What Project Delivery Method is Best for your Office Renovation?


What Project Delivery Method is Best for your Office Renovation?

In the current landscape of business and the workplace, cultivating a great workspace is imperative. Investing in a well-designed and functional workspace can help companies remain competitive with all the changes happening in how we work. However, embarking on such a transformative journey can be difficult without the proper project delivery method. When it comes to an office renovation, the type of project delivery method you decide on can make the process an exciting endeavour or a complicated stressor. This article will outline different project delivery methods and how each approach can alleviate the challenges of an office renovation.

What is project delivery, and why is choosing the suitable method important?

Construction project delivery methods influence how stakeholders collaborate during an office renovation’s planning, design, and construction stages. The standard stakeholders in an office renovation project are often an owner, a designer/architect, and a construction contractor. Although this is typical, it is not always the case, and the relationships between these parties might vary depending on the project delivery method.


What are the different types of project delivery methods?

The project delivery method of an office renovation establishes the relationship between the parties involved and when and how they will execute their commitments and responsibilities. Regarding workplace renovations, there are several project delivery techniques to consider. The following are four standard project delivery methods:


Design-bid-build (Split Process)


Design-Bid-Build or Split Process is the traditional project delivery method. This approach involves an interior design team and a general contractor working firsthand with the owner within two distinct contracts, divided into three phases involving several parties. The first phase is for the design team to collaborate with the client in developing the project’s design. Once completed, it is distributed to general contractors to provide a bid on the project. The owner then reviews the offers from the general contractors and chooses one to enter into a contract with. After signing the agreement, materials and equipment are ordered to commence the project’s build-out. This nonlinear process may entail retractive stages and change orders, resulting in time overruns.


  • High level of transparency in cost
  • A clear distinction between roles. Each party involved knows their role and responsibility in the project.


  • Heavy involvement from the client side (the project owner)
  • Increased risk for the owner as they may be subjected to change orders, delays, and additional costs because input on design is not offered until handover and construction begins.


Integrated Design-Build


Design-build is an integrated process that “integrates people, systems, business structures and practices
into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results”.  The project is led by one company from start to finish and collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all involved parties to optimize project results and maximize efficiency throughout all phases. Both the designer and the builder present a cohesive face because they operate under the same contract and roof. Communication is streamlined because all stakeholders work closely together, resulting in fewer change orders and more cost savings.


  • Cost efficiency due to progressive budgeting. Reduce the risk of cost overruns.
  • Higher level of accountability because the design and project delivery are handled by the same company.
  • Better collaboration between all project partners and a streamlined form of communication.


  • A high level of trust is needed from the client.
  • Emerging project delivery method, so it is unfamiliar to some.


Construction Management-at-Risk (CMAR)


The CMAR method is similar to the Design-Bid-Build process, except the owner engages a construction manager to oversee the project before the design is finalized and construction begins. The construction manager acts as a project manager and takes on the role of a representative or advisor, managing all project elements from design through completion.

The owner hires the project manager to be a third-party overseer to look out for their best interests based on their experience. They recognize where money and time may be saved and how to make the project more efficient. The project manager calculates and presents a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) to the owner for approval. The construction manager bears the risk in this method because if the project is completed and exceeds the budgeted amount, the construction manager must pay the overruns; however, if the project is done for less, the owner will compensate the construction manager.


  • Helps with direct project cost control.
  • Less risk is involved because the project manager is highly trained and brings an extra layer of


  • Adds another player into the project, which can incur some costs.
  • The owner must have a high level of trust in the project manager.


Construction Management Multi-Prime (CMMP)


CMMP is similar to CMAR because the owner hires a construction management advisor throughout the process. In this project delivery approach, however, the owner acts as the general contractor and enters into contracts with the design firm and critical trade contractors. This strategy is ideal for owners with prior construction project management expertise who are prepared to be heavily involved and are willing to take on the risk of cost overruns onsite.


  • Ideal for smaller projects that require minimal to no permit needs.
  • Useful for projects with tighter deadlines as project timeline is streamlined due to fewer lines of communication (trades deal directly with project owner)


  • High level of risk from the project owner if there is limited knowledge/ experience in construction.
  • The lack of a designated general contractor could result in it being difficult to manage problems as they occur on the job site.
  • Heavy involvement from the project owner.


Deciding the most suitable project-delivery method for your office renovation

When choosing the ideal project delivery method for your office renovation project, there are various factors to consider. Such as

  • How involved do you want to be as the owner?
  • How much time do you want to dedicate a week, a month, or at every stage in the project?
  • What level of accountability do you want the project team to have if anything happens or changes throughout the process?
  • How much risk are you willing to take on this project?
  • Do you have a strong vision for this project? Are you knowledgeable about interior design and construction processes?


How an integrated design-build approach can streamline your office renovation.

An integrated design-build approach unifies an office renovation’s design and construction phases under one contract, one single entity, and a streamlined flow of communication and work from concept to completion. Unlike the other project delivery methods, where processes are split up and there are different contracts with different stakeholders, a design-build process brings all the parts together.

Office renovations often suffer from timeline extensions due to processes that can be avoided with a design-build approach. The most common reason is the coordination challenge between designers, project managers, and construction contractors. A design-build system integrates collaboration into the process, allowing for faster decision-making, reduced lead times, and more agile response times when unexpected developments arise. This efficiency translates to shorter project durations, helping businesses return to regular operations instead of prolonging the office renovation period.

Budget overruns are another significant source of frustration in workplace renovations. Integrated design-build addresses this concern by fostering a collaborative environment that prioritizes cost minimization. Interior designers and project managers collaborate on completing the project and are conscious of timetables and costs in a design-build business. Furthermore, by combining design and construction expertise, this strategy utilizes the knowledge and skills of all stakeholders, resulting in a smoother project overall.


How to approach an office renovation

Selecting the proper project delivery method can increasingly impact the outcome of an office renovation. There are several methods out there, each with its advantages and complexities. Finding the best approach that best aligns with your project goals is critical. Among the different options, the goal remains clear: to streamline the renovation process and achieve the desired outcome based on the owner’s vision.


Ready to transform your workplace?

Don’t navigate the office renovation journey alone. Contact Us to speak with an Aura workplace expert today to discover how an integrated design-build firm can revolutionize your next office renovation. Our team is here to help you from concept to completion, ensuring your project exceeds expectations. Get started on your path to a more vibrant workplace – connect with Aura today!



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