This research presents a unique preplanning model that occurs prior a contract being signed between the owner and contractor.

This paper was presented at COBRA 2012 conference.

Maintaining competitiveness by increasing performance is an ever-present goal in the construction industry, yet project performance has remained relatively stagnant and schedule slippages and cost overruns continue to plague the construction stage. A growing sentiment exists that these problems may be best addressed before the construction phase commences, prompting investigation into improved pre-construction and project planning approaches. The best value business model incorporates a formal preplanning process that has been tested recently in the construction industry and has been documented to produce favourable results.

The best value planning process is based on four primary methods: (1) project planning is done before signing the contract; (2) identification and alignment of expertise; (3) transference of project responsibility and accountability to the contractor; and (4) emphasis on planning supply-chain interactions rather than technical aspects. Lessons learned are shared from implementing this process at the University of Alberta on a high profile $21 million design build project for a high tech research facility. Significant cost savings, minimized schedule impacts, and optimized coordination of the construction stage were documented. Case study results are encouraging and suggest that this pre-contract planning approach may be a viable consideration in the construction industry.

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