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What Is A Opm In Building Construction
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In building Construction there are three components that most people know and understand. They are the Owner, the Architect and the General Contractor. The mystery person on a commercial construction job is the Clerk of the Works or OPM (Owner Project Manager). This person is the eyes and ears of the owner.

The English coined the words Clerk of the Works for the person on the job that is watching the job for the owner. This Clerk is usually someone that has many years of experience in the field as a Foreman or supervisor for large construction jobs and retires to the position of Clerk of the Works.

Job description of a Clerk of the Works is someone that makes sure that the drawing are adhered to, the schedule is followed, and work is done according to excepted construction practices. The Clerk also oversee any change orders that are done and makes sure that when a requisition for payment is sent into the owner that it agrees with the actual work in place. The clerk of the works is usually hired when the job goes out to bid and the Architect has a set of drawing ready to go out to bid.

Clerks cannot stop the job, they need to inform the Architect and owner of the problem, so that they can decide whether the job should be stopped or continue and have the contractor make the necessary changes. The only time a Clerk can stop a job if he sees safety problems on the site where someone if a situation is not corrected could get hurt or killed such as: Straps holding a tower crane in place are damaged or cut. Scaffolding is not attached to the building properly.

In about 2005 entered the OPM (Owner project manager) this person was a clerk of the works with a difference. The OPM was the first hired even before the architect is hired and the OPM helps the owner with the decision of who the design professional for the job will be. He also works with the owner to formulate a budget for the project as the design professionals are working on the drawings.

The average amount of money that a good clerk of the works or OPM saves for an owner is about 23 to 37 percent on the job after they are paid. The larger the project the more money that these consultants save for the owner, if you had a 5 million dollar project the savings after the Clerk of the Works or OPM was paid would be between $1,150,000 and $1,850,000. The savings would include change orders that the consultant found to be something that was in the specifications that the contractor was charging for and overcharges for change orders.

What happens with some of the Owners they only see what they are paying the Clerk of the Works or OPM for their services they do not understand what a good Clerk of the Works or OPM can save them. The Owners see after the fact that if they had someone that was an experienced Clerk or OPM they would have saved a significant amount of money.

Hopefully this article will help people that are contemplating construction projects in the near future to think twice about trying to be their own Clerk of the Works or OPM. as most projects are so complicated these days that you need a professional working for you that understands the building construction process.


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