Although many sources describe the project delivery methods available to owners, there is little empirical data on their defining characteristics. The objective of this research was to examine patterns in contract arrangements, procurement practices and compensation terms used in the US building construction industry. Survey data were collected for projects completed between 2008 and 2013 (N = 204) from owners and contractors belonging to large US professional organizations. A latent class analysis was used to identify five distinct patterns or ‘classes’ based upon eight characteristics of the project delivery process. These classes were defined as: (I) late builder and trade involvement, with an open, cost-based selection and lump sum contract (9% of projects in sample); (II) late builder and trade involvement, with a prequalified, cost-based selection and lump sum contract (19%); (III) early builder and late trade involvement, with a prequalified non-cost based selection and guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract (26%); (IV) early builder and trade involvement, with a prequalified, cost-based selection and lump sum design-build (DB) contract (27%); (V) early builder and trade involvement, with a prequalified, non-cost based selection and GMP DB contract (18%). Compared to existing classifications of project delivery methods, these classes are data-driven typologies that represent how participants are procured and organized into a project team. The findings have implications as an alternative classification system in project delivery research and as guidance to owners considering their project delivery options.