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Sep. 24, 2018

What’s in a Beautiful Outcome?

Across cities, it’s buildings with their varying shapes, sizes, and materials that make skylines so striking. These visuals are a reminder that for a project to produce beautiful outcomes, we must focus on what makes our client's vision unique. At Rockford, we value the differences between our projects and strive to tailor the construction process to defined intentions and needs – this starts with choosing the best delivery method.

Thoughtful delivery method selection helps determine the best way to execute a project while considering client needs, desired involvement, and risk preferences. We are experts in various delivery methods, which helps our clients carefully and strategically choose the best course for their project. We’ve identified the most common methods in detail – design build, general contracting, CM-at-Risk, and CM-Agency.

Design Build

Using this approach, one organization (either the architect or the construction company), is solely responsible to the owner for both building design and construction. This single point of contact can foster better communication, teamwork, and improve the overall construction schedule. A faster construction schedule is achieved because the design and construction plan are developed concurrently.

General Contracting (Design-Bid-Build)

Of all types of construction methods, this is the most traditional and can be viewed as a linear approach – one phase is complete before the next is started. Using the design-bid-build method, trade contractors are also hired under the construction company; however, the architect is hired by the owner under a separate contract. The owner, construction company, and architect work together through all project phases with the construction company being solely responsible for construction and the architect/engineering firm being solely responsible for the design.

CM-at-Risk (CMc)

Rockford is ranked by Engineering News Record as one of the Top 100 Construction Management-at-Risk Firms in the nation. This method provides opportunity for the construction company to estimate and value-add input as the design process is occurring. Like design-bid-build, the construction company and architecture firm are under separate contracts; however, the differentiator is the construction company enters into a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) with the owner. This ensures the project will be constructed for no more than the amount designated in the GMP, and no longer than agreed to in the completion date. If the project is delivered below the GMP, cost savings are typically shared between the owner and construction company.


In the CM-Agency project delivery method, the construction company acts as an extension of the owner’s staff and the general contracting role is eliminated. Instead, the owner holds all the contracts with the trade contractors. Each trade contractor is responsible for cost, schedule, quality, and safety. The construction company oversees all these efforts, providing comprehensive management of all stages of the project on the owner’s behalf.

As we reflect on beautiful outcomes and what they mean to Rockford, we know this work doesn’t happen alone. Considering spaces, delivery methods, and working alongside community partners makes the difference and enhances both cities and skylines.