Construction Manager as Adviser Vs. Construction Manager as Agent - As they relate to Contracts and Obligations

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    Pierre Antounian

    Upon further reading, I’m seeing that there is in fact a C-132 Standard Form Of Agreement Between Owner and CM Adviser. I now understand that the A-132 is strictly between Owner and Contractor for the CM Adviser project delivery method.

    But my other questions still stand.

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    Pierre Antounian

    Maybe all the above can be better explained simply:
    CMa-Adviser
    Adviser is only contractually obligated to Owner. (Holds one contract).
    CMa-Agent
    Is the Agent in addition to being Contractually obligated to Owner, also Contractually obligated to both Architect and Contractor? (Holds 3 Contracts?)

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    Haytham Abdelrahman Abdelall

    Hi Pierre,

    Could you please explain more how CMa as a Agent holds 3 contract. My understanding is that CMa as a gent has no direct relationship with architect or contractor with the same contract configuration of CMa-adviser. The only difference is that CMa as a Agent has an additional fiduciary responsibilities like signing contracts and making financial decision on behalf of the owner.

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    Pierre Antounian

    Hi Haytham,
    I’m trying to understand the concept as well. I was looking at Figure 9.1 on AHPP on page 510.
    In CMa(Adviser) there is a hard line connecting Owner to CM. In the CMa (Agent) the three prime players (Arch/Owner/Contractor) each have a distinct hard line drawn to the CM Agent who sits in the middle of the triangle.
    Maybe I’m misreading the diagram but I was making an assumption that the hard lines represent Contractual Obligations.
    So, to answer your question, I’m not saying they are I am asking because I am not clear on the concept with regards to Contractual Obligations.
    I did not intend to make it appear that is what I thought. The diagram confused me and made me think there are three separate contracts, and that is why I asked because I am not sure. And I still don’t know if there is a separate AIA contract for CM agent.
    I hope that was clearer. I look forward to your thoughts and thank you for responding.

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    Haytham Abdelrahman Abdelall

    Hi Pierre,
    Yes, the diagram is quite confusing, my interpretation is that the line presents the relationships structure, not the contractual relationship. In CM-Agent the client authorize the CM-Agent to act on behalf of him for the financial decisions (decision-making authority), in other word, the client doesn’t need to communicate with any one rather than him. That’s why the diagram present him after the owner as if he’s the owner. See AHPP Pages 514 & 515
    I think AHPP is not comprehensive about the delivery methods, did you try CLARE Article (Understanding Project Delivery Methods)
    Let me know if you have need further question.

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    Pierre Antounian

    Hi Haytham,
    Thank you. I’ll read those pages again on AHPP. I do not know what CLARE article is, where can I find that?

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    Haytham Abdelrahman Abdelall

    https://www.passtheare.com/

    Navigate the above link for CLARE, let me know if you still have any other question.

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    Pierre Antounian

    Thank you Haytham!

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    Pedro Carbajal

    Pierre Antounian, did you ever clear this up? I am having the same confusion. Why is there no AIA contract for CM-Agent?

    Also, I see contradictions looking at the charts in AHPP 9.2 and 9.3 as to when the cost of construction is determined. Figure 9.2 says "N/A" for CM-Advicer and "at completion" for CM-Agent. Figure 9.3 says "after design" for both CM-Advicer and CM-Agent. I hope I am not scrutinizing this too much. Thanks in advance.

     

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    Pierre Antounian

    Hi Pedro. I did not unfortunately. After Covid, I lost full traction and everything I learned 7-8 months ago dissipated. I’m planning on starting up again soon. If you find the answer, please share here.
    I feel your pain though.. some of these topics are nebulous. Someone here will have the answer!

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    Andrew Kim

    Hi guys. I'm currently studying for PcM and am confused by the same thing. My understanding is similar to Haytham's, that the CM as agent has a contractual relationship ONLY with the Owner. The fact that there are no AIA documents for this project delivery type would support this in a way because the structure of contractual obligations is no different than that of the CM-advisor model. The difference between the 2 is that any clauses in the A-132 dealing with CM's duties and powers would just have to be revised in a way that gives the CM more of everything.

    Conceptually, the CM's duties, powers, liabilities, etc. are beefed up to the extent that he's essentially stepping in for the Owner, kind of like power of attorney. He can make the decisions for the Owner, decisions affecting both the Architect and Contractor, but contractually, he's only obligated to the Owner.

    As far as the circle diagrams, sometimes they're drawn with solid lines for contractual relationships and dotted lines for communication. So, for the CM-agent model, the CM would have a solid line ONLY with the Owner and dashed lines to Architect and Contractor (see diagrams below). I know it's usually drawn differently with the CM in the middle and lines radiating out to the other 3 parties, but this is where my questions first arose, because I don't think the contracts are set up like that. It wouldn't make sense for the CM to open himself up to that kind of liability, from everywhere, especially when he's just playing an administrative role without any ownership.

    WARNING: These are just my personal thoughts trying to work this out in my head, so I could be totally off the mark. A confirmation either way would be great!

     

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    Andrew Kim

    Sorry, C-132, not A-132. The C-132 is the agreement between Owner and Construction Manager as Adviser.

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    Sean Chia

    Hi Andrew, assuming that solid lines mean contractual relationships and dashes mean communication, I would say that the CM-Agent and CM-Advisor would have the exact same diagram. I say this because the CM-Advisor is heavily involved in communication with the Architect throughout the design (cost estimates, project scheduling, etc.) and construction phase (they're solely in charge of issuing change orders/CCDs), as well as the contractor, since the CM-Advisor (or CMs for that matter) is to form the conduit between Owner and Contractor.

    Am I the only one here who feels like the AHPP is a hodgepodge of poorly-organized articles slapped together and marketed as a "handbook"?

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