Tendering versus Construction Management

Tendering and Construction Management are the two most common approaches to building out office, retail and industrial space. Projects can follow either approach. Tendering is typically the most efficient and cost effective approach and should be strongly considered if the following conditions are in place:

  1. Project is considered straight forward and does not require significant engineering enhancements.
  2. Space is available/accessible on a set date and there is little chance date will change.
  3. All municpal building permits and LL approvals will be in place when construction starts.
  4. Final design is confirmed and little deviation from the plan is expected.
  5. Construction is expected to take 6 to 9 months to complete.


Unfortunately not all projects hit the above.  In these instances it makes sense to discuss with your Architect/Designer if Construction Management (CM) is a better option. Consider CM should the project encounter one of the following scenarios:

  1. The project has a short time frame. Hiring a CM allows for ordering long lead items and starting some work early so as to meet the tight timeline.
  2. For long term projects, greater than nine months, it may be beneficial to engage vendors and purchase product as the project progresses. This allows better scheduling of vendors and gives Designers appropriate time to choose the most appropriate materials and products in the quantities required.
  3. For projects that have significant engineering enhancements. The Construction Manager can work with the Engineers to price different options during the Design Stage.
  4. Where cost is critical and series of budgets may be required in the design stage to keep project on budget.
  5. For complex projects. For example a renovation and expansion at the same time.
  6. Where the project is being phased or swing space is being used and staff will be relocating.


Determining the best approach is not often apparent. Ellington can assist you in selecting the most appropriate approach as well as provide Project Management and Move Management services.