Construction Management at Risk

  • CM at-risk is a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a Guaranteed Maximum Price(GMP), in most cases. The construction manager acts as consultant to the owner in the development and design phases, (often referred to as “Preconstruction Services”), but as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase. When a construction manager is bound to a GMP, the most fundamental character of the relationship is changed. In addition to acting in the owner’s interest, the construction manager must manage and control construction costs to not exceed the GMP, which would be a financial hit to the CM company.
  • CM at risk is a global term referring to a business relationship of Construction contractor, Owner and Architect / Designer. Typically, a CM At Risk arrangement eliminates a “Low Bid” construction project. A GMP agreement is a typical part of the CM and Owner agreement somewhat comparable to a “Low Bid” contract, but with a number of adjustments in responsibilities required by the CM. Aspects of GMP agreements will be elaborated below. The following are some primary aspects of the most potential benefits of a CM At Risk arrangement:
    • Budget management: Before design of a project is completed ( 6 months to 1½ years of coordination between Designer and Owner), the CM is involved with estimating cost of constructing a project based on hearing from the designer and Owner (design concept) what is going / desired to be built. Upon some aspect of desired design raising the cost estimate over the budget the Owner wants to maintain, a decision can be made to modify the design concept instead of having to spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money re-designing and/or modifying completed construction documents, OR, the Owner decides to spend more money or obtain higher financial support for the project. To manage the budget before design is done, construction crews are mobilized, CM is spending tens of thousands per week just having onsite management, major items are purchased, etc., etc.,…is an extremely more efficient use of everyone’s time, effort, Architect / Designer’s costs, and the CM’s General Conditions costs, AND delivering to the Owner a design within his budget.