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For ENR’s Top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms and Top 40 Program Management Firms, 2004 was a big year. The two groups generated $6.76 billion in combined CM and PM fees, up 14.3% over 2003. The groups report total domestic fees of $5.41 billion last year, up 6.7% from 2003. Internationally, revenue jumped 59.7% to $1.35 billion in 2004, from $845.9 million in 2003.

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Legislative trends expanding authorization for CM and PM use spurred some of the rise in fees, similar to trends in CM-at-risk (see p. 38) and for design-builders (see p. 32). One 2004 development for firms offering CM-for-fee services was last year’s enactment of the Chapter 193 law in Massachusetts. The legislation gives public agencies the option to use CM-at-risk for public buildings, permits use of design-build for public works and road projects, and requires a qualified owner’s agent or project manager for all projects above $1.5 million. "They passed this law to protect public projects," says Bruce D’Agostino, executive director of the Construction Management Association of America, McLean, Va.

Owners’ demands for more–and more diversified–project services, and providers’ responses to their clients, often result in confusion about what is being offered, says Routon. This can cause difficulties for owners because some CM firms tend to try to force the definition of construction management to fit the type of services they do well, he adds.

The confusion has prompted CMAA to continue to emphasize its certification program, which it claims helps identify individuals by demonstrated experience and knowledge of CM practice. The organization has a new initiative to gain the American National Standards Institute’s approval of the certification program. "Getting ANSI status will make sure everyone knows that CMAA certification isn’t just a matchbox diploma, but is a demonstration of true competence," says D’Agostino.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in project and program management. "Most major programs require you to have an advanced level of technology to facilitate collaboration, documentation and security," says Tim McManus, vice president of program management for DMJM+Harris, Boston. "You have to make sure everyone is working at the same level by ensuring all the stakeholders have access to the required information, including the owner."

One firm that has worked hard on developing its own in-house technology is Jones Lang LaSalle. "We’ve made a huge investment in technology," says Ray Quartararo, the firm’s Northeast regional director for project development and services. "Many off-the-shelf software packages are accounting systems. We’ve developed a relational database approach to track all elements of a project, from lease abstracts to occupancy costs. We even have keyword searching for project memos."

click below for related links:

  • The Top 40 Program Mangers/Overview | Story  | List  |
  • The 100 Design-Build Firms | Story  | List  |
  • The Top CM Firms | Story  | List  |
  • The Top CM-at-Risk Firms | Story  | List  |

he market for construction management-for-fee and fee-based program management services has been fluctuating in the past few years. One problem is that fee-based construction management is not so much an alternate project delivery system as a bundle of management services provided to owners to help plan and execute a construction project or program. "Construction managers and program managers are misnamed," says Steve Routon, HNTB senior vice president. "They should be called collaboration coordinators."