Performance Analysis of Construction Manager at Risk on Pipeline Engineering and Construction Projects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Much of the water and wastewater pipelines in the United States are nearing the end of their useful life. A significant reinvestment is needed in the upcoming decades to replace or rehabilitate the water and wastewater pipeline infrastructure. Currently, the traditional method for delivering water and wastewater pipeline engineering and construction projects is design-bid-build (DBB). The traditional DBB delivery system is a sequential low-integration process and can lead to inefficiencies and adverse relationships between stakeholders. Alternative project delivery methods (APDM) such as construction manager at risk (CMAR) have been introduced to increase stakeholder integration and ultimately enhance project performance. CMAR project performance impacts have been studied in the horizontal and vertical construction industries. However, the performance of CMAR projects in the pipeline engineering and construction industry has not been quantitatively studied. This paper fills this knowledge gap by achieving two objectives: (1) provide a comprehensive study of CMAR project performance to develop a baseline of commonly measured performance metrics; and (2) statistically compare the cost and schedule performance of CMAR to that of the traditional DBB delivery method. A thorough literature review led to the development of a data collection survey used in structured interviews to gather qualitative and quantitative performance data from completed water and wastewater pipeline projects. The results provide a performance benchmark for seven metrics in four performance areas (cost, schedule, project change, and communication). The major contribution of this paper is demonstrating the superior cost performance (by 6.5%) and schedule performance (by 12.5%) of CMAR projects when compared with similar DBB projects. The results can aid decision makers when choosing the appropriate delivery method for their water and wastewater pipeline projects and provide stakeholders with more certainty in their project performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04016016
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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