Construction Management Procurement Route

What is a Construction Management Procurement Route?

In this route, the client hires a Construction Manager to manage and collaborate the overall design and construction activities. The design is carried out by a designer hired by the client and construction is done by trade contractors who are also hired by the client. The construction manager provides only their professional construction expertise and do not assume any financial risk. Client bears most of the construction risk. They should also have competent project management staff who are closely involved in each stages of design and construction. So this route is not suitable for an inexperienced client.

This route enables the design and construction process to overlap. Hence, this route is adopted when the primary objective is to complete the project fast.

CM seq.jpg

Sequence of a Construction Management procurement route

However, there is low certainty of final cost at completion of project until all the trade contracts are let out.

A typical project organisational structure for a Construction Management procurement route is given below.

CM org

Project organisational structure of a Construction Management procurement route

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Construction Management procurement route?

The advantages are:

  • It is a fast-track route due to overlapping in design and construction process.
  • Construction Manager as well as the trade contractors are able to contribute to the design and planning.
  • Roles and responsibilities of all parties are clear.
  • Changes in design can be accommodated easily if the relevant trade packages are not let already.
  • The client has direct contracts with trade contractors and pays them directly. This results in lower prices.

The disadvantages are:

  • Time and cost certainty is not achieved until all the trade packages are let.
  • Experienced client is required to execute this strategy.
  • Close control of time and information is required.
  • This route relies on an expert construction manager who is committed to the project.
  • Design team must be managed properly for timely delivery of design.

Reference: RICS Professional Guidance, UK: Developing a construction procurement
strategy and selecting an appropriate route, 1st edition, guidance note


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