Project Methods: Benefits of EPC Construction Over Design-Bid-Build

Capital construction project clientele want four things from an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company: cost management, quick time to market, production efficiency and innovative design.

Whether your company is looking for an EPC firm who can build a new facility or modernize and expand an existing facility, you might feel overwhelmed by selecting one of the many project delivery methods currently available. A project delivery method is a configuration of roles, responsibilities, relationships and sequences during the life of a project.

Choosing the project delivery method that’s appropriate for your company and its goals should be dependent on a variety of factors: budget, cash flow, scheduling, project complexity and project goals.

The two most common project delivery methods are engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and design-bid build (DBB). While both methods have many advantages, EPC is the most preferred and is our top offering at Matrix Service.

Engineering Procurement and Construction Services

With the EPC process, we handle the design, procurement of construction materials and equipment, and all construction services for turnkey delivery at a lump-sum price. In-house, we have all the resources your project will need to ensure efficiency and effective communication.

The process begins with preliminary planning and engineering to outline the scope, schedule, and associated costs of the project. Communication amongst the construction, design, and procurement teams begins immediately. Aligning team members at every level of the project creates a collaborative, value-based approach and performance.

Once the project schedule and project budget are determined, the project moves to its design and construction phases, where we assume the design and construction scope and budget risks through a structured, disciplined approach.

This type of delivery reduces project risks, delivers predictable results and maximizes capital planning. The reward is that your company can count on one single firm (Matrix Service)  to complete your project from start to finish.

Design Bid Build

Another popular approach is design bid build, where the firm functions as the overall project manager and externally hires its contractors — from consultants to engineers.

First, the firm retains an architect – a highly-competitive process – to develop the scope of work. The architect will prepare a cost estimate to assist in budget development, which are typically based on historic or empirical data. Subsequently, qualified general contractors are invited to submit construction bids, and if the bids are within budget, the firm and design team will select a contractor based on a variety of other factors. The general contractor then hires subcontractors for various tasks, and the facility is constructed based on the contract and construction goals. At completion, validation is performed by a third-party consultant who is selected under the owner’s discretion.

This method is generally utilized when a project isn’t well-defined and there’s adequate time for each phase of the project. Under this method, relationships between the owner, architect, designers and contractors can become conscientious as poor communication and scope variations create order changes and large schedule delays. Additionally, because of the competitive nature of bidding and the contractors’ inability to greatly influence the project design, the final project tends to strain the budget and prolong schedule parameters.

Though both methods are popular in the construction industry, we are expert EPC contractors and want to help you achieve your project goals, while following your budget and scheduling needs.