTICIPANTS IN TRADITIONAL
PROJECT DELIVERY SYSTEM
This is a familiar delivery method to most owners and requires a defined scope prior to
bidding (El-Sayegh 2007). The owner, designer (architect) and contractor are three
prime players of traditional project delivery system. In traditional arrangement the
owner has two separate contracts: one with the designer and one with the contractor
(Figure 1). The designer is responsible to the owner for the design of the project and
also administers the construction contract as the owner`s representative (Mahdi and
Alreshaid 2005). The designer deliverables includes plans and specifications for the
construction of the project. These documents are subsequently used by the owner as the
basis to make a separate contract with the contractor (Hale et al. 2009). The contractor
is responsible to the owner for the proper construction of the design and is responsible
for methods and procedures of construction. This creates an independent relationship
between the designer and the contractor with each directly responsible to the owner
(Mahdi and Alreshaid 2005). Two separate contracts, with two separate entities, are
utilized by owners to complete one construction project, including two solicitations and
procurement steps (Hale et al. 2009). The separation of the designer and the contractor
in this system creates a system of checks and balances because the designer and the
contractor are in a position (Mahdi and Alreshaid 2005).
Figure 1. Relationship diagram of participants in traditional project delivery system.
Although many methods are used for awarding this contract, the most common
approach is to solicit bids from different construction companies. The company
providing the lowest bid will then build the project based on the documents produced
by the designer (Hale et al. 2009).
This contracting system offers the advantage of being widely applicable, well
understood, and with well-established and clearly defined roles for the parties involved.
It is the most common approach for public owners having to comply with state
procurement statutes. Furthermore, it offers the owner a significant amount of control
over the end product, particularly since the facility’s features are fully determined and
Designer
Owner
Contractor
Subcontractor
Consultant
Consultant
Subcontractor
Interaction between Theory and Practice in Civil Engineering and Construction
383
specified prior to selection of the contractor. However, many construction owners have
experienced a variety of frustrations using this system, leading to the development of
other methods (Titan Reality and Construction 2015).
3 WORKFLOW PROCESS OF TRADITIONAL PROJECT DELIVERY
SYSTEM
Traditional project delivery system has a lineer workflow process which consists of
decision, design, bidding and construction phases (Figure 2). In decision phase of
the system, the design company is hired first to provide design services and develop
the contract drawings and specifications (Ohrn and Rogers 2008). In design
process, after the approval of preliminary design, the designer uses in-house staff (or
alternatively, consultants) to prepare fully completed plans and specifications that
are then incorporated into a bid package (Trauner Consulting Services 2007).
Decision Design Bidding Construction
Figure 2. Workflow scheme of traditional project delivery system.
At the end of the design phase, the designer assists the owner in the bidding
phase and selecting the contractor (Ohrn and Rogers 2008). The design package is
presented to interested general contractors, who prepare bids for the work, and
execute contracts with subcontractors to construct various specialty items. In many
cases, the contractor submitting the lowest responsive bid is selected to perform the
construction. This contractor is then responsible for constructing the facility in
accordance with the design. The designer typically maintains limited oversight of
the work and responds to questions about the design on behalf of the owner. The
designer may also assist the owner in administering the construction contract,
including determination of project progress, for interim payments made to the
contractor (Titan Reality and Construction 2015).
4 BARRIERS OF TRADITIONAL SYSTEM
At the beginning of the project, main goals of the project participants are to finish the
design and construction process as possible as shortest time with a highest quality at a
lowest cost. Because of the involvement of multiple different participants, achievement
of these goals might be difficult especially for the owners and the owners might face
with different barriers. Main sources of these barriers that have influence on project
goals in traditional system can be evaluated under two different headings as:
Barriers caused by relationships between participants
Barriers caused by workflow process.
Selection
of Designer
Preliminary
Design
Construction
Work
Shop Drawings
Design
Structural
Mechanical
Electrical etc
.
DELIVERY
Komurlu, R., Gurgun, A. P., Singh, A., and Yazdani, S. (Eds.)
384
4.1 Barriers caused by Relationships between Participants
One of the main barriers related to relationships between the participants is the lack of
involvement of the construction professional during the design phase. In this system
the contractor can’t be part of the design process. The designer’s drawings don’t
necessarily show the assemblies that the contractor chooses. This means that the
contractor junks about half of the construction drawings and replaces them with shop
drawings. The amount paid to the designer for those wasted drawings amounts to
roughly 1-1½ % of the construction cost (Thomsen 2006). Because the quality, price,
and completion date of the contract are all established by the contract requirements,
there is little incentive to the contractor to provide any expertise beyond what is
minimally required to obtain and complete the project within the requirements of the
contract (Ohrn and Rogers 2008).
Another barrier related to relationships is that traditional system “tends to create an
adversarial relationship among the contracting parties, rather than foster a cooperative
atmosphere in which issues can be resolved efficiently and effectively” (Trauner
Consulting Services 2007). Characterized in another way what this states is that the
traditional project delivery method provides an incentive for the parties to the contract
to not create a cooperative project atmosphere (Ohrn and Rogers 2008). As a result of
this two barriers, quality goals of the project cannot be succeeded properly.
4.2 Barriers caused by Workflow Process
Another part of the barriers are related to workflow process of the system. Traditional
system process takes too long. Because the construction drawings are used for the core
of the contract with the contractor, construction work can’t start until all the drawings
are done (Thomsen 2006). It is a linear sequence during which the owner, procures the
designer`s design services separate from the procurement of the construction services.
The design must be fully completed prior to the procurement of the construction
services. This is due to the fact that the procurement of construction services is
typically based upon a hard bid price which cannot be assembled until there is a full set
of plans and specifications (Ohrn and Rogers 2008). Nonuse of fast track because of
the linear sequence of traditional system`s workflow process constitutes an important
barrier in terms of the project time goals.
Another barrier which has influence on achievement of cost goals of the project is
the owner’s misconception that the bid price is the final price. Designer plans and
specifications are rarely if ever perfect and the contractor’s interpretation of the plans
and specs rarely if ever match the intentions of the designer. As result of this, it is
common place in construction process that there will be changes and change orders.
This often has the untended consequence of placing a stress on the business
relationships between the owner, design professional, and the contractor (Ohrn and
Rogers 2008).
5 CONCLUSION
Although traditional project delivery method is seen as the primary project delivery
process, when compared with alternative project delivery systems, the traditional
system is insufficient in terms of meeting project quality, time, and cost goals.
Interaction between Theory and Practice in Civil Engineering and Construction
385
Nature of the relationships between the participants in traditional system tends to
cause more adversarial relationships among the contractor, the designer and the owner.
Potential conflicts between the designer and the contractor because of the adversarial
relationships and lack of involvement of the contractor to the design process affects the
quality of the project in a negative way. Relationships between the participants are
directly associated with effectiveness of the design process including selection of the
materials, construction means and methods which are closely associated with quality of
the end product. On the other hand participation of the contractor to the design process
beside the designer will ensure coordination between design and construction phases.
This cooperation will help achievement of the project quality goals in some cases.
Workflow process of the system causes arising of barriers that have effects on
project time and cost goals. Impossibility of using fast track because of the linear
sequence of the workflow process affects time goals of the project. This leads to longer
delivery time. On the other hand increase on number of the changes and change orders
as a result of being less flexible for changes causes uncertainty of final project cost.
Thus cost goals of the project cannot be irretrievable as claimed by the owner. An
owner tends to use traditional system should consider the main barriers that he might be
encountered during the project process and he should take measures against to potential
risks for overcoming these barriers. Only in this case the owner may be avoided from
losses associated with time, quality and cost.
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... The system has a linear flow chart because of the following the process in order (Figure 1). (Gould and Joyce, 2000) The owner, designer (architect) and contractor are three prime players of traditional project delivery system (Erbaş, 2016). In this system, the owner of the project contracts both the architect and the contractor to execute the project in seperate phases ( Figure 2). ...
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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), KPI Report for the Minister for Construction by the KPI Working Group
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Clough R. H., Construction Contracting, 4th ed., Wiley, New York, USA, 1981. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), KPI Report for the Minister for Construction by the KPI Working Group, January 2000.
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  • S M El-Sayegh
El-Sayegh, S. M., Significant Factors Affecting the Selection of the Appropriate Project Delivery Method, Fifth LACCEI International Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology (LACCEI'2007), Tampico, México, 2007.