Reviewing The Projects Of Civil Engineering Construction Essay

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This project is about management of Civil Engineering projects and how construction of a civil engineering project should be undertaken. There are various steps involved in civil engineering projects. In order to make a construction project successful the various stages of the project have to be implemented properly. There has to be proper quality check of the various equipments and material has to be done.

Then the various financial and forecasting of the stages of the project also have to be carefully planned.

Security in construction project is very important however construction business doesn't offer lots of security. Any construction entrepreneur will pay highly to its employee and have number of projects to get done but with involvement of "risk" factor. So management of any construction project requires lots of skill as well as experience.

Experience is one of the major factors that are to be considered before recruiting any individual for any particular project. If the project is of high budget than definitely experience people will take over and if the construction project is not that big than definitely trainee or people with less experience can work over it. Construction project management can be a team of engineers, architect, designers, management trainee etc.

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Project is nothing a defined set of goal that is aimed at accomplishment of targets and achievement of those goals in a stipulated time period. (Value-Driven Project Management 

Dr. Harold Kerzner and Frank Saladis, Chapter 1, Values and Project Management)

Taipei 101 has been taken as the reference building for stating examples in the project.

Appendix 1- Pert Chart for a seven-month project with five milestones

Generally in a Civil engineering project involving construction of a building there is a set objective like constructing a building or architecture in a stipulated time which is generally contractual based. (Lewis R. Ireland (2006) Project Management, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006, p.110.)

Project Management - Need

Project Management plays an important role in successful completion of any project. If there is lack of project management then there will be deviations from the set goals. Hence there has to be management of the resources at disposal to reach the set targets.

Similarly for a construction project, project management plays a vital role. The following are need for project management in a construction project -

For overall planning and organization of the project from beginning till end, i.e. execution or use of the building.

For optimum utilization of the various equipments like labor, capital, materials and the equipments put to use in the construction project.

For estimating the budgets and the cost at each and every stage in the construction project there is need to plan the project.

For management of the financing activities and planning the budgetary requirements.

For scheduling of the procedures on time it is important to manage the construction project.

For controlling the quality and the safety of the construction project it is important to plan and manage the civil projects.

Project Management in construction can differ from projects to projects. Like if a construction is need to be done for a theme park than a team of creative people is needed, if a project is related to the building some mall than the team of project management will have more of civil engineers. But today every company manages projects with some specialization. Like a construction company can specialize only in building bungalow, sky capers, Malls, theatres, parks etc.

Appendix 2- Typical development phases of a project

Hence the participants will also differ depending on the type of the project. But generally there is an owner who gives project to an architect or a civil engineer and they further designate the work to sub contractors or plumbers. (Chris Hendrickson, Project Management for Construction, Carnegie Mellon University)

Construction Project -Types

There are various types of construction projects that may be undertaken for the study of civil engineering.

Building Construction - This includes projects like construction of buildings that add value to a countries real estate property. Majority of them include projects like renovation to room or renovation to bathroom.

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Civil/Heavy construction- It is the process of adding value to the built environment. Owners of these projects generally consist of government agencies at local or national level.

Industrial construction - Although these type of construction projects are for a longer period of time and these projects amount to a small number in construction industry but the owners here are large. They work for profits. The example will be medical, petroleum, power generation etc.

Health, Safety and Environment Management

Case Taipei 101 Safety -

The Taipei 101 has made efforts for highest earthquake safety measures. This was because a building is a biggest challenge in Taiwan as the city is susceptible to earthquakes and typhoons. Therefore effort has been made for counter movement, a tuned mass damper system has been incorporated in the building. The 800-metric ton (1,764,000 lbs.), spherical steel mass is located on level 88 and will be visible from the restaurant and observation decks. This system is efficient to transfer the energy produced from the building to the swinging sphere, providing a great stabilizing force.

Taipei 101 Environment friendly project

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the world's largest and fastest-growing green building certification programs that provide a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Currently it is adopted on approximately 400 million square meters of buildings in 70 countries. To meet the requirement of LEED, Taipei 101 commissioned three energy-saving consultants to conduct a review of the building and initial results shows that it had installed several green elements during the original design and construction, including the double pane Low-e glass curtain wall, a waste recycling program, a grey water system, and a building energy management system. However, it still needs to make more improvements; including increasing its green landscape, checking lighting systems, and replacing outdated facilities.

Civil Engineering Project Management

Civil engineering Project management consists of various aspects of a construction project or plan which are discussed as below -

The quality of the construction project is guided by the cost involved and the scope the project has. The scheduling is also indispensable for construction project as the scheduling decides the time frame in which the project will be undertaken.

Appendix 3- The Project Management Triangle

(David I. Cleland, Roland Gareis (2006), Global project management handbook)

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Quality Management -

Quality management in a construction project consists of three main areas i.e quality control during the execution of the construction work, quality assurance provided once the construction work is completed and executed and quality improvement even after the completion of the construction project.

Quality is maintained by removing the barriers existing between the departments and continuous improvement. Quality has gained importance as customers seek it as an important part of a product or service they are buying. The suppliers hence try their best to seek quality to the customers by reducing the various gaps existing. The ISO 9000 series of standards are probably the best known International standards for quality management.

There are many methods for quality improvement. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. In the following list are methods of quality management and techniques that incorporate and drive quality improvement -

To ensure concrete strength and fluidity, we conducted a lot of trial mixes and mock-up tests for nine months in order to pump more than 275m high to the 62nd floor. We tested at a batching plant with a continuously for 24 hours. To ensure the welding quality, we used a special wind and water

proof working platform to perform the work and ultrasonic tests by an independent surveyor for every joint after welding. The podium roof resembles a Chinese RU YI (meaning lucky

and fortune), spanning more than 70m with traditional Chinese style was very complicated and needed trial assembly at the manufactures factory to make sure each detail conformed to original design before installation

Taipei 101 Quality Assurance

Being the tallest building of world the strength has to be made sure of .Before the construction started efforts were made by the constructors to ensure the strength and fluidity. Lot of trial mixes and mock up tests were conducted on rigorous basis continuously for nine months in order to pump more than 25 m high to 62nd floor. The tests were conducted at the batching plant for 24 hours. The welding quality is assured by use of a special wind and water proof working platform to perform the work and ultrasonic tests by an independent surveyor for every joint after welding. The podium roof resembles a Chinese RU YI (meaning lucky and fortune), spanning more than 70m with traditional Chinese style was very complicated and needed trial assembly at the manufacture's factory to make sure each detail conformed to original design before installation. (Pyzdek, T, "Quality Engineering Handbook", 2003)

Technical Management -

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The technical aspect of quality management means to adhere to the rules and standards that are set in the contract. This includes a general framework of how the construction work will be carried on with all its technicalities. There are various clauses to safeguard the interest of the employees like a Defect Correction Period and a Performance bond. Auditing of the construction project is done from time to time to check the cost applications. Contracts, though often changed to reach a mutual agreement carry certain common features and use fixed industry standards such as the ones drawn by UK Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) or International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). These contracts have different structure and content based on different scope and type of project. These will include specifications, directions and instructions to employer, tenders, employee and contractor. Bill of quantities along with schedule of work may also be present here but these can be modified. (Berrie, Michele,Project Manager Responsibilities)

Taipei 101 Technical Expertise

The elevators in Taipei 101 are amazing feats of technology and engineering in their own right. Built by Toshiba they are the fastest in the world and can get to the top floor in as little as 30 seconds. That's 60 km per hour - straight up. They're so fast that they have atmospheric pressure controls to protect people's ears, streamlined carriages that don't whistle in the wind and active weight control systems to stop vibrations. Yet despite their phenomenal speed, the lifts are so smooth that you can put a cup of water on the floor, travel nearly 500m in 30 seconds and not spill a single drop. In total there are 61 elevators in the building - 34 of which are two stories. If they were any faster, they'd be beyond the human body's ability to cope.

Operations Management -

Construction planning now days is very tiresome and challenging as not only it involves use of latest and varies technology but the projects are not easy to manage and execute. There are complex activities involved like the defining of the work to be achieved by each and every group, the resource they will need at their end, the time they will take for execution and how they will fit with each other. If the construction plan is well build up then the scheduling of the processes and the budgetary requirements will always fulfill the estimated budgets? Hence development of a plan before starting off with the construction is a job that requires lot of labor and at times becomes impossible to achieve. Then apart from this many back end decisions are to be taken like about the relationships that the participants will share when they start of with the construction plan. Like the relation between the borrowers and the lenders cannot be predicted and similarly the contractor and labor differences cannot be handles at once.

Some Operational Activities in construction work are -

Business plan development, process improvement, equipment cost control, overhead analysis, cost analysis, trend and benchmarking analysis, employee benefit plans like audit, tax control, consulting etc.

Taipei 101 Operation Delays

Located on the east commercial area of Taipei basin, Taipei 101 has become the tallest building in the world since October 2004, and a new landmark for Taipei. Being general contractor of Taipei 101 project, KTRT JV organized an effective construction team to manage this unique project through daily, weekly and monthly meetings to monitor the project, KTRT JV also carefully executed PDCA CYLE to control project schedule, quality, safety and cost. During the construction period, Taipei 101 experienced a huge earthquake shock, causing the whole project to be delayed for about half a year. After careful examination and planning, KTRT JV resumed the work and completed this unique project within the owners' expectation.

Financial Management -

The capital cost for a construction project includes the expenses related to the initial establishment of the facility:

Land acquisition, including assembly, holding and improvement

Planning and feasibility studies

Architectural and engineering design

Construction, including materials, equipment and labor

Field supervision of construction

Construction financing

Insurance and taxes during construction

Owner's general office overhead

Equipment and furnishings not included in construction

Inspection and testing

The operation and maintenance cost in subsequent years over the project life cycle includes the following expenses:

Land rent, if applicable

Operating staff

Labor and material for maintenance and repairs

Periodic renovations

Insurance and taxes

Financing costs

Utilities

Owner's other expenses

(Simon Burtonshaw-Gunn- Risk management in construction projects)

While making up or planning on a construction activity it is important like in case of any other project management that there must be budgetary segregations for which there must be a pre cost estimation. This is usually done through cost controlling techniques or cost scheduling methods . While recording the expenditure incurred it is kept in mind that the construction project is cost based or expense based and thereafter in the expenditure column the performance of the activity is rated by the cost that the activity undertakes or eats up. This also shows how much each activity has achieved during the construction activity. Like the expenses from the borrowers will be overhead expenses and that on the workers will be material cost. It is important that the activities are maintained for the effective and efficient scheduling of the activities. In past the mistake made was that the scheduling activities were task focused and hence used Pert CPM (Critical Path Method) which involved efficient use of the available resources. But for the best results it is important that the activities must include both the cost as well as the scheduling and cover up all the important aspects of the budget.

Appendix 4-Alternative Emphases in Construction Planning

A WBS can be developed by starting with the end objective and successively subdividing it into manageable components in terms of size, duration, and responsibility (e.g., systems, subsystems, components, tasks, subtasks, and work packages), which include all steps necessary to achieve the objective.

The Work Breakdown Structure provides a common framework for the natural development of the overall planning and control of a contract and is the basis for dividing work into definable increments from which the statement of work can be developed and technical, schedule, cost, and labor hour reporting can be established

Appendix 5 - Example of a Work breakdown structure applied in a NASA reporting structure

Key points to keep in importance -

On new projects - invest time creating accurate feasibility studies and business cases, if this is a rushed job - in the end the results will deliver overspends.

Review the project portfolio - are the projects correct, are they nice to haves, are they being done for internal political gain - ensure each business case is robust and adds value to the future of the firm - spend time using previous experienced individuals to review and re-review the business case.

Workforce development - up-skill their financial management knowledge, develop staff in leadership, health and safety, motivation etc - so when you put a non-finance manager in charge of a large project, is it not about time they were given the financial know-how. Don't leave financial management to chance - develop your workforce.

"one point of contact accounting" - too many managers will lead to budget overspend - The overall program manager is responsible for the budget in total, at the same time each head of the projects parts should then be responsible for managing their part of the budget. This leads to one finance manager dealing with one project manager, ensuring a consistent relationship.

Taipei Financial Aspects

It is learned that Taipei Financial Center Corporation, the owner of Taipei 101, will apply for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification for the building. The company will also invest over TWD60 million over the 18 month period to carry out hundreds of modifications on the building. After the renovation is completed, it is estimated that Taipei 101 will save a total of TWD20 millions in energy cost each year and its power and water consumption, and its waste emissions, will all be reduced by 10%.

Human Resource Management -

Although construction is one of the most labor-intensive industries, people management issues are given inadequate attention. Furthermore, the focus of attention with regards to HR has been on the strategic aspects of HRM function - yet most problems and operational issues arise on projects. To help redress these problems, this book takes a broad view of HRM, examining the strategic and operational aspects of managing people within the construction sector. The book is aimed at project managers and students of project management who, until now, have been handed the responsibility for human resource management without adequate knowledge or training.(Loosemore, Dainty, Lingard- Human Resource Management in Construction Projects)

It is important for both human resource managers and project managers to adopt specific HRM practices and processes when working in project-oriented organizations due to the effect these procedures have on employee perception of the work environment and the employment relationship. Through four in-depth case studies over a spread of organizations, Human Resource Management in the Project Oriented-Organization investigates the distinctive characteristics of project-oriented organizations that lead to the need for specific HRM practices and considers the implications for organizations, projects and individuals.

Human resource management in construction has typically been an emergent rather than a strategic or deliberate process. This has resulted in the infrequent use of comprehensive workforce management strategies in the industry. Researchers at the Center for Construction Industry Studies (CCIS) have proposed a Two-Tier Approach to workforce management.

The managers in this Industry are often heard saying 'our people are our most important asset'. However, human resource management (HRM) in the construction industry is severely under-developed as compared to the other industrial sectors. This we may owe to the fragmented structure of the construction sector. However, Industrial leaders have started realizing the importance of the 'human resource' in this competitive environment.

As stated by Paul Teicholz (1994), there was decline in the construction industry. Over the past 40 years the Industry increased at an average compound rate of -0.59%/year. There had been a requirement of more field work hours per dollar of contract. The construction industry lagged behind other industries in development and in application of labor saving ideas and in finding several measures to substitute equipment for labor.

The casual nature of the employment in the construction Industry makes planning a vague exercise. This is the Human resource information systems (HRIS) that presents number of measures to cope with these problems ensuring reliability, accuracy and accessibility of the human resource information.

The construction industry is one of the largest sectors employing large number of people, providing work to significant proportion of the labor market and providing significant share of the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Any construction project involves skilled manual labor which gets support from management. It is a duty of the management to coordinate many professional, construction and supplier organizations whose involvement can change through the course of the project. The dynamism that involves in the process and the need to integrate a wide range of occupational cultures, gives the construction one of the most complex project related Industry in which there is a need to apply good Human Resource Management (HRM) practices.

HRM Issues in Taipei 101 during construction

During the construction period, we received more than 570 O.W.I. (Owner's works instructions), and the whole project was delayed about half a year due to the impact of the huge earthquake. At the last stages, some mechanic floor's space arrangement had to be modified. We could not follow normal procedures to proceed with the work. Through frank negotiation between the owner's top management and KTRT JV 's representatives, both parties tried to solve job site problems quickly and gave some incentive for additional night shifts to expedite work. Finally, we received Open Permits on time for podium and tower separately

Conclusion

Hence to conclude we can say that the human resources have to be given due importance in a civil engineering construction project and this will enhance the quality of the output produced in the construction industry. There has to be proper cost estimation and before the construction activity begins there must be a skeleton prepared to overcome the quality gaps.

The report hence summons up the pre requisite that must be there when the construction process is taken in consideration.

Recommendations

Following are the recommendations from the report-

There must be adherence to the rules and regulations like operational, technical or legal.

There must be safety of the human element involved in the construction process to make HRM a better practice in construction industry.

There must be proper follow of the ISO standards in order to guarantee the quality assurance and improvement.

The safety of the employees must be utmost importance.

The planning of the construction project must be done well in advance.

Referencing

Berrie , Michele, Project Manager Responsibilities, PM Hut, Accessed 17. Oct 2009

Dr. Harold Kerzner and Frank Saladis, Chapter 1, Values and Project Management

J. Mgmt. in Engrg, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp. 89-96 (April 2006)

Lewis R. Ireland (2006) Project Management, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006, p.110

Martin Loosemore ,Andrew Dainty,Helen Lingard , Human Resource Management in Construction Projects, 1. Introduction: The Challenges of Managing People in Construction

Pyzdek, T, "Quality Engineering Handbook", 2003

Simon Burtonshaw-Gunn- Risk management in construction projects, Part 1 Construction Risk Management