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Building Services Engineer - Building services engineers design and implement a range of items into the project that don't improve the resources and the quality of the building. Building services and the effective use of heat, light, acoustics and other electrical appliances have seen significant improvements in recent years and many of these items, such as lifts, escalators, air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems, need to be integrated into the contract drawings at an early stage to avoid conflicts of space or to ensure that the design can accommodate machinery, plant and equipment.
Clerk of Works - The clerk of works is employed directly by the client, who will want assurance that a contractor is producing a building that meets specification in terms of both materials and workmanship. The clerk of works also reports to the architect on progress of the construction works. Clerks of works do not issue instructions and do not have authority to impose variations or changes to the design but will need to inspect the works as it proceeds and hence need to visit the site frequently. On some larger sites, a clerk of works will have a resident office and spend their entire working time there.
Detail design - At this stage, the architect will have to obtain final decisions on all matters related to design, specification, construction and cost. BVy creating working drawings and finalising the full designs of every part and component of the building, the architect draws together the construction team. Meetingds of the team will take place to discuss and decide materials, finishings, services, contributions by specialist firms and a range of other matters relating to the finalising of the building. It is important that any changes or modifications to the scheme are noted and accommodated so that everyone can be updated and work from the latest drawings. Changes can be accommodates at this stage, although they may result in increased costs due to the scheme being planned on an early proposal.
Production information - This part of the plan includes the preparation of product information used in the building, the drafting of bills of quantities, tender documents and project planning materials such as the programme of works showing duration of activities and the time taken to create the building itself. This is a very important stage in the process and particular care must be taken to ensure accuracy of the work involved in drawings and specifications so that the contractors undertaking the building work have all the necessary information to hand to complete the work to the appropriate standard. Drawings require at this stage include a location plan of where the work is found, a layout drawing of the construction site itself and a general arrangement drawing that shows the layout of the work to be done. From these drawings, a series of schedules and specifications will be drafted to provide any necessary additional information.
Bills of quantity - Specifications are dealt with in more detail later on, but their link with the bills of quantities is important. Bills of quantities are prepared by a quantity surveyor who reads the drawings and determines the quantities and amounts of materials needed to complete the constructions work. Any part of the building that is not yet finalised or has missing information can be allocated a provisional or prime cost so that there is an amount for the work to take place is allocated even when the actual cost or amount to do this work may be finalised some time later. If the architect has not yet appointed a construction contractor or team to complete the works onsite, discussions at this stage will begin to determine an appropriate company or contractor to appoint who is capable of undertaking the work.
Tender - The idea of tendering is to allow the client an opportunity to present a batch of work or a construction contract to contractors who learn about the complexity, the stages of construction, the limits and the constraints anticipated within the work so that a realistic and accurate price can be calculated by the contractors. The contractors then identify the price of the works and the client chooses the contractor best suited and able to do the work. Frequently, the cheapest tender or quote is selected as this can represent best value for the client.
For some work selective tendering may take place, where a architect and quantity surveyor invite contractors that are either known to them or have an established reputation for completing work similar to the one they are working on, to tender. Again, the cheapest quote is most commonly selected in this process.
Contractors may be approached so that they tender an interest in the work. Sometimes a pre-tender meeting may be held with contractors and the complexity and the details of the work can be communicated to the contractors so that the contractors, the architect and he client can satisfy themselves that they are all capable of completing the work within the appointed timescale and budget. A letter of invitation to tender can then be issued together with all relevant drawings, specifications and bills - the contractors can then visit the site of works and the contractor will determine and cost the project. Tenders are returned to the architect at an agreed date and time. Initial comparison of the tenders received from different contractors takes place by the architect and sometimes this includes the client or their representative. This analysis of the tenders usually results in the lowest priced tender winning the contract and being appointed as the contractor.
Project planning - This is where the work to produce the building starts on the building itself. Contract documents are prepared and signed. At a project planning meeting, the architect will usually clarify any points undecided at this stage and agree anyfurther contractual points. Contractors draft a programme of works that illustrates the milestones and the total duration of the work. Key milestones include taking possession of the site, dates of the project progress meeting and other key dates that are achieved during the lifetime of the contract. The contractor is expected to sign the contract documents at this stage, which include:
Site operations - The site is officially handed over to the contractor who can begin construction-related operations. The site is now the responsibility of the contractor who has to comply with all the legislative requirements and legal constraints. The contractor should be informed of any rights of way, preservation orders, protection requirements and any other environmental issues that need to be considered in terms of the work and the activities on site in the months ahead. the contractor has a duty to ensure the appropriate site supervision of all those involved in activities onsite. a clerk of works will check on behalf of the client and the architect that the contractor is complying and building the project to the appropriate standards of materials and workmanship. samples are taken of various materials, sometimes by a specific request from the architect and other times by established practice in some cases, such as the sampling of concrete which is regularly tested by way of a slump test to ensure workability when it arrives on site, and its strength assessed by testing to destruction samples at regular intervals after the concrete has been placed. brickwork panels are sometimes erected to enable the architect and the client to see what the brickwork will eventually look like. tiles, blocks, panels, etc. may also be subject to a request that the contractor builds a mock-up or sample panel for viewing by the architect and the client so that the quality and the desired finish of the work can be ascertained and ensured.
The contractor's duties at this stage of the plan are to work diligently on the construction works adhering to all relevant health, safety and welfare legislation. the contractor is also expected to maintain a site diary to record relevant information about the progress of the construction works. typically, a site diary will include information on:
Completion - as the building starts to take shape, the contractor may be required to hand over part of the building to the client. the actual date of handover is planned and any outstanding issues relating to the construction works can be determined and a solution found. the period of notice required varies from site to site, but usually adequate notice is required in order to prepare the area and any other supporting documentation. the client should be in a position to accept the building for its proper use so the architect will usually insist on inspecting the area and determining for themselves that the work is to the appropriate standard of materials and workmanship, that all services and equipment are functioning appropriately and effectively and that the 'as-built' record drawings are a true record of the actual building. the building manual which in the case of a simple domestic dwelling or house will be simple could extend to a complex and detailed manual of several volumes for an industrial or more intricate commercial building. a certificate of practical completion can be issued by the architect to the contractor which then enables the contractor to claim monies due for the construction work and address any defects and snags that have arisen so far. at this stage, the contractor has effectively completed the construction stage and has no responsibilities for the insurance of the building or its works. When all defects or amendments or outstanding issues are addressed, the architect will issue a final certificate and the account will be adjusted for variations, subsequent instructions and fluctuations in labour and materials prices and/or costs