Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Civil engineering, Architecture engineering, Construction engineering, Municipal and structural engineering

Publication Details

Lefebvre, F, and McAuley, B. (2019) An investigation into current procurement strategies that promote collaboration through early contractor involvement with regards to their suitability for Irish public work projects, Proceedings of the 4th CitA BIM Gathering, Galway, 26th September, pp 209-221


Previous research has established that multi-disciplinary collaboration will benefit a construction project throughout its lifecycle. While Lean Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM), and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) can all be viewed as separate processes which add independent value to a project, they are more effective when used in partnership with each other. In order to ensure the high levels of collaboration expected for these processes to work in unison, the early involvement of the Contractor is paramount. Early contractor involvement within the design process can ensure a more focused integrated project team, improvement of both constructability and cost certainty, as well as better risk management. This approach has only been used occasionally on Irish public works projects. Competitive tendering has resulted in creating a culture of claims and adversity, not conducive to collaboration and therefore raising the question, is the traditional procurement format representing value for money for the Irish State. This paper will investigate current procurement strategies that promote early contractor involvement and their suitability for Irish public works projects. The research will primarily focus on contracts that are best aligned to the Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF) strategic objectives of ensuring greater cost certainty, better value for money and more efficient end-user delivery. To achieve this an initial literature review was undertaken exploring award criteria for early Contractor involvement both within the International and Irish public and private sectors. This research focused on establishing and examining the potential barriers for implementation. The analysed data from this process was interrogated through Stakeholders interviews that aimed to understand the current state of the public work project procurement process and if government agencies would endorse a move away from the “lowest bid win” criteria for contractor selection. A case study was also carried out showcasing a form of IPD used in Ireland. The findings from this paper suggest that early contractor involvement in partnership with IPD can provide a more advantageous solution for the Irish State while also promoting both BIM and Lean Construction processes.