Early Contractor Involvement (ECI)  
  A Project Delivery method by which the Principal engages the Contractor at an early stage of the project through a selection process which usually has an emphasis on factors other than price. An Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract usually comprises two stages. Under the first stage, the Contractor is paid a fee to develop the design to a level where the project can be accurately priced and the risks of the project allocated in the second stage. At the end of the first stage, the Contractor formulates and submits an offer for the second stage. The second stage is usually performed under a separate contract under which the Contractor completes the design and construction of the project.