- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Jan 2017
Optimised contractor involvement
The subtle difference between ECI and OCI is that in ECI, a contractor’s skills are introduced early into a project to bring design buildability and cost efficiencies to the pre-construction phase. In OCI, contractors are brought in at a stage that is late enough for the target price to be quite firm, but early enough for them to be able to influence buildability and value engineering.
ECI has been used on by many public sector construction clients, however, some clients have been reluctant to adopt the strategy because of concerns associated with appointing contractors before permissions such as planning have been granted, and issues to do with attracting accurate and competitive prices from contractors when the design is not yet well advanced.
The OCI approach optimises contractor involvement, rather than simply trying to make it as early as possible, waiting till a point when the contractor is more likely to be able to offer an accurate and competitive price.
The contractor input into the design under OCI generally takes place post contract award, whereas in ECI, it takes place pre-contract award, under an arrangement such as a Pre-Construction Services Agreement.
The OCI approach may adopt a two stage selection process. The first stage is based on an assessment of the contractor’s technical and quality competence. The second stage involves the shortlisted tenderers carrying out a review of the client’s design. The tenderers then submit their final proposals, including a target price.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What future infrastructure provision might look like.
Highlighting the health benefits of home improvement.
Pavilions for music, entertainment, and leisure. Book review.
Broadening our understanding of Dublin’s chequered social history.
The charm of London's Cabmen's shelters.
Future Weather Files research tool looking for feedback.
Exploring the Colour Rendering Index.
Why it's important to find out what went wrong.
ECA reviews the shape of the construction job market.
Why proper room acoustics make a difference.
Initiative puts gas networks on the path to net zero.
WICE Woman Architectural Technologist of the Year 2019.
Traditional low-energy approaches to comfort.
Revisiting the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford.
USA In-Use Version 6 is now available.
The rise of architectural barbarism.
In contentious political contexts heritage can be more fractious.