The role of an “Owner’s Representative” was not included in our Cast of Characters post. This is because they are not (1) commonly employed on many projects (at least in my experience); or (2) easy to define in a manner that is uniform across the construction industry. And some people just consider them to be lumped in with the “Owner” role anyway.
In actuality, the role of an “Owner’s Representative” is as amorphous as the different titles by which such person may be known. Titles by which such a person may be formally known include the “owners’ agent,” “consultant,” “construction manager,” or others. Regardless, the person’s substantive role is more important than his or her title.
As used here, “Owner’s Representative” means a person not the employee of the Owner of the construction project or affiliated with the General Contractor or Designer in any manner, who has specialized knowledge and/or experience with respect to a particular type of project, who is retained by the Owner, may serve as the Owner’s eyes and ears on the project, and may provide the Owner independent advice during the design and/or build phase of the project.
Despite this attempt at a global definition, the most accurate definition and scope of the role of an “Owner’s Representative” on any particular project is primarily encompassed by the agreement itself between this person and the Owner. So you should learn it!
In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.