Construction Risk Management Whitepaper

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Risk is an uncertain event or condition that,
if it occurs, has either a positive or negative
effect on the project objectives.3 Parties to
construction agreements, for the most part,
do not spend significant resources attempt-
ing to allocate favorable uncertainties; those
risks that, should they occur, will favorably
impact project execution or delivery (e.g.,
weather much better than average or a de-
crease in some basic commodity prices).
Nor do they pay large insurance premiums
to cover the spectrum of possibilities that
could, if they occur, result in lower proj-
ect costs. Construction managers tend to
focus on negative risk.4 Prior analyses have
demonstrated that the interaction between
different types of risk can cause a nonlin-
ear impact on project outcomes.5 In other
words, the cumulative or synergistic effect
on project cost and schedule due to risks
on a project may be greater than the sum
of the discrete impacts caused by each in-
dividual risk factor. In order to effectively
control the project risks and their associated
cost, project owners and managers utilize
processes to identify, analyze, monitor, and
mitigate risk. Collectively these processes
are referred to as risk management.6


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