A Guidebook for the Evaluation of Project Delivery Methods

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, economics - appraisal/evaluation


capital projects, construction manager at risk contracting, construction projects, contracting, decision making, design bid build contracting, design build contracting, design build operate maintain contracting, guidelines, project delivery methods, public transit, transit projects


This guidebook describes various project delivery methods for major transit capital projects. The guidebook also includes an evaluation of the impacts, advantages, and disadvantages of including operations and maintenance as a component of a contract for a project delivery method. The project delivery methods discussed are design-bid-build (DBB), construction manager at risk (CMR), design-build (DB), and design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM). The guidebook offers a three-tiered project delivery selection framework that may be used by owners of transit projects to evaluate the pros and cons of each delivery method and select the most appropriate method for their project. Tier 1 is a qualitative approach that allows the user to document the advantages and disadvantages of each competing delivery method. The user can then review the results of this analysis and select the best delivery method. If, at the conclusion of this analysis, a clear option does not emerge, the user then moves on to Tier 2. Tier 2 is a weighted-matrix approach that allows the user to quantify the effectiveness of competing delivery methods and select the approach that receives the highest score. The third tier uses principles of risk analysis to evaluate delivery methods. The selection framework may also be useful as a means to document the decision in the form of a Project Delivery Decision Report. The guidebook will be helpful to transit general managers, policy-makers, procurement officers, planners, and consultants in evaluating and selecting the appropriate project delivery method for major transit capital projects.


Permission to link to this report has been given by TRB