Delivery Methods, Tools and Strategies

As a project owner, your needs are unique. Your project’s timeframe, its budget constraints, your expertise and even your own level of availability will help guide your choice of delivery method. Q&D is experienced in multiple methods of project delivery, with clear processes and well-honed tools to help at any stage of planning and construction to ensure your project is successful.
Click on our strategies below to learn more.



We are excited to see the acceptance and growth of the Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) delivery method because it provides a smoother, more manageable project with the greatest value for the client’s dollar. This is accomplished by including the construction manager during the design process, working as a team with the designers, and as the client’s representative to meet their goals. This is a significantly different relationship than the traditional Design-Bid-Build contractual arrangement that by nature creates competitive relationships instead of building teams. CMAR provides public works agencies and other clients with the benefit of critical feedback on costs, constructability, materials selection, quality and schedule from the construction manager during the Preconstruction process. In this process, Q&D’s values truly align with our contractual obligations: to deliver a quality project to the client, providing the most value for the budget, and to build strong relationships in the process.

Our Chief Estimator says, “I think state and other public agencies are surprised to find out that they have an alternative to hard-bid and design-build methods of project delivery. CMAR is a project delivery method that offers public agencies like counties and school districts the full benefit of the collaborative processes that private building clients have been using for years. Basically, it is Preconstruction with a measured, open-book evaluation/selection process based on the competitors’ qualifications. That brings to the table a construction professional to help guide the team on cost, schedule, logistics, and constructability during the design process, instead of after the fact. There is no better method for controlling cost and keeping a design within budget than having a talented contractor on board as a partner and expert in all aspects of building, at the START of your project.


You may prefer Design-Assist if you want to harness the efficiency that comes with early design and construction collaboration, but you wish to supervise the architects, engineers and other consultants. This delivery method is more hands-on than design-build, but like design-build, you end up with a well integrated project, which means no surprises.

With Design-Assist, the architect and engineers are under direct contract to the owner while key subcontractors—typically mechanical, electrical, plumbing and landscaping—are under contract for design and construction to the general contractor. These systems subcontractors represent a major portion of a project’s cost, so they can give the owner numerous pricing alternatives to help arrive at what represents the highest value for the owner. For example, an owner might want to invest in more efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, which cost more money up front but save money over time with lower energy costs and less system maintenance. The experts who design, install and maintain those systems are best able to identify the best fit for an owner.


Many of our owners like design build delivery because it’s turn-key. The responsibility for completion dates, quality and costs are placed with a single entity: Q&D Construction.

Like the “master builders” earlier times, our responsibilities span the entire building process. As a veteran design build organization, we combine strong management ability with experience in balancing good design with construction economy.

Q&D can request proposals from qualified consultants so an owner can opt for the firm they prefer. As design builder, we are still able to control the schedule and budget, because consultants are contractually responsible to the design-builder. Q&D has completed design-build projects for public agencies, although more agencies are using Construction Management at Risk (CMAR).


Q&D’s General Engineering Division is bidding up to nine projects a week to keep pace with a market of smaller yet challenging projects. It’s still the most popular form of delivery for public agencies, and we pride ourselves on leading the competition, especially on the gnarly jobs that involve tricky tie-ins, trenches under the river, messy reconstruction, neighborhood relations and the like. Q&D has also completed design-bid-build public works jobs as large as the award-winning $78,000,000 Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.



Another way Q&D provides the best value for your project is through working with a copy of the designer’s “three-dimensional” model of your project to expedite preconstruction services and reduce costs in the field.

Today’s designers and engineers use Building Information Modeling tools (BIM) to produce construction drawings, producing a hyper-accurate, digital representation of the project’s detailed geometry and specific tolerances, rendered in three dimensions. Each element drawn in a BIM model is enhanced not only with additional dimensional and special information, but with specific details about its material, manufacture and finish. A very simple example is a door frame, which is drawn in 3 dimensions, will be tagged information about the hardware set, wall thickness, the door’s swing and paint color.

By contrast, two-dimensional drawings not only do not include this additional data, but information about the elevation or height of each element must be separately assigned, cataloged and specified, a time-consuming process which increases the potential for errors in the design, estimating and construction phases.

There is a good chance that your architect or engineer is working with a multi-dimensional design software to produce the plans for your project. Q&D will use that model to more quickly gather data for estimating and as a critical tool for enhanced coordination between building trades during preconstruction.

BIM as an Estimating Tool

In our estimating process, we use extraction techniques to perform virtual quantity surveys and respond quickly to provide estimates at milestones and to evaluate alternative costs strategies at any point during the preconstruction phase. For projects that do not use BIM, we work from two-dimensional construction plans by scanning them into our electronic estimating software to assign information to the plans and calculate quantities and costs.

BIM as a Virtual Coordination Tool

Using BIM as a resource for field coordination during preconstruction, teams can evaluate the potential for “clashes.” A “clash” is the designation used to identify two or more construction elements that are planned to occupy the same space. For example, an I-beam, designed to support a structure and shown at 17’-6” from the floor on the structural engineer’s drawings may be shown in conflict with a run of 14” sheetmetal exhaust ducting that is shown at a similar elevation on the mechanical engineer’s drawings. By running what we call “clash detection,” a process of virtually surveying the BIM model to coordinate as a team around clashes, we can avoid them in the field where they will cost money and affect the schedule.
In the virtual coordination process, in which we use software tools to extract information, share reports, and meet regularly to review and assign actions, Q&D also incorporates subcontractor production drawings and vendor manufacturing drawings to further enhance the potential for investigating and mitigating field issues. This process saves our clients money – imagine having to pull and replace that ductwork mentioned above to avoid the beam – by reducing or eliminating coordination issues before construction starts. .


Q&D’s preconstruction service gives you important early decision-making tools that complement the expertise of other project team members and inform the project goals. Preconstruction is a service we’ve offered at Q&D since our founding nearly fifty years ago, working alongside our clients and designers to get them the best value for their projects.
Q&D’s preconstruction process uses our layered, comprehensive set of estimating and planning tools in concert with established practices to provide support, decision-making information and guidance for our clients. We engage the subcontracting community with outreach and careful bid packages to get the best pricing on the guaranteed maximum price. Our focused, technology-based tools for construction field management include online project collaboration, BIM-integrated schedule management and project-specific zero-incident safety implementation.


Q&D helps you implement sustainability initiatives on your project by understanding the project sustainability goals and working as part of the project team to implement them into the design during preconstruction. For renovations, expansions and tenant improvements, Q&D and our subcontractors will operate under client and facility environmental initiatives, integrating them with our own programs for recycling, emissions reduction and use of green energy.

We have found that nothing is more impactful when demonstrating the benefit of environmental initiatives than understanding the future economic effects of the implemented measures. Q&D provides accurate costs and life-cycle studies to help with decision-making, demonstrate the benefits of green initiatives and promote them to the community.

On projects with formal certification objectives, Q&D follows through with accurate record keeping and regulatory reporting. Q&D also promotes stakeholder enthusiasm for green initiatives and works to generate new and innovative sustainability measures to benefit clients.

Q&D has completed over $250,000,000 worth of LEED certified construction, is a member of the USGBC and has eleven LEED credentialed employees across various company roles to ensure there is a LEED professional available to help with your green-building project.