Reducing Risk With Collaborative Contracting

by Balfour Beatty

From supply chain disruptions to labor shortages, escalating costs and more, projects today are experiencing incredible uncertainties and increasing risk. To achieve better project outcomes, more and more owners are turning to the collaborative contracting models.

Balfour Beatty’s industry-leading expertise in collaborative models including construction manager at-risk (CM at-Risk), progressive design-build, predevelopment agreement (PDA), progressive P3 and others is empowering our clients to deliver more successful projects built on time and within budget.

By facilitating early contractor engagement during the project planning and design phases, collaborative contracting models enable all parties – owners, designers and contractor alike – to fully understand the scope and risks. When executed optimally, these models allow scheduling and safety planning to inform the design, thereby reducing the risk of scope changes during construction and minimizing contingencies.

“Balfour Beatty’s expertise in collaborative contracting is a powerful and competitive advantage for our clients,” says Mike Macon, senior vice president and Georgia business unit leader. “Through a more flexible and transparent approach to project planning, these models create a rewarding experience for the entire team and enable improvements in quality, efficiency and communication.”

On the Kinetic CM-at-Risk student housing project for Toll Brothers, Balfour Beatty was able to engage with the client and the design team early in schematic design. Knowing the schedule is a major success factor for student housing projects, the Balfour Beatty team saw an opportunity to leverage prefabricated exterior wall panels to support the timely delivery of the student housing facility for the start of the 2024 school year.

By making this recommendation early in the design stage, Balfour Beatty provided the architect with ample time to consider the change, visit Atlanta to ensure the product met their design aesthetic and quality standards and incorporate the change into the design. The design change ultimately mitigated risk to the schedule and improved project safety and quality control.

Cutting Cost Risk

Early collaboration between the design team, client and contractor enables:

  • Early and accurate cost estimates
  • Design choices that balance financial, aesthetic and longevity goals
  • Savings through constant evaluation of project progress against the initial financial and design plans

Safeguarding Schedules

As design goals and budget considerations are identified earlier, Balfour Beatty is empowered to:

  • Create early works packages for the release of long lead materials and equipment
  • Engage key trade partners in advance of their project roles, preventing downstream delays
  • Collaborate with trade partners for accelerated permitting

Mitigating Supply Chain and Labor Risk

Balfour Beatty teams:

  • Inform and advise clients’ design and materials choices based on current and projected market conditions
  • Pursue early materials, equipment and labor procurement, ensuring each project has what it needs at exactly the right time and at stable prices
  • Release specific elements of a project’s scope before the design is finalized

Attracting Top Talent

In addition, collaborative models can help attract top talent. Both within Balfour Beatty and throughout our extensive trade partner network, construction professionals know that collaborative projects create the most rewarding project environments.

Under a collaborative contracting model, Balfour Beatty helps our clients achieve the best possible outcomes through reliable schedules and budgets, a focus on quality and projects that showcase our deep well of talent and expertise.