What is the intended scope of services contemplated for your firm as construction manager? by Coy M. Veach, P.E., CCM

Construction Manager is a broad term that is interpreted differently, depending on the market sector, geography and local laws.  In fact, when we describe our role as construction manager, the answer is that our role is whatever our contract says it is.  This role is typically referred to as Construction Manager Agent (CMa) services.  A CMa does not construct projects or enter into any contracts with builders to construct projects as a construction manager.  It is purely a professional service where we act as trusted adviser to the Owner and we are independent of the Contractor.  We provide Construction Contract Administration (CCA), scheduling, estimating and cost management, risk management and other services that are more comprehensive than those typically associated with the traditional CCA role taken by engineers in EJCDC’s C series of documents.

EJCDC’s C series of documents anticipate that the Engineer will provide CCA duties and may provide on-site resident project representatives to observe construction and report back to the Engineer. Typical CCA duties would include attending or leading progress meetings, periodic site visits, review of shop drawings and other submitals, approving periodic progress payments to the contractor, responding the RFIs, judging the acceptability of the Work, etc.  These duties are incorporated into the C series for contracts between the Owner and Contractor by describing the role of the engineer to the Contractor.

EJCDC’s E (Engineering) series of documents include agreements between the Owner and Engineer for design and CCA services.  These two sets of documents are integrated so the services the Engineer agrees to provide in their agreement with the Owner are the same as those described in the General Conditions.

If the intent is to manage the construction, enter into contract with builders to construct the project, provide bonds etc. then your firm would be providing Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) services. CMAR is also commonly referred to as Construction Manager / General Contractor (CM/GC) services since the CM is considered to be a consultant until the price for construction is set. At that point they are treated like a general contractor. The current EJCDC documents are not written specifically for either of these CM arrangements. However, EJCDC’s C series documents can be modified easily for CM/GC services.

If the intent is for your firm to both design and build the project, either with your own or subcontract forces, EJCDC’s D (Design Build ) series would be the most appropriate documents to use. An upcoming update to EJCDC’s D series documents provides contract documents for both traditional and progressive design build.

EJCDC is currently developing a new series of documents for CMa and CMAR project delivery systems. These delivery system assume that the designer is independent of the builder. Most jurisdictions require that the designer be independent of the builder for public sector work.

Laws regarding delivery systems and the rules vary from state to state, so if your client is a public entity, it would be prudent to check local legislation.