procurement in red writing

Construction procurement

25th April 2022   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

Three ways of procuring a construction project

Procurement – the way in which you employ, purchase, and run the services required for a development – is an essential element of any construction project.

The way in which suppliers to the project are contracted through procurement can impact the project’s efficiency, cost, and timelines. Making the choice of procurement route vitally important to the success of any construction project.

There are three industry-recognised ways to procure a construction project – traditional contract, design and build, and construction management – each with pros and cons.  

Traditional Contract

The traditional procurement route separates the design and construction elements of the project.

The client is responsible for the design element of the project and may appoint an architect or designer to create the project’s plans and supporting documents.  After these are finalised, contractors are invited to submit tenders based upon those plans.  

Once the contractor has been appointed through the tender process, they lead with coordinating the construction team including all subcontractors.

Finalising the design before appointing a contractor can mean greater certainty, allow for more precise project planning and cost projections, and arguably ensure high quality in the transparent tender process of contractors.

However, because the contractor isn’t appointed until the design completion, it can be a slow process and miss the benefits that a contractor can bring to the input of a design such as knowledge of alternative materials and improvements to a design from the build perspective. 

Design and Build Contract

Design and Build (D&B) is an integrated procurement route whereby one contractor is responsible for the design and for the construction, based on a set of client requirements.

The contractor leads the full Design and Build team along with any subcontractors, taking on the full project management.

Design and Build can be a simple method of procuring a project team with the main contractor being the one point of contact in the contractual arrangement, from start to finish.

However, because the tender process begins before the design is complete it can lead to unexpected costs or other issues after tender.

Construction Management

Construction Management is a highly flexible procurement route whereby every aspect of the project is sub-contracted to the most qualified supplier resulting in efficiency and cost savings across the whole of the project.

Developers with in-house resources often favour Construction Management as the best procurement method, but by using a professional outsourced provider such as Evolution5, this highly effective procurement method can also be used by developers without in-house resources.

In this holistic approach, an appointed Construction Manager will procure, manage, and administer, multiple trade contracts on behalf of the client.

Construction Management can bring cost savings by appointing subcontractors directly rather than via a main contractor; Construction Management is known to be 5-10% cheaper on certain projects.

The sophisticated supply chain management of Construction Management ensures that high quality and the best-suited specialist contractors are appointed specifically to each part of the project and enables a flexible process whereby the design can be changed and evolved throughout the construction process.

The collaborative approach of Construction Management creates a non-adversarial environment with the appointed Construction Manager co-ordinating the whole team to get the best from all suppliers.

Construction Management can be particularly effective when procuring complex projects with specific requirements including brownfield sites, residential or commercial projects, international projects, renewable energy and infrastructure projects, and agriculture and heavy industrial projects.

How Evolution5 can help you?

By choosing Evolution5 and Construction Management procurement, you will benefit from our broad knowledge, experience, and expertise gained from both contracting and consulting to expertly integrate with your professional team and take the lead in procuring and managing trade contractors.

We can appoint your project with a dedicated Construction Manager from our technically qualified, skilled, and highly experienced team with extensive, hands-on experience in construction. Our clients benefit from a breadth of knowledge and first-hand experience in Construction Management and procuring and managing trade contractors.

As a Chartered Building Consultancy (CIOB) and RICS regulated firm, you have the assurance that you are engaging a reputable company that you can trust and rely on.

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering project management, construction management, employer’s agent, and contract administration services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.