Design and construction in the 21st century have become more complex than ever. While architects and contractors have kept up with the ever changing design/construction environment, owners often have not nor should they be expected to. After all, design/construction is not the business of most owners.
While the design/construction experience should be a good one, tales of bad projects that are over budget or behind schedule, or even worse, in litigation, abound. But it does not have to be that way.
Protecting the Owner's Interests
Retaining an owner’s representative to assist the owner with the process from before the selection of the design/construction team through final close out documents is one of the best decisions an owner makes.
For a project to be successful, the interests of the parties (owner, architect and contractor) must be equally represented by qualified individuals. The group must work together and collaborate as a team, thereby developing a sense of trust that each party will carry out its responsibilities in order to deliver a quality project within budget and on time. It seems so simple on paper, yet the challenges are significant.
The presence of a qualified owner’s representative creates a win-win-win for the parties as the risks typically associated with a project are minimized, if not eliminated. In short, someone needs to conduct the orchestra for the owner while the owner tends to its normal business.
An Experienced Professional
While the owner’s representative understands the interests of the architect and contractor by virtue of his past experience, his focus is to protect the owner’s interests, and to ensure that all parties are working toward the common goal, which is a quality project, on time and within budget.
It should be noted that the purpose of an owner’s rep is not to “beat” the designers and contractor out of a fair fee. That only creates adversarial issues throughout the project, which in turn leads to difficult and often unsuccessful projects.
Doing It Right the First Time
The axiom that “doing it right the first time always costs less” is so true when it comes to construction. Without an owner’s representative, the cost of a project will be greater, and the chances for significant cost overruns increase. In addition, the owner’s time is consumed by construction, and not spent on its true business.
My experience and talents gleaned over thirty-three years of commercial construction and the practice of law are the perfect mix for a very effective owner’s representative.