CMAR vs DBB in the Process

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.

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

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

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.


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