6 Reasons Why Engineering and Design Firms Make Good Construction Managers
The municipality has approved the facility and site design for your gas station, convenience store, restaurant or retail space. Construction can begin!
The next step is to hire a Construction Manager to act as your eyes, ears and a quality control person. A Construction Manager performs a similar role to a general contractor. However, Construction Managers tend to have a more direct and collaborative relationship with the project owner than a general contractor. This is why many owners prefer to use the services of a Construction Manager.
Many qualified firms and contractors offer this service. Increasingly, a number of leading architectural and design firms are now leveraging their expertise and providing certified construction management in-house.
There are several convincing arguments why the company that did your design work may be the best candidate to serve as your construction manager. Let’s take a look.
1. They are intensely familiar with your design standards and corporate goals.
Your engineering and architecture firm will have intimate knowledge of your corporate design standard, which served as the basis for their work. They have likely established a relationship with the corporate head office and are familiar with its design needs and priorities – from both an operational and brand experience perspective. So rather than starting from square one, they should already have a head start!
2. They know the design inside-out.
As the ones responsible for executing the drawings and successfully guiding your design through the municipal approval process, no one is more familiar with the construction requirements than your design partner. They know what to look for and have the support of the entire team if there are any questions or concerns. This familiarity reduces oversights and misinterpretations.
3. They know the approval process.
Because the engineering and architectural firm was responsible for working with the municipality to get all preliminary approvals, you can rest assured they know all of the relevant municipal bylaws. Plus, they have a working relationship with the municipal planning department. This familiarity also applies if you had to jump through the hoops associated with adhering to architectural controls.
4. They have extensive project management expertise.
The ability to effectively manage a project is essential. Full-service engineering and architectural design firms have accredited project managers on staff. Usually several. They are skilled at ensuring your project is built on-time, on budget and according to the approved design.
This Construction Manager must have a firm grasp of the construction process, the skills to oversee and lead a team of sub-trades, strong project management skills (particularly around budgeting, scheduling, and materials procurement). Be sure to ask what qualifications your engineering and architectural firm have in this regard.
5. They can help ensure oversights don’t set back your opening date.
The engineering firm is required by law to inspect and sign-off on all work done to ensure it adheres to the approved design. By having them also handle construction management, you can avoid costly oversights that can lead to construction delays that can impact your schedule.
6. You’ve already established a relationship and built a sense of trust.
If you had a productive relationship with your engineering and design firm, why start fresh. They have invested significant time, effort and understanding of your project. Why not build on that momentum!