What Is a Construction Manager?

March 18, 2024

A construction project manager serves as an owner’s representative during the design process, construction contract procurement and throughout construction. They help inform good decision making on behalf of the Owner to achieve project goals and ensure the terms of the Construction Contract are met by the Contractor.

A CM works with financial teams to create realistic timelines and schedules for the project, set milestones, and manage costs. They are also on-site each day, observing the work being done and ensuring that it’s following the original stipulations of the contract. In addition, they can aid in labor and materials procurement.

CM’s are commonly brought on board to oversee projects that are either large or complex. Smaller jobs or those that will only be constructed for a short amount of time may not require a CM. It may only be larger, more involved jobs that call for this extra layer of oversight.

Many projects are delivered with either a CM or GC, both of which are experienced professionals that offer leadership within the project hierarchy. The decision of which one to select comes down to the complexity and the intricacy of the project.

CMs are ideal for projects that are complex and require higher levels of coordination, while GCs are better suited to smaller jobs with straightforward designs. Some projects are even built using a combination of both, with a CM leading the pre-construction services and a GC performing the construction. This delivery method is known as CM/GC or CM at risk.

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