Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008 - (Page 34)

BusINEss INsIGhts fRoM aCEC’s INstItutE foR BusINEss MaNaGEMENt new ‘contracts central’; new book details cmar process council launches one-stop contract shop ACEC has launched “Contracts & Risk Management Central,” an online repository of universal contract forms and supporting documentation used nationwide by more than 500,000 design and engineering professionals. The website, accessible through the ACEC Bookstore at, is designed to help engineers—and clients— manage the reams of paperwork that often accompany largescale projects. The site includes project contracts of several professional associations and boards, including the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee, International Federation of Consulting Engineers, Council of Professional Surveyors, Construction Management Association of America, Council of American Structural Engineers, and the American Institute of Architects. Ed Bajer, ACEC’s senior director of contracts and risk management, says the goal is to provide a single, centralized location where engineers can retrieve the contracts necessary to do their jobs under the law. “We wanted to offer a wider variety of contracts and risk management tools than we ever had before,” says Bajer. “People can come to the site and get exactly what they need, no matter what they want to do.” Documents range from bid forms and contractor forms to change orders, copyright assignment, design-build, government funding contracts, payment forms, surveying contracts and more. Bajer says the Council plans to continue to expand its resources. new book offers insights into cmar As the Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMAR) project delivery method grows in popularity, ACEC has published a new book that explains how to use CMAR. The book’s author, Elliott Gappinger, president of Oridian Construction Services, says that one of the primary attractions of CMAR is that the project owner can select its contractors on the basis of project-relevant qualifications and then negotiate the contract price—much the same as engaging the services of a professional engineer. According to Gappinger, other owner benefits to CMAR include: n Use of contractor expertise in the design phase of the project; n Reduction of time required for bid advertising and execution of construction contracts; n Opportunities to negotiate the project scope with the con34 ENGINEERING INC. MaRCh / apRIl 2008 tractor to suit the budget, without change orders; and elimination of claims and disputes that add cost to the project during construction. Engineers who participate in CMAR projects often find that their role is made more complex by the presence of the contractor in the design phase. Construction is frequently started before plans are complete, adding stress to the process of producing final plans and specifications. Design professionals can take several steps to mitigate these impacts, including: n During negotiation of the design contract, get a clear definition of the expected relationship between A/E and contractor; n Allow plenty of time for design coordination meetings and plan reviews to include the contractor in the process; n Expect that the owner might ask to have contractor-furnished design details included in the project plans; and n Be prepared to produce plans and specifications for Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) preparation, in addition to the usual sequence of review drawings. Projects with multiple phases might have multiple GMPs. CMAR is a qualifications-based contractor selection process for the general contractor. CMAR differs from design-build in that the owner contracts separately with the design firm and the contractor. The owner of a CMAR project defines and manages the relationship between the two. Thus, the A/E works directly for the owner, as on traditional design-bid-build projects, the difference being that the contractor is inserted into the traditional designer/owner relationship. This matter of combining the traditional with something new creates a need for fairly sophisticated project management on behalf of the owner—something that many do not expect when they first enter into the CMAR process. CMAR seems to work best on projects that require special contractor expertise, have multiple phases, or are time driven. According to CMAR advocates, the process allows the project owner to assemble the design and construction professionals that provide the best combination of qualifications and experience for the project. n n Virtual The ACEC Institute for Business Management provides comprehensive and accessible business management education for engineering company principals and their staffs. Visit for a complete listing of ACEC programs.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008

Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Election Preview
Bottom-Line Strategies
From the Ground UP
2008 Annual Convention Primer
Across the Federation
Business Insights
2007 ACEC/PAC Honor Roll
Membrs in the News

Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008