Management of Construction

Separate prime contracts

Figure 2.7 shows an example of an arrangement in which the owner contracts directly with individual specialty contractors, each of whom can be considered as a ‘prime’ contractor, because there is no single general contractor to coordinate their work. In this particular example, we include an ‘agency’ construction manager, who will assist the owner in this coordination, but the chart makes it clear that the construction manager is not related contractually to the several prime contractors. In the absence of a construction manager, the owner’s in-house staff would assume responsibility for coordination of the several prime contractors. Note that there must be enough separate prime contracts to complete the entirety of the work, because the owner will not have any construction forces of its own. This feature differs from the general contractor– subcontractor arrangement, in which the general contractor is responsible for the entire construction project and thus will install any works not performed by subcontractors. It is likely that the various specialist prime contractors in Figure 2.7 would have their own specialist subcontractors, although they are not shown in the figure.

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