Construction management refers to the study and practice of the managerial and technological aspects of the construction industry, where one party to a construction contract serves as a construction consultant, provided both design and construction advice to the owner.
Unlike typical "Hard Bid", "Tender" or "Stipulated Sum" practices where the General Contractor provides a bid for the work as per the drawings prepared by an Architect, then enters into a contract with the owner for a fixed cost to construct as per the drawings. This is a guarantee of the "least" the owner will pay, not the maximum as discrepancies and grey areas in the drawings and scope of work will result in extras to the contract.
These "extra" or "Changes" average 15% for each and is marked up for overhead and profit by the general contractor.
"Construction Management" (CM) is a concept or practice which integrates the design and construction process. It joins the Owner to the Construction Manager to the Architect, this creates a team with a common defined objective to renovate a facility, add an addition or build a new building within the authorized budget and occupancy schedule.
The Construction Manager, (CM) who is under a separate contract with the owner, provides all the resources to construct as per the Architects plans and specifications within the allotted budget and timeline.