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Public agencies in California have historically been restricted in the manner they can award public works construction projects. Statutes passed in recent years now enable districts to use alternative delivery methods under certain circumstances.
Over the course of the Propositions S & N construction bond program, the District has utilized various construction delivery methods. These include:
Under Design/Bid/Build, plans and specifications are completed by an architect, and then advertised for bid. Contractors bid the project exactly as it is designed, and the project is awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidders. The design consultant team is selected separately and reports directly to the District. The District retains all of the contracts.
Construction Management Multiple Prime (CMMP)
CMMP provides the District greater flexibility than Design/Bid/Build in selecting the firm which is ultimately responsible for delivering the project. After the design is completed for a project, the District awards a contract to a construction management firm (CM). The CM does not typically perform any construction work, but manages the project for the District. Under CMMP delivery, the District awards numerous contracts to specific trade contractors on a low bid basis. The District retains all of the contracts.

In a Design/Build (D/B) project, the contractor and architect form a single entity to deliver a complete project based on a conceptual plan provided by the District. This method allows for greater control over the schedule, quality of work, and the efficiency of the project as conflicts between design and construction are significantly reduced. Under a Design/Build delivery, the contracts are retained by the contractor and not the District.
While each delivery method has its pros and cons, the District has found that Design/Build provides the greatest overall value to taxpayers, and the majority of all future projects will utilize this method.

The District works with design and construction teams to utilize Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) into all projects. IPD aligns all activities and team members in a manner that results in a collaborative, value-based process that optimizes project results, increases value to the District, reduces waste, and maximizes efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction.

Lean Construction principles, a production management-based approach to project delivery where work is structured throughout the process to maximize value and reduce waste, are integrated into all projects. Efforts to manage and improve performance are aimed at improving the total project, challenging historic beliefs that there must always be a trade between time, cost, and quality.
The SDCCD was one of the first community college districts in California to have developed rigorous standards for the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), a requirement for the design and construction of all buildings. By building the facility in digital space before it is constructed in real space, project teams can find clashes with the proposed design, allowing for corrections to be made prior to construction and minimizing costly rework.