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What is an OPM?

An OPM, or Owner’s Project Manager, is an individual or firm hired by a entity to represent the owner’s interests throughout the design and construction phases of a building project.  They serve as the Awarding Authority’s agent and consultant, with the role of a trusted advisor.  In Massachusetts, OPM’s are required for any public project with an estimated construction cost at or above $1.5 million (M.G.L. c.149, §44A½), but can also be hired for smaller projects.

An OPM’s minimum role is mandated by law to include consulting on such front-end tasks as project scheduling, designer and contractor selection, scope of work, and cost estimating.  The law does not limit the OPM to this role, however.  A qualified OPM can also provide fee negotiation, bidding assistance, commissioning agent procurement and oversight, and even design peer review and change-order review.

OPM’s do not have to be registered architects or engineers, and many traditional OPM firms do not engage in their own design work.  At CBI, we believe that having experienced, registered architects and engineers on staff adds value for our clients by allowing us to offer technical peer review services.  Code compliance, constructability, and clarity of design and construction documents can be checked sheet by sheet, giving the Owner peace of mind through an impartial review, and reducing the potential for costly change orders during the construction phase.

CBI recently served as the OPM for the renovation of and addition to the historical Tewksbury Town Hall.  This project faced some unforeseen complications prior to CBI’s involvement, but after a thorough review of both architectural and structural drawings, the project team was able to bring the project through on time and under budget.