CMAR vs DBB Project Delivery Comparison

To see how the Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) delivery model compares to Design-Bid-Build (DBB), you have to look at the architectural phases of the project starting with programming.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share

Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) and Design-Bid-Build (DBB).

CM at Risk: Project Delivery Comparison - Design-Bid-Build vs CMAR.

 

Construction Manager at Risk is the preferred delivery method for many of the largest 400 contractors with about a quarter of them using CMAR for 75% or more of their work. Project delivery methods are a strategic choice that is integrated with market choices


 

All projects must go through the same stages. The difference with CMAR is that the GC and CM roles are combined, with the contractor being selected based on qualifications and brought into the project early, often near the last part of the programming phase.  

This allows a more accurate feasibility estimate to be completed at the end of the schematic phase with continuous value engineering (VE) throughout the design development phase.  

While this takes longer than the DBB method, time is quickly made up because bid packages for early construction work can get created quickly and work started. 

For the DBB method, the GCs and subs won’t see the bid packages until after the construction document phase is completed. With no involvement in the design, the VE process is rushed and drawing revisions are often poorly coordinated.  

While competitive bidding often leads to an initial low price, studies show that DBB projects frequently have cost and schedule overruns.  

Managed effectively, the CMAR is one of the best delivery methods for many different project types.

CMAR can lower risks and costs for all parties while accelerating delivery and helping mitigate the talent shortages

Choosing CMAR as a project delivery method requires building robust business development and preconstruction capabilities. If you are in the "Early Game" then you have the relationships, reputation, and trust to be involved in the discussions that started before the chart above, when the project or construction program was just an idea.


 

All relationships begin with a simple conversation.

Please contact us to confidentially discuss the specifics of your market(s), vision, and team. We help contractors navigate growth including:

  1. Analyzing and refining strategic market choices to best position for sustainable growth in all economic conditions.
  2. Aligning the whole team around these choices and the plans for building the capabilities required. 
  3. Building the advanced business development capabilities which is where it all starts.
  4. Building the preconstruction capabilities that will be required. 

 


CM at Risk
The preferred project delivery method. There is a reason 100 of ENR's Top 400 General Contractors use CMAR as the project delivery method for over 75% of their work. Leverage CMAR as part of your growth strategy....

Related Training
CM at Risk
The preferred project delivery method. There is a reason 100 of ENR's Top 400 General Contractors use CMAR as the project delivery method for over 75% of their work. Leverage CMAR as part of your growth strategy....

Building an Effective Preconstruction Team
Your precon team is your company from the perspective of the project owner. Put your best foot forward by selecting the right people in the right roles at the right stage of the project.
CMAR vs DBB Project Delivery Comparison
To see how the Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) delivery model compares to Design-Bid-Build (DBB), you have to look at the architectural phases of the project starting with programming.
Evolution of Project Delivery Methods
Project delivery methods for contractors will become increasingly more integrated from project owner through all key parts of the supply chain, which is a return to models used in the early 1900s with some modernization improvements.