by Josh Dunbar, PE
Vice President, Engineering and Environmental Services

Owner’s representation on construction projects is an increasingly popular approach in the construction industry. An engineer is appointed as a representative of the owner and manages the project from site selection through construction and close-out. This approach is particularly useful for owners who lack the time, expertise or resources to manage a construction project on their own. We will discuss the benefits of owner’s representation on construction projects and the role of the engineer in managing such projects.

One of the key benefits of owner’s representation is that it provides the owner with an expert who can manage the entire construction process on their behalf. The engineer acts as a liaison between the owner and the various contractors and vendors involved in the project. They ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget and to the owner’s expectations and overall business objectives. The engineer is also responsible for ensuring the project complies with all relevant regulations and building codes.

Another benefit of owner’s representation is that it can help to minimize risk for the owner. The engineer is responsible for identifying and mitigating risks throughout the design and construction process. This includes identifying potential hazards on the site, ensuring that contractors and vendors are properly licensed and insured and managing any disputes that may arise between parties involved in the project.  During the design phase of the project, the owner’s representative can evaluate the basis of design and challenge the various design professionals to deliver a project that not only meets the various design code requirements but ensures that the business goals of the project are also met.  These two desires often conflict with each other in design and need to be managed.

The role of the engineer in owner’s representation can vary depending on the specific needs of the owner and the project. However, some common responsibilities of the engineer include:

  1. Site Selection: The engineer can assist the owner in selecting a suitable site for the project. This includes assessing the site for any potential hazards or risks, as well as evaluating its suitability for the proposed project.

  2. Design and Planning: The engineer can work with the owner and the design team to develop plans and specifications for the project. They can also manage the bidding process and help the owner select the most suitable contractor for the project.

  3. Construction Management: The engineer can oversee the construction process to ensure that it is completed on time, within budget and to the owner’s satisfaction. They can also manage any changes or modifications to the project scope and ensure that all work is completed to the required standards.

  4. Quality Control: The engineer can ensure that all work completed on the project meets the required quality standards. They can conduct regular inspections and tests to ensure that the work is being completed to the required standards and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

  5. Close-Out: The engineer can ensure that all necessary documentation is completed and submitted to the owner, and that the project is closed out in accordance with all relevant regulations and requirements.

In conclusion, owner’s representation on construction projects can be a valuable approach for owners who lack the time, expertise or resources to manage a construction project on their own. The engineer, as the owner’s representative, can manage the entire construction process from site selection through construction and close-out. This approach can help to minimize risk for the owner and ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget and to the required standards. If you are an owner considering a construction project, you may want to consider owner’s representation as an option.

How We Can Help
Process focused and teamwork driven are core values at EI.  We have been a registered engineering firm since 1995 (Certificate F-0256) with Professional Engineering licensure in dozens of states across the US.  With numerous Professional Engineers (PEs) on staff, EI’s Engineering Design team is well equipped to assemble the necessary technologies to provide a new process solution or improve on an existing design or system. If you have questions regarding owner’s representation or other engineering design concerns, please contact Josh Dunbar, PE at (919) 459-5266 or [email protected].