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Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

(OP)
I've run into a situation repeatedly in the past several years, and I need advice.

I do annual inspections for detention ponds and underground stormwater vaults as part of my services. I often run into one that needs heavy maintenance, such as getting a vac truck out or doing a lot of landscape work on the berms and such. Every time I make that recommendation, the client asks "can you do that for us?" I always say 'no.' I'd like to be able to say 'yes.'

I run a one man shop with no employees. What I'd like to do, is buy general contractor insurance, sub out the necessary work to other specialist contractors, show up on site to give them instructions and such, and then turnkey the thing with a markup. I think it might be easier than having to act in an hourly manner to the client answering questions and directing contractors who are working for the client directly. So here's the question.

I know I'll need contractor's insurance, and that I'll need insurance certificates from all my subs, but I'm not clear that I would need a General Contractor license. It seems to me that it would be unnecessary given my role in this arrangement, since I'm quite honestly acting more as a client rep than a GC.

Anyone have any experience in this? State is Georgia, but don't be shy about sharing your experience with this sort of thing in other states.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

you would be functioning as an EPCM contractor. As long as you stick to CM only, you should be ok.

Quote ( )

EPCM (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management): means the company is contracted to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services. Other companies are contracted by the Owner directly to provide construction services and they are usually managed by the EPCM contractor on the Owner’s behalf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering,_procure...

http://kluwerconstructionblog.com/2010/12/09/demys...

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

Also, check your professional liability insurance. As currently written, it may or may not allow you to venture into this area, especially if you are engaged (even peripherally) in construction.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

For a municipality I used to inspect various facilities, recommend whether or not regular maintenance was required. Where required go out and get quotes for the city, recommend which contractor to pick. The city would then pick who they wanted or got other quotes or renegotiated with the contractors. A contractor was issued a po from the city. My next task was to coordinate and review the contractors work and report when the job was done.

You can try a similar approach where you deal with a lot of the hassle of getting quotes site meets and inspections. The benefit for the client is they are getting the engineer who inspects it and knows what needs to be maintained to coordinate the job getting done. The downside is that the client is paying for an engineer to do the job of a operations manager or supervisor.

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

Considerations....
First, you would need to become licensed as a General Contractor in Georgia. That requires an exam, proof of insurance and a few other specifics.

Next, you have to consider the ethical aspect of benefitting (as a GC) from your own recommendations (as an engineer). Can be considered a conflict of interest.

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

what CVG said. it doesn't have to be very formal or seem all that different to the client. you probably are working with the same people again and again. understand their costs and present your team's proposals to the client with yours to continue working. Client signs them and they bill your client directly.

I'm jealous you apparently have access to vac contractors that you are considering tying your financial boat to and personally overseeing. I'll be happy if i find one that can get the job done right in 2 tries, and i'm pretty lenient on what i'll allow.

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

(OP)
Thanks for the responses.

Ron, are you sure I'll need to become a licensed GC? It wouldn't seem to me that I would need to, unless I marketed myself as a contractor, since I'm not doing any actual contracting, just general project coordination among a couple of subs, the same way an owner might.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

if you stick to the EPCM model, than no you are not a GC. that is why the EPCM model is used

RE: Civil Engineer acting as a functional GC - questions

beej67....thin line! Leaves you open to claim of unlicensed contracting. A GC is responsible for the actions of its subs. Allowing an owner to act as their own GC is an exception in the law. You would not get that exception.

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