ENR Top Project Delivery Firms: Firms Say Early Collaboration Makes Gains

Comments from this year’s Top 100 Project Delivery Firms reveal that supply chain delays, inflation and limited labor resources remain key challenges in delivering projects on time and under budget. Yet rather than focusing on a particular project delivery method, firms say more owners are asking for collaboration early on to proactively control construction costs and prioritize flexibility.

Overall, revenue for both design-build and construction management-at-risk (CMAR) delivery methods rose last year—with design-build increasing 26.1% to $137.19 billion and CMAR increasing 8.56% to $173.97 billion.

Median design-build revenue is up 27.1% over last year, rising to $754.3 million from $593.35 million, whereas the median CMAR revenue increased 3.3%, to $963.88 million from $933.04 million. Of the 93 top design-build firms that filed this year and last, 77.4% reported more
design-build revenue this year, and 78.8% of top CMAR firms reported more CMAR revenue this year.

Revenue numbers for Top 100 design-build and CMAR firms also reflect what firms say has been an industry-wide shift toward more collaboration to navigate increasingly complex market challenges that have intensified since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Swinerton’s director of preconstruction and estimating, Daniel Getting, says the firm has seen a “significant uptick” in design-build project procurement, “specifically, progressive design-build,” there is still a “strong appetite for CM-at-Risk.”

Getting explains, “We see more of a shift in market types, temporarily away from hospitality and market-rate residential projects until capital markets improve.”