A Guidebook for Implementing Alternative Technical Concepts into Project Delivery Methods

NCHRP Synthesis 455: Alternative Technical Concepts for Contract Delivery Methods defines an alternative technical concept (ATC) as a request by a proposer to modify a contract requirement, specifically for that proposer’s use in gaining competitive benefit during the bidding or proposal process. An ATC must provide a solution that is equal to or better than the owner’s base design requirements in the invitation for bid or request for proposal document. Transportation agencies are increasingly incorporating ATCs from the design and construction industries in their transportation projects. In particular, some agencies are awarding contracts with delivery mechanisms such as design-build (DB), construction manager/general contractor (or (CMGC) construction manager at-risk (CMR)), design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM), design-build-finance (DBF), and design-bid-build (DBB), all of which can incorporate ATCs. In many states, the construction and consulting industries have expressed concerns with protecting proprietary as well as sensitive business practices when proposing an ATC. Contracting agencies want to work with their industry partners to develop transparent procedures that treat all proposers fairly and safeguard confidentiality. In addition, practitioners must provide their management with a documented ATC approval process and how it will be incorporated into the contract award process. ATCs have great potential for accruing sizable benefits in terms of cost savings, increased constructability, and schedule reduction, and these benefits have already been demonstrated by several agencies. The potential benefits of ATCs are significant enough that the FHWA included ATCs as a separate initiative in the 2012 Every Day Counts II program. Additionally, MAP-21 reduced the state match requirement for federally funded projects for states that employ ATCs on their projects. The result is a substantial upswing in interest in implementing ATCs in project delivery methods. Guidance is needed to allow agencies to capture the full benefits of permitting ATCs on a construction project without violating the public trust and commitments that may have been made during project development. A sound business case must be made for each ATC as well as when and where to include an ATC provision in construction procurement. Finally, a methodology is required to identify the resources associated with implementing ATCs and a common approach to identifying a return on investment. The objective of this research is to produce a practical guidebook in AASHTO standard format that presents effective practices for establishing and implementing alternative technical concepts (ATCs) in project delivery methods.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-112

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, C

  • Performing Organizations:

    Gransberg & Associates, Incorporated

    Norman, OK  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Gransberg, Douglas

  • Start Date: 20170601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190301
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40807

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01618754
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-112
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 11 2016 1:00AM