CM Versus CA

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Supreedee Rittironk


A typical architectural project delivery is comprised of Designing, Bidding, and Building. Construction or building is the final and important step to make design become reality. It is impossible to become a real design professional without having a good understanding of construction and its logic. After completion of the design process, all design professionals need to get involved in construction to ensure that design gets built as intended. Here begins the Construction Administration or CA. CA is a required process for every project if it is permitted to build. To administer is to direct, supervise, and ease the execution of a construction project. This term is often confused with Construction Management or CM because their translation in Thai could be interpreted with similar meanings, which produce misuse and misunderstanding in construction studies. To manage is to direct and exhibit control over. The verb “to manage” sounds similar in meaning as “to administer” when translating in Thai. When they are tied to construction, they are quite different. Construction management is a consulting service to the project owner with special intent. The intent commonly has to deal with saving in cost, time, and quality. Consulting can be in the form of being owner’s representative, cost control, quality control, scheduling control, or all of these. CM is considered as an extra service, not required as CA. The bottom line is that CM and CA are two different disciplines, when comes to their incentives, responsibilities, length, and goals. To straighten out the confusion, this article will discuss more elaborately, the definitions, distinctions, and misinterpretation of these two terms. It also further discusses how CA and CM will affect the future of the construction business.


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