BCI News

CMR, CMAR, Design-Build, or General Construction: Which do I need?

Sep 28, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

How do the owners of a construction project choose a team to design, build, and inspect their projects? With numerous options, there are more than a few pitfalls to avoid. Learn more about the roles of construction management below:

Types of Construction Management

General Contractor

In a general contracting role, the project deliverables are usually decided on ahead of time and assigned to the contractor at a set price. When a project owner is seeking a general contractor, the project is often bid out publicly to multiple contractors and the owner offers the role to the lowest qualified bid. 

This process works well for projects on a defined budget. As a builder, general contractors do not have direct relationships with the project designer and do not have the associated design obligations.

Construction Manager

A construction manager (sometimes called a construction manager administrator) is a combination of several roles. Construction managers guide the project owner, project supervision, design oversight, financing assistance, and a variety of other project management duties. However, the CMA is not responsible for hiring separate contractors, specialists, or a general contractor for the construction of the project–these tasks stay with the project owner.

A CMA can consult and advise a project owner on general project concerns such as budget and timeline but does not take on the associated risks. Utilizing a construction manager is a popular choice among public projects, such as educational or civic projects, or when the project owner must operate under strict regulations.

Construction Manager at Risk

A Construction Manager at-risk (or CMAR) will often begin a project in a consultant role much the same as a CMA, then develop into more of a general contractor role. This transition is often outlined in a contract before the start of the project. The construction manager at-risk will then also take on the responsibilities of maintaining project deadlines, budgeting items, etc. as well as management of any subcontractor roles.

A construction manager at-risk is often brought on in the early stages of a project, benefiting the project owner early on with architectural knowledge and planning. Later, the CMAR transitions as an on-site liaison and manager. CMAR positions work well with larger projects and when developed in the early stages.


The design-build process encompasses the initial project design phases as well as the construction stages. The main reason an owner of a project may choose a design-build team is to keep the same team on board throughout the project. The design-build contractor is responsible for all crew and staff, including sub-contractors, vendors, and specialists.

The benefits of a design-build team are typically a more cost-effective approach to bigger construction projects, better communication on design and construction decisions, and greater autonomy.

The Many Roles of BCI Construction

BCI Construction teams can complete projects in many roles. Whether your project best needs a Design-Build team, Construction Manager, Construction Manager at Risk, or General Contractor, we can help you decide. You might even need our services in a sub-contracted role, such as rough & finish carpenters, drywall, and specialty projects like solar panel installation–we can help with those, too!

Just like a construction worker needs the right tools, your project needs the right team. Contact BCI Construction today to get started.

Ready to build your tomorrow?