CM at Risk is often used when the Owner wants early involvement from a contractor to ensure that design is on budget and all trades are coordinated initially and throughout the project. This allows for early formation of a team approach and good communication between the Owner, Construction Manager, and Architect. The Construction Manager can still achieve a competitive bid process by packaging the project and having qualified contractors and subcontractors bid each package.
CM “not at Risk” is a method that is used when an Owner wants to hire a contractor outright under the professional services agreement in the way an architect is usually hired. The CM is not at risk meaning that the Owner is agreeing to hold all contracts and the CM agrees to manage those contracts. The CM divides the project into packages and takes competitive bids on each package.