Construction manager contracts can be written with different levels of risk, depending on the owner's desired scope of service. In agency construction management agreements, the construction manager assumes the role of agent to the owner and administers the work for the owner. Under this agreement, the owner contracts directly with the trade contractors. In at-risk construction management agreements, the construction manager begins as an agency construction manager for the preconstruction phase of the project. Prior to construction, the construction manager assumes the risk for delivering the project. With an at-risk agreement, the construction manager contracts directly with all trade contractors.
The primary difference between a CM/GC and a CMAR obligation is founded upon principle of responsibility. The CMAR contract links the Construction Manager in a contract bond with the design team members. As the Construction Manager in the CMAR role, we represent the Owner in the early design phases to see that the design and the budget are and remain in alignment. The CM hires the design team and takes responsibility for the timeliness and accuracy of the design. In a CMAR contract, Layton may act as the general contractor or hire a different general contractor to build the project.
Conversely, the role of the CM/GC is to work in cooperation with the owner’s design professionals to coordinate design and the construction. The design team and the CM/GC both work for the owner in separate roles. The CM/GC bids out the work shown in the documents and establishes a total project construction budget with and appropriate contingency (often shared with the owner). The CM/GC also acts as the general contractor. The CM/GC risk is limited to the construction and not the design.