Construction management includes the planning, coordination and oversight of a residential, civil, industrial, or commercial project from the design phase through completion. Strong construction management can yield more efficient projects and reduce the number of issues faced along the way. Early utilization of a construction manager can ensure that the design group, owner and contractor work together as a team toward a unified goal. Throughout the project managers like those at Polaris work to communicate with and coordinate the efforts of the owner, architect, subcontractors and inspectors to ensure the project is completed within budget and according to schedule. They can be essential in resolving conflicts and complications swiftly and successfully.
Strong Construction Management in the Pre-Construction Phase
Coordination in the pre-construction period is essential. In this phase the construction manager will provide the owner and design team with detailed feedback with regard to costs, schedules, phasing and logistics for the project. This early planning enables the owner to proceed with the design and planning stage in full confidence that the budget and schedule will meet the requirements of the project proforma. The construction manager will also complete constructability reviews of the design development documents that will notify the team of any discrepancies or other issues that may impact the cost or schedule.
Another important preconstruction task is developing detailed bid packages. The project manager will consult with potential subcontractors to provide an estimate of the current anticipated cost, allowing the owner and design team to make any changes necessary to suit their finances before the project begins, reducing the risk of an over-budget project. The final task of the preconstruction phase is the development of a final GMP, or Guaranteed Maximum Price, which provides the final fixed cost for the construction contract. With the help of a construction manager the preconstruction phase can prepare a project to run smoothly and efficiently.
Strong Construction Management During Construction
The project manager will create a master schedule for the project, coordinating the various tradespeople and tasks so that the flow of work is smooth and efficient and the project can be completed without unnecessary delays. They will also monitor schedules, costs, labor and materials throughout construction to ensure the project is on track for a successful completion. They will strive for quality, efficiency and economy in every aspect of the enterprise. Many factors influence productivity on a job site, including:
- The availability of labor, materials and equipment
- The skill and experience of the workforce
- The leadership and motivation of the workforce
- The job size and complexity
- The accessibility of the jobsite
- The local climate and culture
Each factor must be taken into consideration when planning the schedule and budget of a project. The project manager can assist the owner in finding solutions to any unique challenges that may arise.
A reliable construction manager will be familiar with the local labor pool and can assist an owner in choosing experienced subcontractors who are reliable and competent and who can perform high quality work while adhering to the agreed upon budget. Once construction has begun they will continually monitor the work being done to confirm that it is being completed in a timely fashion and according to industry standards. They will also enforce safety regulations to protect the owner from potential injury liability.
The material to be used in the project is determined during the design phase, but may be altered later on to accommodate changes in price or availability. The type of material used can influence the cost as well as the schedule, as some materials may require more intensive labor or specialty equipment to install. The timing of the procurement should be coordinated with the schedule. Materials that arrive too early in the project may be costly to store and are at risk for damage and theft. If materials are delayed it may halt progress on the project or result in additional costs. A competent manager will oversee the timely and efficient flow of materials.
Strong Construction Management After Construction
Project management does not end when the building is complete. The construction manager will walk the owner through the building commissioning process to ensure that the completed structure performs as intended and meets their expectations. The performance of mechanical, plumbing, electrical and safety systems will be verified, operating personnel will be trained and contracts will be closed out. The closeout phase includes preparation of final documents, including operations and maintenance manuals for the owner, warranties, lien releases, and verification of final payment.
A project manager can organize the various groups and processes of the construction process into an integrated whole. Their leadership can improve the efficiency of the labor force and the use of materials and equipment. They can improve communication between the numerous parties involved, resolving conflicts and ensuring that they are all working towards the same goal. A strong construction manager like those at Polaris can be the key to a smooth, successful construction process.