Project Delivery - CM Agency or Multi-Prime

Project Owners can minimize the markups for overhead and profit (OH&P) by contracting directly with the specialty contractors and hiring a Construction Management (CM) firm to work as their agent.

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This project delivery method is called CM Agency or CM Multi-Prime.

CM at Risk: Project Delivery Methods - Definition of CM Agency and pros and cons.

The role of the CM is expected to be the same as the CM at Risk method but without direct ties to the contractors. This eliminates conflicts of interest for the CM with the intention of allowing the CM to act 100% for the benefit of the project owner.  

While the OH&P savings can be substantial and the conflict of interest concern for the CM role is minimized, there are downsides that must be weighed to ensure this delivery method is best for the project.  

  • The CM does not have the financial or other risks of construction, which are all passed directly to the Project Owner. This makes the selection process for the right CM firm very critical.
  • Between no early involvement of key specialty contractors and the CM not having the financial risk of financial overruns against a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) can lead to change orders and schedule delays similar to the Design-Bid-Build method

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