What’s the difference between an OPM and a Construction Manager?

by Tom Stanek on December 2, 2019

Construction manager

The Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) acts as the owner’s representative for large construction projects. Hired at the earliest stages of a project, the OPM provides advice and guidance to the project owner on all aspects of the project (see our post, “What is an Owner’s Project Manager?” for a complete description).

The OPM will work with the project owner to choose a Construction Manager (CM) or the owner may have an existing relationship with a construction management company. Whatever the case, the OPM and CM have two separate and distinct roles, although their jobs overlap.

The Construction Manager performs or oversees the actual work of the project, including hiring and assigning workers and/or sub-contractors, requisition of supplies, and providing the OPM with budget / cost reports.

The crucial difference between the OPM and CM, however, is that as the owner’s representative, the OPM is completely independent from the Construction Manager (and project designer, sub-contractors, etc.).

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What is an Owner’s Project Manager?

by Tom Stanek on November 11, 2019

owners project manager
An Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) represents the owner’s interests with regard to large design and construction projects, from new public buildings to heavy industrial facility expansions.

The owner of the project can be the actual owner of a company expanding a facility or building a new one, or the owner can be a municipality overseeing a large public construction project, such as a bridge, school, or library.

The state of Massachusetts, for example, requires public projects that cost $1.5M or more, and that involve construction, reconstruction, demolition or repair, to be overseen by a qualified OPM. (Source)

The OPM provides guidance to the project owner from the earliest stages – and usually before the project designer is hired – through completion of construction. In fact, the OPM may work closely with the owner to select the project designer as well as negotiate the contract.

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Why Should You Hire an Owner’s Project Manager?

by Tom Stanek on April 22, 2019
owner's project manager - industrial construction

The OPM works as an extension of your team to define requirements and provide advice and oversight on project scope and design, as well as integrating the expansion into operations.

Your organization is running lean and mean, with marketing and sales hitting their stride, manufacturing ramping up smoothly to meet increased orders, and HR just about to bring in a few new hires.

Now is a good time to let everyone know it’s time to expand your operations – whether adding to your facility’s square footage, upgrading mechanical systems, or building a whole new plant.

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