Construction projects typically involve three phases: planning, design, and construction. On a design-bid-build project, these phases run sequentially: a designer prepares a fully detailed design for the project, construction bids are solicited on the 100 percent complete bidding documents, and the selected contractor – the lowest eligible and responsible bidder – then begins construction. The contractor has no involvement in the process until the construction stage.

Under the CM at-risk method, the owner typically selects the CM at-risk firm, which will later serve as the project general contractor, at the outset of or early in the design stage. After conducting a selection process that focuses on qualifications and fees, the owner executes an initial CM at-risk contract with the selected CM at-risk firm. As the design progresses, the CM at-risk firm provides construction management services, such as constructability reviews of the design, construction scheduling, and project cost estimates, to the owner. At some point during the design stage, the owner and the CM at-risk firm negotiate a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the project. When the contract is amended to include the GMP, the CM at-risk contract becomes a cost-plus contract with a GMP, and the CM at-risk firm assumes responsibility for the performance of the work, including the work performed by project subcontractors. The owner pays the CM at-risk firm the actual cost of the work plus the agreed-upon CM at-risk fee up to the GMP; change orders resulting from scope changes and unanticipated site conditions encountered during construction may increase the final contract cost.

CM at-Risk Application

To use CM at-Risk on a building project of $5 million or more, an awarding authority (not including DCAMM, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, and the University of Massachusetts Building Authority) must submit an application to the Office of the Inspector General,  The Office has prepared an application form to be completed, pursuant to Chapter 149A. Two copies of the application must be submitted to: Office of the Inspector General, One Ashburton Place, Room 1311, Boston, MA 02108. If you have any questions regarding the application contact Mary Kolesar, Senior Policy Analyst, Policy and Government Division, at (617)722-8809 or

Construction Management at-Risk Application to Proceed  pdf format of Construction Management at-Risk Application to Proceed
doc format of                             Construction Management at-Risk Application to Proceed

CM at-Risk Projects

Since 2005, the OIG has received over 145 applications from local and state entities to use CM at-risk, totaling approximately $7.1 billion in total project costs. 

Construction Management at-Risk Project List (Non-exempt Entities)

 CM at-Risk Report to the Legislature

In October 2009, the Office filed a legislatively mandated report on the CM at-risk alternative delivery method. The study provides public owners with an interest in using M.G.L. c. 149A with valuable data, procedural information, lessons learned, and practical advice.

Experience of Massachusetts Public Agencies with Construction Management at Risk Under M.G.L. c.149A, October 2009 pdf format of Public Agencies with Construction Management, Oct 2009
file size 1MB

CM at-Risk Training 

To provide guidance to public officials and others interested in learning more about the CM at-risk delivery method, the Office of the Inspector General has developed a one-day course entitled "Construction Management at-Risk Under M.G.L. c. 149A: Legal Requirements and Practical Issues. The course includes a discussion of design-bid-build and CM at-risk; a description of the role of the construction manager on a CM at-risk project; an overview of the procurement process, including the owner's project manager procurement requirements, the two-phase selection process, and contracting requirements; and a segment on planning the CM at-risk project organization and monitoring the CM at-risk contract.

  Construction Management at-Risk Under M.G.L. c. 149A

CM at-Risk Model Documents

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) has developed model documents for CM at risk projects, which are available for downloading at:

Construction Manager at Risk - Model Contracts and Forms