Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast: Exploring Alternative Construction Delivery Methods

April 5, 2021

Ulteig experts look at a contract method that helps projects timelines and costs. 

The construction industry has undergone considerable change in recent years. Not only is the field becoming more collaborative and organized, but so too are the contract models. Many are familiar with the Design-Build model, but in this latest installment of the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast, the panelists explore another approach that is gaining in popularity among clients, contractors, and engineering firms.

Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) is a unique contract method that allows an owner to hire an engineer and a contractor separately, but bring them together early on in the design phase. This contract method is designed to accelerate project delivery and reduce costs.

In this latest episode in the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast, host Aaron Lauinger, Ulteig’s Market Director-Transportation and Water, is joined by Matt Hogan, Vice President with Kraemer North America, Michelle Pinkerton, Senior Project Manager, at Dallas-based Jacobs, and Bob Smith, P.E., Ulteig’s Manager of Construction Services, to discuss the pros and cons of CMGC.

While the panelists go into a fair amount of detail for which it’s worth listening to the entire podcast, here are some highlights to consider:

Bringing everyone together to share their expertise – “Complex projects are served well by having the owner, designer and contractor in the room together, figuring out complex issues that really need that expertise,” said Bob Smith, who worked for 20 years with the Colorado Department of Transportation before joining Ulteig two years ago.

Creating value for the owner – “The biggest value we see is sitting with the designers with the owner’s goals in mind and really working through project solutions that meet the owner’s goals in the most economical way we can,” said Matt Hogan. “All that collaboration, I really do think you end up with a much cleaner set of plans that gets built for the budget and there’s fewer changes as the project goes along.”

Meeting available funding – “One advantage I see about CMGC is that it’s hard to find the funding to build the whole project,” said Michelle Pinkerton. “With CMGC, the designer, contractor and owner can develop packages that actually align with the available money that’s coming in, which allows us to start construction a lot earlier than if we wait to have all the funding available.”

Continuous communication – Another advantage of CMGC, noted Lauinger, is the continuous communication that occurs throughout the process. “Whether it’s communication about risk, schedules, or costs – there’s a regular dialogue that isn’t available in a bid-build world.”

Finding innovative solutions – The panelists noted that every project offers a unique innovation or solution that allows all of the partners – owner, designer, contractor – to collaborate on. The CMGC approach is conducive to finding innovative solutions to complex problems, which also, as a side benefit, helps the owner minimize risks.

Owning risk – When all of the partners – the owner, designer and contractor – are all working together upfront, they realize that they all own a part of the risk, and therefore, they’re responsible for doing the right thing by the project.

“The panel provided an incredible amount of context around CMGC in this podcast,” said Lauinger, “and really, more so, its results. CMGC is gaining in popularity. It’s not everywhere, but the Federal government adopted it for highway design and construction, and a lot of states have adopted it, too. This episode is really worth a listen.”

Launched in March 2020, the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast spans Ulteig’s Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water. It offers thought-provoking and engaging conversations with key industry stakeholders on technology, innovation, policy and funding. Click here to listen to the current podcast or download it through AppleGoogle Play, or Spotify.

  • Construction Management, Program & Project Management