Nature Of Project And Site Construction Essay

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For this particular project, it is recommended for Hi-Rize Development 2011 (HRD 2011) to appoint a qualified and experienced Client's Project Manager due to many peculiarities of the project and site, as well as the specific requirements outlined by the client. These are explained in greater detail, below.

1.1 Nature of project and site

Firstly, while HRD 2011 has identified a site, it has not yet been acquired and a project manager working directly with the client can help with the appraisal of this site prior to its acquisition. If necessary, he may recommend an alternative site, which may bring better value to his client's investment. Secondly, the clients have commissioned WNP Partners to produce outline proposal which although has already been submitted for planning permission, could still be re-evaluated with respect to specific construction systems and expected building performance. By working closely with a client, the project manager would be in a position to provide a second opinion on how the project should proceed. For example, decisions need to be made on structural frame, building envelope, and service levels. Also, there are issues with site's geological condition (sandy soil over clay) which need appraisal, as this would have an impact on substructure, including foundation system and underground parking. These are decisions too important to be left in the hands of architects alone, as competent as they (WNP Partners) may be. The client needs to be enlightened about many issues and given options, while being protected from making hasty decisions without considering alternatives and implications.

1.2 Client requirements

Apart from the nature of the project, the clients have some requirements in this project which need to be met efficiently and effectively. This includes the desire to have a state-of-the-art (or high spec) building which is advanced in the technologies used both in construction and in performance of services. This requirement calls for experienced evaluation of available building services providers as well as construction methods. A project manager working directly with a client should be able to provide direction in terms of using advanced but sustainable solutions including green construction materials and processes as well as low-energy (or low carbon) building services such as optimising natural ventilation and daylighting, without compromising occupant comfort. Additionally, because the client also requires quality over time and then cost, this places emphasis on producing a facility which performs exceedingly high in terms of its life-cycle. A prestigious building, such as the one desired by the client has to have every aspect of its structure and system carefully selected after thorough evaluation, if the building is to make a statement or be an respected icon on the landscape. Finally, one of the strongest reasons for a client's project manager is the desire for single-point responsibility over the professional responsibility of designers and cost consultants. A client's project manager is well suited to play this role of single point responsibility (Gould and Joyce, 2009; Sears et al. 2008). Appendix A shows details of the client requirements.

2.0 Project organisation and management

This section describes the manner in which the proposed project should be organised and managed. The major tasks and activities related to the entire project from inception to completion and handover are covered, including: decision-making and organisational structure; evaluation and selection of procurement routes; work breakdown structure; quality management

2.1 Decision-making and organisational structure

Throughout the duration of the project along its phases, decision-making and hierarchy would be important. The proposed decision-making and organisational structure of this project depends on overall responsibility lying with the client, who is ably assisted by a project manager. The project manager in turn is responsible for coordinating the activities of two arms of the hierarchy. On one hand, he has to coordinate design team and contractors; while on the other, he has to take responsibility for the cost, legal, safety, planning and specialisation needs of the project (CIOB, 1996).

2.2 Major tasks and activities

The major tasks and activities for this project can be subdivided based on three project phases. The three phases are: (a) planning and definition; (b) design and (c) procurement and construction. The major activities are as follows:

Planning and definition activities

Appointment of project manager

Briefing and budgeting

Defining client's performance criteria

Conceptual/preliminary design and planning

Design activities

Architectural and engineering designs

Specialist designs

Detail cost planning

Scheduling and programming

Procurement and construction activities

Preparation of tender documents

Pre-selection and tendering

Appraisal and recommendation of contractors

Mobilisation of contractor

Site clearance and ground works

Substructure

Superstructure and enclosure

Services and finishes

External works and landscaping

Inspection and handover

2.3 Evaluation and selection of procurement routes

The main procurement methods have been explained and evaluated briefly, with respect to this project, below.

2.3.1 The standard procurement methods

There are three common or standard methods of construction procurement. These include traditional method, design and build method, and management method, as explained below.

Traditional method: In traditional approach to procurement, the client would appoint a design team, a cost consultant (quantity surveyor) responsible for financial and contractual advice, as well as a contractor to execute the work, usually chosen after a tendering process (CIOB, 1996). Due to the peculiarities of this project and high expectations of client, this procurement method is not recommended to the client as many key decisions need to be made by a coordinating (client's project) manager

Design and build method: This method involves the client appointing a contractor who is responsible for the designing, costing and construction of the facility. The contractor would usually appoint consultants to help him with the design and cost aspects, while he over sees actual construction (CIOB, 1996). This method is not recommended or applicable to the client (HRD 2011) because they have already appointed a consultant who has produced designs already at the planning approval stage.

Management method: In this instance, the client appoints professional consultants to produce drawings and performance specifications, just as in the traditional approach of procurement. However, in addition, a management contractor (client's project manager) who coordinates the project is also appointed, sometimes through a process of tendering and interviews. A selected project manager is then appointed is paid based on the services he renders on behalf of the client (CIOB, 1996).This option suits the current project circumstances and is therefore recommended to the client.

2.3.2 Details (and advantages) of preferred procurement method

In management procurement involves either management contracts or construction management. In management contracts, the client appoints professional consultants who produce drawings and specifications for the project. The management contractor is chosen after tendering and interview processes and he compensated for his scheduled services. However, in construction management procurement, the client selects a lead designer (who is responsible for all designs), a construction manager (who is responsible for management and coordination) while the client is responsible for general direction and making contract agreements with trade contractors who are under his control (CIOB, 1996)..

Advantage of management procurement includes the fact that it is well suited to large complex projects such as the one being embarked by HRD 2011. It works well when completion time needs to be quick and specific issues have not been determined at the onset. For instance, in this case when the client requires a prestigious building constructed and fitted using advanced technology, issues such as low carbon building systems and green construction materials (which can significantly enhance the project's reputation and prestige) have to be decided as the project goes along. This is because, evidently, WNP Partners (the architects) have not made specific and detailed provisions for such aspects in their initial designs and improvements would need to be made along the way. The client would hence be advised at various stages, about the state-of-the-art options available, and advised by his project manager during evaluation and selection. Furthermore, the uniqueness of the proposed development requires specialised contractors, who can be selected early enough using management method, without going through the rigours of traditional methods or bureaucracy (CIOB, 1996; Gould and Joyce, 2009)

2.4 Cost planning and cost control

Cost planning is essential so that the client would have an overview of the cost of the project. The client would likely have a budget which covers the lump sum he is willing to allocate to the project. However, a cost plan (how much is spent on what, and when) is required for estimating cash flow during construction as well as running cost for the facility, if applicable (or budget allows for it). Allowance in cost planning also needs to be made for contingencies, professional fees, direct costs and the client's reserve. The cost plan would usually be made in accordance to the master programme. However, cost also needs to be controlled to keep expenditure within client's budget. Cost control would therefore require cost reporting where estimate of financial cost of project, future cash flow and costs in use of completed facility would be documented. All decisions made during design and construction phases would be fore-casted and alternatives should always be considered in line with expected performance. Liaising with design, cost and construction teams is therefore an important role for the client's project manager for cost planning and control to be effective (CIOB, 1996).

2.5 Quality Management

The aim of quality management is to ensure that the client receives value for their money. For the client to be satisfied with the outcome of the project, it is necessary for a quality management system to be in place (CIOB, 1996). Ideally, if the participating consultants and contractors have been certified by recognised quality assurance organisations (e.g. ISO, TQM, PRINCE2 as well as environmentally-related project assessors like BREEAM), then this makes it easy for standards to be set and pursued. The client's project manager could therefore act as a key person during the tendering process, ensuring that certified professionals are selected where possible. In this particular case, fast-tracking (over-lapping of design with construction) can be expected and even prior to actual procurement and construction process, the client's project manager will discuss and over-see the quality standards expected in the project (Sears, et al. 2008). This will cover all aspects including design, services, materials and processes. It is hence important that the client's project manager is a highly experienced and certified professional, who understands the different quality certification standards and processes (CIOB, 1996).

2.6 Project planning

Project planning involves the development of a project plan and a master programme. The master programme would be developed and agreed by client/project manager and the relevant consultants. The detailed programme for various stages would later on be prepared when the essential and detailed issues have been resolved. The project manager is responsible for monitoring the adherence to the master programme and the stage programmes CIOB (1996). A linked bar chart programme of the pre-construction phase has been prepared in the next section.

3.0 Linked bar chart focusing on pre-construction period

A hard copy of the linked bar chart is being submitted with this document.

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