The construction industry has undergone considerable change in recent years. Not only is the field becoming more collaborative and organized, but so too are our contract models. The Construction Manager/General Contractor process is a fine example of this trend turned into praxis. What is CM/GC? It’s a unique contract method designed to accelerate project delivery, where a contractor imparts valuable feedback to the project owner during the design phase, before any fieldwork begins. This is useful for large projects since it can offer design alternatives to the owner and potentially reduce overall cost.
Why Use CM/GC?
CM/GC is the most collaborative contract model out there, and can help boost transparency and efficiency for the owner during a pivotal phase of the project. General contractors can be brought on early in a consultant capacity, providing guidance on the project schedule that can help keep the budget down in later phases. Once the owner and construction manager agree on a reasonable cost, known as the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), the construction manager becomes the general contractor once the fieldwork begins.
Ordinarily, scheduling and phasing are handled by the construction manager during the design stage, but by instead involving a contractor through CM/GC, the owner can get a better understanding of cost and schedule thanks to the contractor’s input. The owner can then make more informed decisions about GMP and have more flexibility regarding what to include and exclude. Contractors also benefit by getting to negotiate fair prices directly with the owner and relying less on the estimators, and it’s easier to find design difficulties before construction begins so that delays are minimized. If certain items will take time to be delivered, the contractor can order them much earlier during this phase so that they arrive in a timely manner when they’re needed on-site. CM/GC encourages quicker project completion than Design-Build, Design-Bid-Design, and other traditional contract models.
Large projects always feature a ton of small details and changing conditions that need to be tracked, so to prevent them from being overlooked or mismanaged, it’s wise to utilize mobile applications designed to alleviate these problems. Construction management apps can help keep you up-to-date on all issues by making field data easier to receive. They allow you to continue the same level of clear communication from the design phase of your CM/GC endeavor as you branch out into the building phase, ensuring that you know the status of every task in real-time and helping owners, contractors, and designers stay in touch effortlessly.
Unforeseen circumstances can affect costs and completion time if not addressed quickly, so making use of the modern tools available for your project is the best safeguard against accumulating wasted time and money. Quicker response time and decision-making are common results of integrating with mobile applications, allowing you to gather information from the field faster and improving build quality and cost control. Efficiency and accountability form the backbone of these new technologies, so incorporating them into your team’s day-to-day on a CM/GC will bring you closer to achieving your lean-minded project goals.
Choosing a CM/GC model for your new job will help shape it right from the get-go, directing your efforts toward a speedier and more budget-friendly process without sacrificing quality. It helps owners, contractors, and designers all get on the same page early on, so that they share a mutual understanding of desired objectives, as well as caters to each of their respective points of view. With so many people and responsibilities dotted around large job sites, taking smart steps from the very beginning via mobile apps and CM/GC pay off big as progress rolls along, and often dictates the pace of that progress.