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The Value of Single-Source Delivery for Healthcare Projects

Construction Budget overruns and Schedule delays are the most significant setbacks experienced by Healthcare Systems and Physicians at time of development of any new building project. And the Scope of the Work or Scale of the Project to be built have little if nothing to do with these setbacks.

Overruns and delays can be primarily attributed to the fracture that exists in the industry between the professional firms and other parties necessary to deliver the building project, and in addition to deficiencies that exist in the performance of each under binding agreements; this issue of miscommunications, redundancies, and even dislikes between Architects, Engineers and Builders, that directly impact the Owner and the Owner's Goals, is known to be decades old.

Today, the Value of a Single-Source Delivery Firm for Healthcare Projects is that of practically eliminating these overruns and delays, largely due to the fact that there are no contending parties. As a Single-Source Firm, the Team behaves instead as a cohesive whole, creating a single channel and point of contact for the Owner. The Team performs without creating unnecessary Wastes during the Delivery Process, and instead works toward increasing the Value per every dollar spent.

Per Lean Six Sigma, principles now applied in Construction via the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), a Single-Source Firm would be able to accomplish the most optimal whole of a delivery process. The firm, of course, would have to put in place additional mechanisms and tools to get there, with the intent to:

(1) Remove all Waste from the Process,

(2) Focus -to improve- Process and Flow,

(3) Generate Value for the Owner,

(4) Undergo Continuous Optimization.

The right Single-Source Firm would apply all Lean principles, striving to improve its own performance within a single construction project, as well as with each project subsequently undertaken. A Design-Bid-Build Contract, the least efficient but still widely used Contract type, in itself would not make sense for a Single-Source Firm as it defeats the intended goal : to overlap the design and construction phases to, in a more integrated way, work toward the best delivery outcome for the Owner and Owner's Project -saving Time and Money.

Design/Build Contract instead begins to then make more sense, or maybe another unique custom Agreement that may be created with more constraints or more advantages for the Owner and his or her Project.

Therefore and in short, the Simplification of the Building Delivery is truly the Optimization of that Delivery : since it means less focus is placed in dealing with contentions, redundancies, overruns and delays, and more focus is placed in creating opportunities for design and construction innovation, Owner savings, and the actual capital improvements.

Tabitha Ponte, AIA is the CEO of a Woman-Led, Woman-Owned Professional Architecture and Construction Services Firm, specializing in Single-Source Delivery, Resources Management, and Best Outcomes, serving exclusively the Healthcare Market Sector. Visit or email her at

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