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This is the traditional way facilities have been delivered throughout the 20th century. The owner hires an architect to design a facility in response to the owner's program requirements. The architect prepares construction drawings and specifications, which exactly define the scope of the work. The drawings and specifications are used to select a general contractor, typically on the basis of low bid.


  • Clear definition of roles for the project participants.
  • Process is familiar and comfortable.
  • Construction documents clearly define the contractual scope of the work.


  • Sequential process takes more time than a collaborative one would. Construction can’t start until the design work is finished.
  • Cost of the work is unknown until the construction documents are complete. If contractor bids are over budget, additional time and money are spent on redesign.
  • Lack of CG Schmidt’s input during design may result in building systems that are difficult and costly to build.
  • Separate contracts for design and construction services may create an adversarial relationship between the architect and the builder.
  • Owner is often financially liable for exclusions and inconsistencies in the contract documents.