What if someone could make your imagination come to reality? That would be a miracle! Well, that’s what CMGC or Design-Build will do for you.
Planning to build a residential dream house or a commercial space for business anytime soon? It may then be time for you to decide who to trust with your money, time, and effort with: (1) CMGC Construction Manager/General Contractor or (2) a Team of Design-Build Project Delivery Method.
Let’s explore each of these and their contribution to commercial construction services.
What is CMGC?
The project delivery method that optimizes efficiency in terms of design, schedule, and cost for complex or technically challenging projects is known as Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC). CMGC construction managers are professionals hired by the project leader or owner of a construction project to provide necessary feedback through all commercial construction phases. They oversee all project phases, including permits, sitework and preparation, commercial construction costs and finishing.
The CMGC process includes two contract phases:
- The Design Phase – This is the first contract phase wherein the contractor works with the project owner or designer to identify the possible risks, provide an estimated commercial construction cost, and finalize the project schedule. In this process, both the project owner and the contractor negotiate the construction’s total contract price. If both parties agree, then proceed to the second phase.
- The Construction Phase – This is the second phase wherein the commercial construction of the project begins.
Though we often use the term CMGC, there is a difference between a construction manager and a general contractor.
The General Contractor oversees the commercial construction project in all senses. As such, he manages all phases of the construction and handles the entire range of tasks connected with completing the construction work. To know more about general contractors read here.
The general contractors take over a project once the plans are designed and approved. In contrast, a construction manager is part of a project from conception to completion and plays a very active role in the pre-construction phase.
What are the benefits of CMGC Construction Manager/General Contractor?
Following are some of the benefits of CMGC according to the Department of Transportation State of Minnesota:
- Promotes innovation:
It is highly encouraged that the contractor and the project owner collaborate with all the best possible options, including creative solutions that can save time and cut commercial construction costs. It also promotes creativity and innovation in design, schedule, budget, and other areas while fostering teamwork.
- Risk reduction:
All projects have potential issues, however, CMGCs allow multiple perspectives to observe, anticipate, and hopefully eliminate these risks during the design process. The contractor’s feedback during the design phase can significantly reduce commercial construction costs because the owner understands the process and starts to mitigate the identified risks.
- Refinement of the design:
A better understanding of how the CMGC contractor wants to stage the work leads to a more cost-effective design for staging, thus minimizing disruptions during the commercial construction project. The CMGC contractor provides feedback by carefully reviewing the chosen designs, answering queries about the designs, and making adjustments that can reduce commercial construction service issues.
- Improvement on cost control:
Value Engineering is an integral part of the CMGC during the design phase. This is where the owner makes an in-depth decision considering the contractor’s proposal about the alternatives offering the most cost-effective approach. The knowledge and experience of the owner, designer, and contractor contribute to a successful project with lower risk, enhanced designs, improved construction schedules and greater cost control.
- Optimization of the construction schedules:
The CMGC contractor can begin planning the construction schedule during the design phase of the commercial construction process. This allows them to see how construction will affect traffic and adjust their schedule accordingly. It enables the team to identify the right-of-way and other utility issues on the design process’s critical path, giving a better picture and focusing on those details that can affect the proposed schedule.
Challenges of working with CMGC Construction Manager/General Contractor
Many owners may be reluctant to choose a CMGC contractor before the design is complete because they have no idea of the total commercial construction cost. But the sooner an owner selects a CMGC contractor, the better.
Owners who delay hiring a CMGC contractor until the drawings lose out on the contractor’s experience during the early stages of design. The CMGC contactor has the most significant ability to align the owner’s budget with the intended design during the very early phases of the design process.
Now that you understand what CMGC is let’s review the Design-Build Project Delivery.
What is a Design-Build Project Delivery?
Design-Build Project Delivery is a method that delivers a project in which the designer and the commercial construction services are both in contract with a single entity called the design-build contractor or design-builder. In contrast to the CMGC, the responsibility relies solely on a single entity- the construction service. As a result, it offers the most precise contract solutions for you.
What are the benefits of Design-Build Project Delivery?
Following are some of the benefits of Design-Build according to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA):
- Risk reduction:
When the contractor is involved with the design, practical considerations for the build-out of the project are addressed during the planning stages, not at the construction site. This results in reducing the risks that may arise during commercial construction. About 79% of the project owners use design-build to minimize the risks involved in the process.
Cost savings are intrinsic to the design-build model. The design-build method brings all aspects of design and construction under the roof of one design-builder, increasing efficiency and reducing costs on projects. The design-build project delivery saves about 6.1% of the total commercial construction cost compared to the other conventional approach.
- Speeds up the process:
Design builds help reduce the time spent jumping through hoops in a project. The design-builder is solely responsible for all the decision making and coordination which avoids delays, and miscommunication and speeds up the commercial construction project. Design-build projects are 12% faster than the traditional approach. The ability to fast-track projects without compromising quality is one of the reasons to consider using a design-build delivery system.
- High-quality projects:
A design-builder meets performance requirements rather than minimum design requirements, delivering an improved project than originally anticipated. Design-build continues to outperform traditional project delivery in various categories such as callbacks, startup, interior and exterior, O&M, equipment, and environment.
- Adapts to innovation:
In a design-build project, the designer and builder collaborate and communicate on how to achieve the project’s goals, solve the complexities, and bring the desired results to the owner. This collaborative approach is what ‘enhances innovation’. Many project owners continue to leave traditional project delivery because of its lack of collaboration and innovation.
- Highly flexible:
Design-builders work on the commercial construction project from its inception to its completion, which adds efficiency and effectiveness to the process. It provides flexibility and competitive bidding through different contracting and procurement approaches, including selecting the best value, qualification-based selection, and extensive design-build growth, among others.
Challenges of working with Design-Build Project Delivery
The design-bid-build requires thorough involvement on the part of the project owner. With a design-bid-build process, the price, project clarity, and control are much more under control. However, not all owners are happy with such a high level of involvement.
The process also requires a high level of trust and communication. You have to keep in mind that low transparency in bidding may result in higher prices than in competitive bidding.
The extensive planning, time for value engineering and more cost-effective approaches, can extend the overall timeline of the project.
Now that you know about CMGC and Design-Build Project Delivery, let’s compare them and learn the best option that can help you with your commercial construction project.
CMGC Construction Manager vs Design-Build Project Delivery
|Construction Manager/General Contractor||Design-Build Project Delivery|
|The construction manager will work with your design team to suggest commercial construction methods and materials to reduce the commercial construction cost and improve overall quality.||It is cost-effective.
The designer and contractor are working under commercial construction service as a team throughout the process. Therefore, less litigation, fewer changes, and fewer claims.
|It may save your time, but in case of any issue, the designer and construction manager blame one another for the commercial construction cost overruns or schedule changes, often leading to litigation and delays, which add to the commercial construction cost.||The project delivery can be much faster than the conventional method as only one person is accountable.|
|You must manage two separate contracts, which often creates an adversarial relationship between the designer and the contractor.||It has a better structure, with a one-way communication flow and can improve project coordination.|
|The construction manager must possess qualifications that are essential for the project's success. The owner must strongly emphasize the selection process on the capabilities.||The design-builder must possess qualifications and knowledge of all the phases and roots of the commercial construction services. Therefore, you must choose a qualified, skilled and experienced design builder.|
|You will have to cooperate and coordinate with both the designer and CMGC construction manager.||The owner must be very cooperative with the Design-Build team in handling the details of the chosen design.|
|You will have to listen and consider the perspective of both your designer and contractor. It may be challenging when there is a difference in their opinion.||You must have the capacity to do the mental shift to a different approach to delivering the project.|
Does this mean that the Design-Build Project Delivery method outperforms the other conventional method?
There is a more in-depth discussion about their pros and cons. Although each method offers a unique means of saving the project owner’s time, money, and effort, it still pays to visit a trusted commercial construction company for a personal consultation and business proposals. Here’s a diagram to help you understand the design and construction schedule of these two methods.
The Revisiting Project Delivery Performance 1998-2018, authored by Keith Molenaar and Bryan Franz, compared two samples – one from 351 projects in 1998 and the other one from 212 projects in 2018 – after 20 years. The study showed that Design-Build projects tend to deliver faster results and with greater reliability in schedule and commercial construction cost performance.
Since the rapid growth of the design-build project delivery over the past decade, it continues to deliver nearly half of America’s building projects.
Regardless of which of the above you choose- CMGC construction manager or Design-Build delivery, keep in mind that your individual team members have a greater impact on the success of your project than the way your contracts are organized – although both are crucial.
The owner of a building project should thoroughly vet the candidates for the design team and general contractor by comparing their qualifications and contacting their references. Verifying references not only saves time but also prevents costly rework.
In addition to gaining insight into the potential team members, you will also gain valuable wisdom from other owners’ past experiences.
Voila! It’s time for you to transform your ideas and dreams into spaces that you will enjoy for a lifetime.
Partner With Us
If you are looking for design-build services, then you can take advantage of our cost and time-saving design-build services. We help you get the best value and simplify your construction process. Throughout your commercial construction project, our construction teams work together with you in a streamlined manner to bring you unmatched value-engineered solutions.
For more information about how Constructive Solutions can help your project, contact us.
- How Design-Build Works: Decreasing Risk While Maximizing Efficiency
- Here are 10 Important Lessons Learned from Challenging Design-Build Projects
Constructive Solutions, Inc. is a full-service commercial construction company serving San Francisco and Bay Area.
Whatever your vision, we have the resources, experience, and insight to make your concept a reality, and a space where your business can flourish.
It’s interesting that 79 percent of project owners use design-build processes. I’m looking to hire a commercial contractor to start building and digging for my new building. I’ll be sure to find one that has a good track record and that I can work with.