The “FMI/CMAA Sixth Annual Survey of Owners,” released this fall and conducted by Raleigh, N.C.-based FMI Corp. and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), McLean, Va., takes a look at developers' and property owners' perceptions of the construction process. The survey found that the biggest cost concerns for owners were not related to materials or labor but rather to inefficiencies in general. “Owners are beginning to see how their own approaches to construction can actually foster inefficiency and raise costs,” says Bruce D'Agostino, CMAA executive director.

The survey revealed some interesting findings:

  • Approximately two-thirds of respondents (66%) use the design-bid-build delivery method most often. Only 23% believe this method offers the best value.

  • Between 40% and 50% of all construction projects are running behind schedule.

  • Commissioning runs longer than planned 47% of the time — in part because many of those surveyed do not have formal commissioning requirements.

  • A total of 80% said timelier decision making by owners is the single most urgent improvement needed in the construction process.

  • Only 37% use standard contract documents provided by the American Institute of Architects or other groups. The majority use their own modified or proprietary contracts.

  • More than a third of owners said they felt their project controls were not adequate, citing project management and cost controls as areas most in need of improvement.