The most significant difference is that the Construction Manager represents the Owner and sits on the Owner’s side of the table. General Contracting is a cost-driven delivery system with any savings derived belonging to the General Contractor. It encourages adversarial relationships, can foster costly claims, and may sacrifice the quality of the product rendered to the Owner. While General Contracting may provide the lowest first cost, the final cost of construction is usually lower with a Construction Management delivery system.
1. Value Engineering
Provided early in design development to prevent delay and redesign costs.
Construction team cannot begin construction until all drawings are complete and the bid, evaluation, negotiation, and award process is complete.
Construction team can begin work PRIOR to drawing completion allowing the work to be done on a Fast Track basis, reducing the overall project schedule by up to 20%.
All trade bids are taken in a few short hours, just before the time they are due. As a result of the timetable for collecting bids, errors may occur. In many instances, this method later causes requests for change orders. In addition, trade contractors may not bid every General Contractor. Hence, the low General Contractor will NOT have the best price for each trade.
The bidding process is deliberate and controlled, because trade bids are taken in packages (as required) to meet the schedule. Bidders can be prequalified; the bids reviewed thoroughly prior to award, and claim-prone firms can be screened prior to bidding.
4. Phased Construction
Phased construction is usually not possible – if it is, it is only at a somewhat higher cost.
This method works well in a Phased Project since it is very flexible.
5. Quality Control
Since Quality Control under a General Contractor will affect the profitability of the project; it may not be strictly implemented or may lead to conflicts about contract requirements and claims.
Since the Construction Manager can prequalify trade contractors, and work early with the Architects and Engineers to enhance constructability, the opportunity to maximize quality is greatly improved.
With the early involvement of a Construction Manager, the Owner optimizes the probability of a successful project that reflects its values and its priorities. Once the decision is made to proceed on a Construction Management basis, then the next task is:
Selecting the Right Company for the Construction Project.
A guide prepared by Dominic J. Maltese, Jr., CPE
Selecting the right company for a construction project can be challenging and difficult. What to look for in a Construction Manager? How to determine which company to interview? What form of agreement to use? How to evaluate companies and make that final decision?
Construction customers are very often business owners, operators, or managers, with a full-time job running the business, and have minimal amounts of time available to spend in depth on the project. They are often not well versed in many detailed issues that can, and do, arise in the course of a construction project. For these reasons and more, the selection of the right Construction Manager is of great importance
To begin the selection process, the Owner should identify the scope of work to be performed, in construction type and in dollars. The Owner must set the values and priorities for the Construction Team setting realistic and attainable targets for Cost, Quality, and Schedule. Construction Managers with experience in this type of project, or expertise in critical aspects of the project, can then be identified. Developing a list of “candidate” Construction Managers is the next step. Professional acquaintances who have had construction work performed is one source, local professional associations such as the Associated General Contractors (a misnomer – most members perform Construction Management services) is another.
An initial list of five to seven candidates is adequate and not too large to handle effectively. From this initial list, obtain information on the company such as how long have they been in business, a list of projects and references, and information on the proposed project team members – what professional certifications do they have, special training such as Value Engineering, and the like. Evaluate this information against the needs of the project and the Owner’s values. Select two or three firms to interview in some depth.
The firm selected should be right sized to provide the service the Owner requires. A firm that has a record of offering a highly qualified project team and then moving them to another project (‘bait and switch”) should not be selected. Is the project team proposed available to start the project when needed? Once the ability to actually do the project is established, then much of the final selection will depend on who the Owner trusts and feels comfortable with. These are not unimportant criteria.
D. J. Maltese offers a complete range of construction services, including performing as Design/Build contractor for the projects. Typically, the Design/Build delivery system is appropriate when:
- The Owner requires a single source of responsibility for the project.
- Faster delivery of the project is required.
- The Owner has a clear vision of the project and desires one party to be responsible for carrying it to completion.
- Value Engineering and Constructability are enhanced by integration of the design and construction processes.
Maltese Construction LLC has the capability to develop conceptual design with its own staff (with two Certified Professional Estimators on staff), can readily develop accurate estimates and schedules to move the project quickly through the pre-construction phase into full production.