Project Delivery Methods

Major Capital


This is a traditional public works delivery method. This is also referred to as “hard bid”, and is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner contracts with separate entities for the design and construction of a project. There is no preconstruction collaboration for schedule, cost or constructability from the contractor, as they are brought onboard for the construction phase only. There are three main sequential phases to the design–bid–build delivery method:

  • The design phase
  • The public bidding phase
  • The construction phase

CMAR is a method of procuring construction of a public works project that the CSU utilizes on major projects. CMAR project delivery consists of a preconstruction phase and a construction phase for the contractor (CM) with separate contracts for each phase. The architect and other design professionals are contracted directly to the University in this delivery method.

During the preconstruction phase, the CM will collaborate with the Owner and Architect on the design, constructability, cost and schedule of the Project and develop a GMP proposal to construct the Project. Upon the University’s acceptance of the proposed GMP, the University may issue a contract to the CM for the construction phase. If the University and the CM do not agree upon a GMP, the University will not award the construction phase of the Project to the CM.

We recommend the use of CMAR to obtain delivery of a large or complicated project, within a fixed budget and timeline, and on large projects with any of the following elements: site or budget constraints, phasing, renovation work, or where the project will benefit from early CM design or budgeting input.


This delivery method is a modified form of the Trustees’ Design-Build delivery method, called Collaborative Design-Build. This is a two-phased project delivery process: Phase 1-Design and Preconstruction Services, and Phase 2-Design-Build Construction Services. There will be a separate agreement for each phase to the Design-Builder. In this delivery method, the University only holds an agreement with the Design-Builder. The Design-Builder holds the agreements with the Architect and design professionals. In essence, the contractor is also acting as the designer in this method.

During Phase 1, the University will issue a design and preconstruction services agreement, under which the Design-Builder will:  complete the programming; develop the schematic design; commit to a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and schedule; start Design Development; confirm other criteria are appropriate; and obtain CSU Board of Trustees (BOT) approval. Upon receipt of both the BOT approval of the schematic design and the University’s authorization to proceed, Design-Builder shall: continue with the design development; publish a set of the Design-Build Construction Documents; and establish and submit a GMP to the Trustees.

During Phase 2, the University will issue a GMP collaborative design-build agreement incorporating: the Design-Build Contract Documents; updated criteria; direct construction cost budget; GMP; contingency; remaining design fees; site management fees; payment and performance bond premiums; overhead and profit; and schedule as agreed upon in Phase 1.

This is the preferred delivery method for major projects at CSULB, as it brings the highest level of collaboration to the project between the stakeholders.


This delivery method is Task Order-Construction Agreement for Multiple Projects-Master Enabling Agreement (TO-CA MEA). Under the MEA, two types of agreements may be executed for multiple projects as requested by the University:

  • A Task Order (services agreement) for the design and preconstruction services, and
  • A Construction Agreement for the construction services (with a lump sum price).

During the design and preconstruction phase for each project, the selected team may develop the design, perform constructability, cost, and scheduling services and develop a lump sum price or guaranteed maximum price (GMP) proposal to construct the Projects. Upon the Universities acceptance of the lump sum price or GMP and schedule, the University may award a Construction Agreement to the selected team for the construction phase.

The selected Team(s) for the TO-CA MEA may perform the functions of the following roles:

  • Collaborative Design-Builder - the selected Team contracts directly with the design professional(s), and/or,
  • Construction Manager at Risk - the University contracts directly with the design professional(s).

The University will specify which of the above delivery methods will be used for each Project.

This is a preferred method of delivery at CSULB. This method allows the University to deliver projects faster and provide a better overall experience to the customer, as the TOCA-MEA team is usually familiar with University standards and protocol as well as university specific coordination requirements. There are some limitations to the use of this master enabling agreement:

  • The TO-CA MEA is a three-year contract.
  • The total maximum Budgeted Cost for all Projects shall not exceed $30,000,000.
  • No single project shall exceed $7,000,000 in total cost.

Minor Capital


Similar to the TOCA process described above for major capital projects, this small project master enabling agreement is focused on minor capital projects and utilizes a partner that can cost effectively deliver this collaborative process for smaller projects with an individual value under $1,200,000. This agreement utilizes only the Construction Manager at Risk delivery methodology and can be used for a maximum of up to $10,000,000 in projects over the term of the agreement.


The Facility Project Services group is the newest addition to BBS, and is a specialized group within the Facilities Management Department that can deliver small multi-trade projects utilizing in-house resources. BBS meets internally to decide if this method is best for your project. FPS will then meet with the facility coordinator onsite and determine the scope of work, timeline, and will provide a cost estimate for the work. If design work is needed in support of any FPS projects, Design and Construction Services will provide those services.


For construction contracts, as covered in Capital Outlay and Public Works Contracts policy, campuses may award a contract that has an estimated value of less than $314,000, the cost limit as identified in Public Contract Code Section 10105 (and periodically adjusted by CA Department of Finance), without advertising, to a certified small business, including a micro-business, or to a disabled veteran business enterprise, as long as written bids are obtained from two or more certified small businesses, including micro-businesses, or from two or more disabled veteran business enterprises. In implementing this provision, the Trustees shall consider a responsive offer, timely received from a responsible certified small business, including a micro-business, or from a disabled veteran business enterprise as referenced in Government Code Section 14838.7.