Consider Alternative Delivery Methods For Public Benefit


The County of Los Angeles like most public agencies in California has historically used the design/low-bid/build method of delivery for capital improvement projects.  More recently, as an alternative the County has utilized the Design-Build project delivery method.  However, the private sector and progressive public agencies in California utilize a wide array of delivery methods, selecting the method that is optimal for each project. By not taking advantage of all the various project delivery methods available in the toolbox, the County is limiting its ability to maximize investments and achieve high quality design and construction while at the same time achieving greater efficiency in its project delivery.


Project delivery processes must be part of a strategy that enhances the quality, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of our built environment. This can best be achieved through adoption of industry-wide integrated approaches to project delivery characterized by early and regular involvement of owners, architects, constructors, fabricators and end user/operators in an environment of effective collaboration, mutually defined goals and open information sharing.

Working towards this goal, AIA|LA requests that the County:

  • Define and articulate the perceived legislative barriers that hinder the County's ability to freely utilize a wider range of delivery methods.
  • Work with AIA|LA and other organizations to achieve statewide change of those perceived legislative barriers.
  • Adopt specific and pro-active measures to allow a broader range of project delivery methods.
  • Re-adopt an independent architect selection process based on qualifications.
  • Adopt measures to allow qualifications and past performance to be used as criteria in the selection of contractors.


Architecture and urban design projects benefit from integrated, coordinated and cooperative teams of architects, engineers, and builders, both in the quality of the final projects as well as in their ultimate cost-effectiveness. The design/low-bid/build method prohibits builders from assisting design teams in the planning and design of projects. Low-bid selection also negates consideration of contractor's qualifications and past performance. This method has often led to adversarial relationships between owners, design professionals, and builders which in turn have led to added project costs in the form of excessive change orders, schedule overruns and legal costs.

Both private and government sectors are increasingly utilizing project delivery methods other than Design-Build and design/low-bid/build with positive results. Methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), design-assist, lease lease-back, CM multiple-prime and CM-at-risk have proven effective in reducing change orders, improving budget and schedule conformance, and generally realizing improved quality and predictability of results


AIA|LA proposes to work with the County to create a pilot-program identifying specific projects for testing alternative delivery methods and use the results to inform policy changes.  We are asking for each County Supervisor to adopt an imminent capital improvement project in their district and to facilitate efforts to determine an optimal project delivery method in each case; the goal is to work together to establish some new and innovative best practices that take into account a full range of project delivery methods.

For more information, please contact:

Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director of Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles
T: (213) 639-0764

Last updated: 21-Mar-2013 04:02 PM
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