Mechanical Contractors Association of Ohio
Executive Director Valerie Dahlberg said her organization opposes the elimination of multiple prime contracting
under the aegis of construction reform.
“Requiring multiple prime bids reduces costs by eliminating a layer of mark-up for profit and overhead, which is
why the single prime bid is generally higher than the combination of the separate prime bids and why projects are
rarely awarded to the single prime contractor when the separate prime option is available,” he said.
Dahlberg noted the markup often reaches 10-15 percent of actual constructions costs under single prime
contractors. He said multiple prime contracting opens the door to small business and hedges against “favoritism
and corruption” in the award of construction contracts. He added that proposed construction reform will not reduce
litigation and cannot be proven by hard data to deliver purported cost savings.
Associated General Contractors of Ohio
Executive Director Richard Hobbs submitted written testimony that contradicted the claims of Dahlberg. He noted
that HB153 includes many recommendations from the Construction Reform Panel of the 128th General Assembly,
“the most significant of which is allowing the public authority to select the project delivery system that best suits
the type of project: multiple prime, multiple prime agency, single prime (general contract), CM at risk, design build,
and design assist and design build…. The opportunity for public owners, including universities, to select the delivery
that best suits their project provides them the opportunity to save 10 to 30 percent of the construction costs, and
complete their building projects more quickly and efficiently with less risk and litigation.”
Hobbs took a rather different view of proposed changes to prevailing wage, which would eliminate the requirement
on universities and raise the minimum project cost to $5 million for all other public construction.
“Such a significant change to Ohio’s prevailing wage law would have a considerable impact on the entire vertical
building industry,” he said. “The quality of the workforce constructing public buildings would erode, and potentially
this would put many of the thousands of small and medium-sized contractors out of business – both union and