What is Construction Partnering?

Construction partnering is a commitment between a project’s owner, the consulting engineers and/or architects, the contractor(s), and other key project stakeholders to create a cooperative project environment with a team committed to understanding one another. In this environment, the team works together to develop and follow processes and procedures which will optimize the successful completion of the project.

Teams in a partnering environment will improve communications and avoid disputes by developing mutual Project and Partnership Success Goals and by monitoring the achievement of these goals for the duration of the project.

Partnering builds goodwill and trust, encourages open communication, and helps the parties eliminate surprises and adversarial relationships. It enables the parties to anticipate and resolve problems, and avoid or minimize disputes through development and use of Issue Resolution processes.

Partnering is often called dispute prevention.

Partnering is:

  • Working TOGETHER instead of against each other
  • A PROCESS for relationship building
  • A PHILOSOPHY of teamwork and understanding the other parties’ needs
  • A COMMITMENT to cooperate and communicate
  • An ATTITUDE of goodwill and trust
  • SHARING RISKS with a “win-win-win” attitude

Partnering isn’t:

  • Relaxing contract terms
  • Circumventing the processes
  • Expecting extra work for free
  • An excuse for poor performance
  • A cure-all
  • Easy to achieve!


“Three-fourths of the miseries and misunderstandings in the world
will disappear
if we step into the shoes of our
adversaries and understand their view point.”  ~Gandhi


Is Construction Partnering a New Concept?

No, the construction partnering concept is not new. However, the formal construction partnering process is fairly new – it has been in North America since around 1990, and has grown as people experience the value of formally partnering on a construction project.

Is Construction Partnering a legal relationship?

No, the contract and specifications form the legal relationships. The partnering processes and philosophies establish working and communications relationships.

View the Construction Partnering article “Joining Forces” in OpenMind Magazine

View the Construction Partnering and Project Scorecard™ article in Constructor 2010 Magazine.

View the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) Forum article on the benefits of Construction Partnering at the “Handover to Contractor” phase on a BIM project.

Sample Partnering Charter - City of Partnerville
Sample Partnering Charter
Click to enlarge


Allan Lowe’s Partnering Sessions are well organized, prepared and customized as required for each project…they go a long ways in the successful delivery of our major, complex projects…

Rizwan Hussain, P.Eng.
Construction Manager
Fort McMurray Region
Alberta Transportation



…The Partnering Session participants succeeded in overcoming the existing differences and focusing on fulfilling the project.
Thank you, Allan.

Hussien AL-Battaineh,
Ph.D., P.Eng., AVS
EHan Engineering Ltd.