What is the ‘Bridging’ Method of Project Delivery?

As we have covered before, the design-bid-build (DBB) and design-build (DB) project delivery methods are two of the dominant methods for bringing a construction project to fruition. There are a number of nuances and tweaks that parties can implement in either method to account for unique goals and circumstances. One technique that’s effectively a hybrid of these two methods is bridging

There are a number of advantages for project owners who choose the bridging method, including (but not limited to): 

  • The project owner can come to a fixed price for the project’s construction in as little as half the time it normally takes, as well as half the normal cost of design. 
  • The owner’s vulnerability to claims and change orders made by the prime contractor is lessened. 
  • The overall costs of bridging-implemented projects may be reduced by as much as five percent. 

With Whom Does the Project Owner Contract?

Project owners employing the bridging project delivery method generally enter into contractual obligations with two outside entities. One of these is typically the prime contractor, who then contracts with the AE team, which is either a subcontractor or direct employees of the prime contractor. Owners may or may not have a program manager; if owners use a program manager, the PM will find a design consultant for the project. Whether indirectly through the program manager or directly, the project owner contracts with the design consultant. 

Next Steps for the Project

After the design consultant has completed schematic design and worked with the consulting structural engineer, the bridging contract documents are drawn up. Bridging contract documents share a few qualities with forms typically used for design-bid-build projects, but they are more thorough in many architectural and design aspects. The goal is to arrive at a firm price and protect the design quality while ensuring bidders have enough wiggle room for a truly competitive process. 

The right contractor in a project with a bridging delivery method has the tools to finalize designs while ensuring compliance with the underlying contracts and applicable ordinances, laws, and statutes. After a contractor is selected, the project owner will sign another round of contracts, and construction will begin. The design consultant and program manager (if there is one) will monitor the on-site progress and handle the payment schedule. 

Is Bridging Right For Your Project? 

The answer largely depends on existing relationships with construction professionals. The importance of project delivery methods diminishes with strengthened relationships. While bridging can be effective in many situations, it can be especially advantageous for owners without strong relationships. 

The team at DDA Engineers, P.A. has experience with all project delivery methods and is capable of handling the countless nuances inherent in each construction project. Our consultative structural engineering services are efficient and effective, and professionalism is our foremost priority. Call us at (305) 666-0711 to discuss your needs today.

The following two tabs change content below.

DDA Engineers, P.A.

Latest posts by DDA Engineers, P.A. (see all)