Efficient Construction Project Delivery for Public Sector Facility Owners – Renovation, Repair, Sustainability


Public sector and multi-building facility routinely scope, procure, award, and execute thousands of renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and “minor” new construction projects.  For most facility portfolio owners these types of projects represent a significantly larger capital outlay than major new construction.   They are critical to long-term economic viability as well as meeting the needs of an organizations mission.

While annual capital cost are second only to personnel costs for most organizations, few entities public sector or private, manage the built environment using LEAN best management practices.   Instead, most real property portfolio owners continue use ‘ad hoc’ methods and have little visibility into costs, requirements or relative levels of productivity.

Gradually, this situation is beginning to change as collaborative, transparent, and productive construction delivery methods, notably Job Order Contracting, JOC, are being implemented.   Though leverage of facility LEAN best management practices such as job order contracting and supporting technologies is now limited to a small percentage of the AECOO sector (Architecture, engineering, Construction, Operations, Owner), the benefits to all stakeholders are real.  In fact, widespread practice of collaborative construction delivery methods is necessary in order to support economic and environmental viability.

Job Order Contracting Process

Job order contracting is a proven solution for projects that are too large or too numerous for internal personal to accomplish.  In use, since the late 1980’s, job order contracting, has proven to meet the need for timely delivery of quality work.  Owners can achieve their goals and actually complete more projects on-time and on-budget for the same level of funding or less.

Job order contracting is now in use by Federal, State, County, and Local Governments; Healthcare, Education, Transportation (Airports, Mass Transit, DOTs) and has even expanded into the private sector.

Job order contract has several distinct characteristics as listed below.  Unfortunately some “JOC-like” services have entered the market and tend to “muddy the waters”, however, “true JOC” requires the following fundamental elements:

  • Indefinite delivery – indefinite quantity (IDIQ):  JOC programs typically provide a range of typical project size, overall potential planned expenditure for the duration of the JOC, and a minimum level of funding for the contract.
  • Unit price book: Cost estimating and pricing for individual projects (task orders) is determined from a line item unit price book (UPB).  It is critical that this UPB be developed using industry standards for cost engineering and data architecture.  MasterFormat is the data architecture of choice in North America.
  • Collaboration:  Owners and contractors have the mutual responsibility to share all information with respect to project work scopes, costs, and any factors related to the project.
  • Performance basis:  Additional work is awarded to the contractor by the owners based upon successful completion of work.
  • Shared risk/reward:  This is a long-term commitment by both the Owner and the Contractor.  A typical JOC contract runs from 3-5 years.
  • Technology:  Supporting technology is critical to job order contracting.  JOC is the implementation of robust LEAN best management practices.  Technology is needed to support cost-effective and consistent deployment of these LEAN workflows.  Running JOCs in spreadsheets is counterproductive and monitoring and information sharing become virtually impossible.
  • Cost Visibility and Transparency:  The unit price book provides an unparalleled level of cost visibility.  Both owners and contractors create estimates for each JOC project/task order.   (Owners typically conduct internal estimates on projects of a certain size ($100,000 to $150,000 or larger).  Owners review and approve/disapprove all contractor task order estimates, and as noted, may compare the contractor estimate to the owner estimate.l
  • Owner and Contractor Capability:  JOC is NOT for everyone.  Owners and contractors must be capable and willing to collaborate, share information, and know how to create line item unit price cost estimates for renovation, repair, sustainability, maintenance, and construction projects.   (Note:  An Owners representative can be used vs. direct owner participation.  Even in this instance, however, and owner MUST conduct regular audits to assure program viability and performance).

A typical job order contract workflow is shown in the following graphic.

JOC Process

Job Order Contracting Benefits

Multiple case studies, research studies, and reports have been done on job order contracting and similar collaborative construction delivery methods.(1)  They describe and highlight the following benefits provided by JOC.

1. The establishment and/or transparency of cost

2. The reduction of procurement and overall project cost

3. Better definition, establishment, and attainment/reduction of schedules

4. Significant reduction of change orders

5. Virtual elimination of legal disputes

6. Longer term and better owner/contractor relationships

7. Greater usage of local labor and/or small business labor, and associated better knowledge of local site conditions and owners’ facilities and/or specific requirements.

Construction Productivtiy

Job Order Contracting

(1) Aller, G. L. (2002). Job order contracting for novices: just the basics. Retrieved September 4, 2006 from http://www.garyaller.com/pdf/JOC%20for%20Novices.pdf Henry, E. & Brothers, H. S. (2001). Cost analysis between SABER and design bid build contracting methods. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 127, No. 5, 359-366. Kashiwagi, D. (2002). Documented performance of the JOC construction delivery system (1994 – 1998). Cost Engineering, Vol. 44, No. 6, 14-20. Konchar, M. & Sanvido, V. (1998). Comparison of U. S. project delivery systems. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Nov/Dec 1998 pg 435-444. Mulcahy, F. S. (2000). The effectiveness of partnering and source selection in job order contracting – masters thesis. Washington, DC: National Technical Information Service. Songer, A. D. & Molenaar, K. R. (1996). Selecting design-build: public and private sector owner attitudes. Journal of Management in Engineering. Vol. 12, No. 6, November/December, 1996. Williams, J. (1994). Exploring and implementing job order contracting. Unpublished master’s thesis. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska.

4Clicks Solutions, LLC job order contracting


job order contracting

Solicitation P15PS00058 is for a Simplified Acquisition of Basic Engineering
Requirements (SABER) contract for construction services (minor design), and will
primarily be used for real property maintenance, repair, alteration, and/or new
construction projects involving linear, underground water and waste water utilities
and related work solely for the use in Grand Teton National Park and the John D.
Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, Teton County Wyoming.

Magnitude of Construction for the contract (1 base year plus 4 options) is
between $5,000,000 and $10,000,000.

This solicitation is set-aside 100% for Small Business Concerns.

National Park Service – Department of the Interior – NPS, IMR – Northern Rockies MABO
PO Box 168
Mammoth Supply Building #34
Yellowstone NP WY 82190

Contact: Martin Hauch – 307-739-3448
Grand Teton National Park
PO Box 170
Moose, WY 83012
Attn: Martin Hauch


The general scopes of the task orders consist of any of the following: linear, underground utility installation or repair/maintenance or new construction; underground gravity or pressure sewage or storm water collection systems and related minor construction (leak detection and repair, line replacement or new installations using different methods, valve replacements, manhole repair/ replacement or installation, minor lift station replacement/repair/installation, leach/absorption field repair/ replacement/ installation, septic tank or collection tank repair/replacement/installation, testing and disinfection, connection to existing systems and buildings, etc.), underground water distribution systems and related minor construction (leak detection and repair, line replacement or new installations using different methods, valve replacement or installation, hydrant and meter replacement or installation, standard testing and disinfection, connection to existing systems or buildings, etc.), water well drilling, development, testing, and permitting, installation of new (simple, kit building or prefabricated) well houses and associated internal piping, valving, metering, water treatment, minor electrical connection (trenching, connection, etc.), internal building finishing (damp proofing, insulation). Work to emphasize replacement or new installation of underground utilities (water, waste water, storm water, minor electrical, miscellaneous conduit and pull string, etc.) using standard trenching, open cut methods, trenchless methods, pipe bursting methods, etc., including different pipe materials (new installation mainly to use HDPE, some existing pipe materials to be connected vary in material). Work to include minor, incidental electrical work (lift station, well house, relocation of utility, repair of damaged utility, etc.), minor plumbing work (connection to existing buildings), minor mechanical work, minor gas/propane distribution work, potential asbestos abatement (from existing, old pipe materials), minor water treatment chemical handling/installation, etc. and any required minimal
design associated with all of the various aforementioned tasks. Also included shall be any incidental work required for completion of the aforementioned tasks, as required and as stated in each Task Order. All designs that require it shall be completed and stamped by registered design professionals, registered in the state in which the project is located and shall meet local, state, and federal regulations. Generally, all required engineering design work including stamping by professional engineers, shall be done by the government and provided to the contractor as part of each task order documentation, SOW (statement of work) drawings, specifications, and design elements. The contractor shall only occasionally be required to provide engineering designs including drawings in AutoCAD format, along with specifications, design calculations, and stamped by a professional engineer in the discipline for which covers the design and licensed in the state of Wyoming. Design work by the contractor shall be minimal and if required, would typically only encompass a small portion of each task order.
All work shall be done in strict accordance with the contract documents, as specified by each individual Task Order.
Use of the SABER will provide the Government with services that can accommodate quick and straight-forward projects.

Contractor’s work and responsibility shall include all contractor planning, programming, administration, and management necessary to provide support for Task Orders awarded. The Contractor shall conduct the work in strict accordance with the contract and all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, codes, or directives. The Contractor shall provide related services such as preparing and submitting required reports, perform administrative work, and submit necessary information as specified under this contract and within each Task Order. The Contractor shall ensure that all work provided meets the scope of work for each Task Order
and any special specifications included with the individual Task Order or included in any applicable documents.

The Government will provide a detailed scope of work to the Contractor describing the task to be accomplished. Depending on the complexity of the project, the detail provided may vary from a general idea of what is required, with no drawings, to substantially completed or complete design documents. The Contractor shall use the information provided by the Government and submit a complete proposal. The Contractor shall complete all work and services under this contract in accordance with schedules established in each Task Order.

Submittal dates will be included in the Task Order. These dates identify when submittals are due in the issuing office and other addresses identified in the Task Order. Types and numbers of submittals and dates and places for review meetings shall be established by each Task Order.

Task Order minimum and maximum limits are $10,000 and $2,000,000, respectively. The total combined contract capacity under the SABER contract is valued at $10 million.

The Government hereby obligates itself to obtain not less than $10,000 in services per SABER contract for the life of the contract.

http://www.4Clicks.com – e4Clicks Project Estimator – Job Order Contracting, SABER, IDIQ – Industry Leading Cost Estimating and Project Management Software, Training, and Support.

Why BIM Continues to FAIL – PAS 1192-2:2013

Job Order Contracting
If you have read PAS 1192-2:2013  ” Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling “, you will see the following statement front and center:

” The production of co-ordinated design and construction information is a task- and time-based process, independent of which procurement route or form of contract is used. ”

This statement is fundamentally flawed and representative of the prevalent lack of education and awareness within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facility Management Sectors.

It is the Construction Delivery Method that sets the tone, establishes roles and responsibilities, specifies deliverables, and assigns levels of risks/reward, etc. more so than ANY other single element.

Yet again, our industry attempts to “reinvent the wheel” versus adopting proven best management practices.  The focus upon 3D visualization and/or similar technologies has been a detriment to industry advancement.   We require a laser-like focus upon the fundamental principles of collaborative construction delivery methods (i.e. integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC , etc.), and life-cycle management practices based upon total cost of ownership and full consideration of economic/environmental factors.


Construction Cost Estimating – Improving Productivity

construction cost estimating software

Better management of construction cost estimating is clearly needed.  Information must be produced in a consistent and timely manner.  Construction cost estimating is NOT a commodity and is important to the success or failure of any repair, renovation, maintenance, or construction project.

Coordinated, collaborative, construction cost estimating based upon LEAN best management practices, business rules, and standards is critical to productivity improvement, information reuse, and better project results.

“Construction cost estimators must produce information using standardized processes and proven standards and methods to ensure higher quality and consistent form.   Information must be formatted so that is can easily be used and reused without change or interpretation.”

Individuals, offices, teams that refuse to work collaboratively, and/or change proven processes in an ‘ad hoc’ manner are disruptive and hinder productivity and organizational efficiency.

Cost estimators who insist on doing things “my way” are abundant, but losing ground in an era when every organization must “do more with less”.

The adoption of collaborative construction cost estimating requires knowledge, trust, and the implementation of standardized data architectures and processes based upon proven success.

Standardization does NOT mean remaining static. Just the opposite.  LEAN methods require ongoing input, monitoring,  and continuous improvement.

Tools are equally important.  Tools include collaborative software, ongoing training, and cost databases that leverage structured data architectures (i.e. Masterformat, Uniformat, Omniclass, etc.).  The exclusive use of spreadsheets prohibits any true form of collaboration, information sharing/reuse, or standardization.  Beware of any construction cost estimator who insists on only using spreadsheets or claims to have a “special sauce”, and or insists on doing things “my way”.

Experience, experience, and experience are equally important to construction cost estimating. Knowing what it takes to actually complete a job in a specific environment, etc. is a given.   This experience, must however, be captured, shared, and leveraged in order to achieve any measurable productivity gains.  Thus, the requirement for standardization, collaboration, business rules, common terms and data architectures, and supporting/enabling collaborative technology must be met.

The benefits of collaborative construction cost estimating include fewer delays and disputes among stakeholders, better management of project risk and better understanding of where costs are being incurred.

http://www.4Clicks.com 2015

The Built Environment and the Role of Owners

job order contracting

Owners are the stewards of the build environment.

The role of a real property owner is to facilitate the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment supported and/or enabled by digital technology, within the context of their mission and the community at large.

Best management practices include:

1.) A focus upon efficient and collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods, inclusive of robust elements and workflows (i.e. integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC),

2.) the integration of multiple disparate competencies and technologies, and

3.) a life-cycle cost perspective versus first-costs.

Many if not most public and/or commercial real property portfolios have failed to meet their stewardship responsibilities. Efficient management of the renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, operations, construction, and deconstruction of the built environment requires global oversight and local implementation of transparent LEAN business practices in order to simply get more project completed on-time and on-budget.

Until it is recognized that management, communication, and transparency require standardized terms, definitions, and collaborative construction delivery methods… all supported by appropriate technologies to enable consistent and lower cost deployment…  better decision-making will remain unattainable, as will construction productivity improvements.


Benefits collaborative construction delivery and best management practices:

1. Lower total cost of ownership of the built environment

2. Transparency timely, accurate, reusable information for all stakeholders (owners, contractors, oversight groups, building users, business product manufacturers, …)

3. Early and ongoing, consensus driven, information sharing among all shareholders via established products, methods, and information formats;

4. Shared and performance-based risk/reward

5. Better insight and predictability of costs and outcomes

Best Training Classes for Public Sector Cost Estimating and Project Management

ATTENTION PUBLIC SECTOR Owners, Contractors, and AE’s

If you want the best line item estimating training and technology available for PUBLIC SECTOR JOC, SABER, IDIQ and more, join us!

See why 4Clicks leads the market, supporting hundreds of Owners and their contractors, subcontractors, and AE’s.

Our clients include 85% of the USAF, other DoD and non-DOD Federal Owners, State/County/Local Government, Education, Healthcare, and Transportation (Airports, Mass Transit).  Also, see what our clients are saying about us!

Contact us today:  http://www.4Clicks.com, bsarty@4Clicks.com (training), rbrown@4Clicks.com (sales)

job order contracting

“The course was very good… A lot of info covered in a short time. I have used WinEst before and like your product better.”

– New User, Dyess AFB

“The information is outstanding. The instructor was great; he kept my attention and was able to remain focused and actively engaged”:

– New User, USDOE

“The class is going great! We’re having lots of great discussions between our office (base CE) and our 2 SABER contractors. “…my knowledge has at least doubled after sitting through today’s class. I learned an immense amount of helpful tips and tricks to make me that much more efficient at costing out projects. I also learned quite a bit of peripheral knowledge, such as all the helpful references, rules of thumb, and shortcuts. Who knew there was a table for lbs. of sheet metal, SF of insulation, # of diffusers and return registers, per ton of cooling on packaged a/c units..  I didn’t before today. That sure makes figuring out how many lbs. of sheet metal a breeze! Knowing that such references are built into the software, and knowing where/how to find them, is beyond helpful.

Anyway, today’s class was well worth my time, and I’m looking forward to more tomorrow. Your company provides an unparalleled level of service and commitment. I’m really looking forward to all the ways the software can work for us.”