John Manning

Recent Posts

What is the proper organization for your Project?

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 14, 2017 11:59:08 AM / by John Manning

This is the second post in our year-long series about the best ways to work with your Owner's Representative.  You can view all of the series posts here.

Logically the proper project organization will depend upon the size and complexity of the project. One thing that will never change is the need for there to be one key leader for the Owner on the project.

We noted in our first blog of 2017 one of the key findings of research into failed projects is, “Leadership from Owners needed to increase and there is a need for a strong Owner's representative’s presence.” Whether it is a single individual as the sole representative for the Owner of the project or he/she is the leader of a group of individuals representing the Owner of the project singularly or collectively they must be competent to lead the project from concept to completion. The Owner’s Representative(s) must have the ability, authority and responsibility to execute the requirements of the Owner on the project. This starts with a clear vision for what the finished project will be and the ability to detail that vision to all other stakeholders in the Project. This starts with the development of strong contracts for the Designer(s), Contractor(s) and any other entity necessary for the successful completion of the project.

Collectively the Owner’s Representative team needs have the skill set capable of taking a project from concept to completion, ensuring that the best interests of the Owner are maintained. This team may be totally in-house (employed by the Owner), totally out-sourced (contracted Owner’s Representative) or a mixture. On larger projects there could be multiple tiers of representatives each responsible for a different area of the project or for different scopes. It will be critical for the individual who is in charge of representing the Owner, overall on the project, to detail the job functions of the individuals assigned to the project regardless of which of the three scenarios detailed above are utilized.

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Broken Projects, Busted Budgets and Late Schedules - What is an Owner to do?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 27, 2017 9:23:23 AM / by John Manning

Research has shown that over the past 40 years manufacturing productivity has increased by over 200% while productivity in the construction industry has actually declined!

Statistics in the industry have indicated that 70% to 90% of projects exceed the originally planned costs with overruns commonly between 50% and 100% of the budget. The key player in the development and construction equation that really feels the brunt of this problem is the Owner. It is the Owner’s money on the line to fund the project while tasking others to design and build the project.

In 2007, Barry B. LePatner, a recognized construction lawyer, published the book "Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets - How to Fix America's Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry.” Mr. LePatner laid out the issues that plague the construction industry which produces $120 Billion in waste and inefficiency. Waste and inefficiency results in over-budget and late finishes on the majority of projects, however Mr. LePatner detailed a path forward on how to fix those issues.

In 2006 the Construction Users Roundtable AEC Productivity Subcommittee published four key recommendations on how to improve productivity on a construction project. One of the key recommendations was "Leadership from Owners needed to Increase.” This same suggestion was also laid out in Mr. LePatner’s book where he emphasized the need for a strong Owner's representative’s presence as an intermediary.

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Liability Limitations on the Construction Manager's Role

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 18, 2016 2:05:45 PM / by John Manning

When considering the use of a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), it is critical that an owner understands the limitations of liability that a CMAR has in regards to their design review services. As PretiFlaherty reported on September 3rd, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently clarified the construction manager’s role.

"In Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Gilbane Building Company, the Court held that a construction manager who performed preconstruction services to assist in the development of plans and specifications did not waive the owner’s implied warranty as to the sufficiency of the plans and specifications."

Read more here:

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