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Last edited 23 Jan 2023
Construction management is a procurement route in which the works are constructed by a number of different trade contractors. These trade contractors are contracted to the client but managed by a construction manager (CM).
The employer places a direct contract with each of the trade contractors and utilises the expertise of a construction manager who acts as a consultant to coordinate the contracts. The trade contractors carry out the work and the construction manager supervises the construction process and coordinates the design team. The CM has no contractual links with the trade contractors or members of the design team. Their role includes preparation of the programme, determining requirements for site facilities, breaking down the project into suitable works packages, obtaining and evaluating tenders, co-ordinating and supervising the works.
Construction management differs from management contracting, in that management contractors place contracts with works contractors (equivalent to trade contractors in construction management) direct, whereas construction managers only manage the trade contracts, the contracts are placed by the client.
Construction management contracts might be used on large, complex projects were the advantages of CM can be put to use e.g. upfront buildability knowledge, programme advice, specialist input from trade contractors
- Where early start on site is key
- Flexibility in design, procurement, construction strategy
- Where price certainty before commencement is not key
- Where the client is experienced in construction
- What are the advantages?
- Overall project duration reduced by overlapping design and construction
- Construction manager can contribute to the design and project planning processes
- Roles, risks and relationships for all parties are clear
- Changes in design can be accommodated without paying a premium
- Prices may be lower due to direct contracts with trade contractors
- Client has means of redress to trade contractors through direct contractual links
- What are the disadvantages?
- Price certainty not achieved until last trade package is let
- Changes to later packages may adversely affect packages already let - expensive
- Need an informed, pro active client
- Client has a lot of consultants and contractors to deal with – not just one – more fees
Appointing a construction manager enables some trade packages to be tendered earlier than others, and sometimes, even before the design is completed. For example, piling might commence whilst the detailed design of above ground works continues. This can shorten the time taken to complete the project, however, it means that there will be price uncertainty until the design is complete and all contracts have been let.
- Advising on the development of the brief (if appointed at this stage).
- Advising on the procurement route.
- Advising on appointments (such as site inspectors).
- Advising on the feasibility, interfaces, buildability, cost and programming of the design.
- Advising on statutory approvals.
- Defining key performance indicators for trade contractors.
- Advising on the need for mock ups, samples, tests and inspections.
- Acting as the principal contractor.
- Cost planning and cost control.
- Preparing a construction programme and defining methods of working on site.
- Identifying potential trade contracts.
- Tendering trade contracts.
- Consenting to sub-contracting of work by trade contractors.
- Arranging for site accommodation, welfare facilities, fences, hoardings, roads and walkways, drainage, power and water supply.
- Co-ordinating setting out.
- Arranging labour for certain site activities (such as cleaning).
- Managing site inspectors.
- Co-ordinating the release of information.
- Managing and co-ordinating trade contracts, including acting as contract administrator, carrying out or co-ordinating inspections, issuing instructions and certificates, etc.
- Co-ordinating the work of statutory undertakers.
- Witnessing tests and co-ordinating commissioning.
- Collating as-built information, building owner's manual, building user's handbook, project handbook, health and safety file, pre-construction information and construction phase plan.
- Monitoring key performance indicators.
- Managing the site.
- Chairing site progress meetings and preparing progress reports for the client.
- Bill of quantities.
- Construction management.
- Contract conditions.
- Contract sum.
- Defined provisional sum.
- Difference between preliminaries and preambles.
- Extension of time.
- Prime cost sum.
- Procurement route.
- Provisional sum.
- The difference between a prime cost sum and a provisional sum.
- Undefined provisional sum.
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