construction manager

Construction Manager or Site Manager

28th September 2021   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 2 minutes

Which role do you need for your construction project?

The terms construction manager and site manager are often used interchangeably, however, they are two distinct roles and to use the wrong term can result in confusion. In this article I explain the difference between the two roles.

The difference between a construction manager and a site manager

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the two roles, it’s useful to understand the fundamental difference between them. 

A construction manager is a consultant appointed by the client to act on their behalf during the delivery of a construction project using construction management as the procurement route. 

A site manager is employed by an appointed contractor to manage site activities on a construction project and usually reports to a contracts manager. 

The role of a construction manager

When a project is being delivered using construction management, a construction manager will be appointed who acts for the client in the day to day delivery as well as advising the client through the project. 

Usually appointed early in the design phase of the project the construction manager will contribute to improving cost and buildability of the project. They will also advise the client throughout the procurement process both in issuing tender documents and analysing returns in order for the client to appoint appropriate trade contractors. 

The role of a construction manager includes;

  • Development of the project brief
  • Procurement advice and support
  • Tender analysis and contract award advice
  • Performance management of trade contractors
  • Technical advice on feasibility, buildability, cost control and project programming
  • Arranging required statutory consents, licenses, permits, inspections, testing and commissioning
  • Setting up and maintaining relevant files including H&S file, project file, pre construction information, construction information, as built information, O&M manuals
  • Site accommodation, welfare facilities, security, fencing and site access
  • Site management
  • Overseeing project setting out 
  • Supervising trade contractor delivery, quality control, cost management and project planning
  • Health and safety of the project
  • Managing progress reporting to the client

The role of the site manager

By contrast to the construction manager, the site manager is employed by the appointed contractor to supervise and manage site-based staff and activities, ensuring the project is delivered in accordance with the contract. You will note that this role does not act for the client.

The role of the site manager includes:

  • Project planning
  • Resource planning and management
  • Progress and quality control of work onsite
  • Communication with the client’s consultant team
  • Reporting to the client team
  • Ensuring statutory and contractual compliance
  • Site safety inspections and H&S
  • Obtaining relevant permits and licenses

This site manager will often have a team working for them including general and trades foreman, operatives, site engineers, contractor’s cost manager, planner and procurement staff.

Appointing a construction manager

Construction management is a highly flexible procurement route that allows the client to retain control of the project and, in turn, to enjoy the benefits usually afforded to an appointed contractor. 

However, the success of the project is reliant on appointing a competent and experienced construction manager to act on your behalf.

Evolution5’s professional consultants can provide a full construction management service allowing you to take advantage of this flexible procurement route whilst giving you peace of mind that expensive mistakes will be minimised, and the best value achieved, freeing you to focus on what you do best.

How Evolution5 can help you?

Evolution5 is a professional consultancy offering construction management, project management, quantity surveying, employer’s agent, contract administration, principal designer and CDM advisor services for projects across London and the South East.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.