In recent weeks I have been approached by multiple clients seeking to construct projects using the construction manager at risk delivery method. These clients were public owners who are bound to the delivery methods contained in the Texas Government Code chapter 2267. In addition to the traditional design/bid/build method, chapter 2267 allows for design/build, construction manager agent, construction manager-at-risk and other methods. In the case of the current inquiries, these clients realized that this delivery method can add value and efficiency to these projects.
In both cases, the clients were constructing projects that would benefit from phased construction. Also, these projects were specialized facilities and the project owners realized that having an experience construction manager involved in the design early could assist both the owner and the design team to design and deliver a project plan that would meet the budget and owner’s expectations for their facilities.
Engaging a construction manager at risk early in the project allows the owner to obtain a contractor’s expertise for cost-estimating and design decisions. In the public arena, there are also statutory provisions that require construction managers at risk advertise for bids for significant scopes of work. The owner retains rights to assist in the selection of these trades and, in the public arena, the citizens and any other watchdog organizations can see the owner is receiving good value for the work.
The construction manager at risk method may not produce the cheapest price for procurement. But the requirements for a GMP contract in both the statutory framework and the standard AIA contracts, for example, allow the owner to agree to a fair price early in the project. Furthermore, this particular delivery method delivers a level of expertise and consultation from a contractor that simply is not available in a traditional design/bid/build procurement.