Flat Build™ – A New, Green Project Delivery Method And The Emergence of the Program Manager as Constructor

Authored by: Dax Ponce de Leon, Gui Ponce de Leon

The industry is abuzz with a desire for more progressive and integrative approaches to delivering programs than what current alternative delivery methods provide. Design/Build, CM-at-Risk and other such variants are no longer considered innovative and their increased usage over the last 10 years has exposed their weaknesses. In design/build and CMAR, the roles of the key participants that have been institutionalized by the commonly-used contract forms, and the “standard of care,” are impediments to implementing emerging technological and contracting advancements now deemed urgent by many. Many are in a quest for new, more progressive delivery methods that flat-out rethink how construction should be done v. merely fixing what we already know.

Flat Build™ is one such method.

Starting from a “fresh sheet,” Flat Build is grounded on Lean Thinking and the Trusted Advisor model as well as many of the observations made by Thomas Friedman on “The World is Flat;” namely, applying flat organizations, limiting participants’ scope to their knowledge “sweet spot,” maximizing the use of green technologies, and achieving next order collaboration/cooperation amongst team members and interoperability. To all this, Flat Build adds a commitment to using BIM, relational contracting, very-early contractor input and/or such other advancements, while holding the line on cost and schedule. As conceived and in its first deployment, Flat Build posits no less than a new method for construction “as it should be.” Flat Build is the most progressive, integrated delivery method in play at this point, and is squarely aimed at a now, well established global call to action to optimize the design, performance, cost and schedule of built facilities.