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Design Stage in Construction

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Here I will explain all the relevant stages and factors which need to be taken into account in the design stage of construction in relation to the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) plan of work.

RIBA Plan of Work

A Inception

Client establishes basic requirements, cost ranges, timetables, etc. He appoints architect and principle consultants. Basic project organization is established.

Firstly the client will establish the basic requirements, cost ranges, timetables, etc and an architect will be appointed and they will be consulted for his help and professional opinion. The architect will be required to carry out the following jobs.

01 Obtain information about the site from the Client

02 Visit the site and carry out an initial appraisal

03 Assist the Client in preparation of Client's requirements

04 Advise the Client on methods of procuring construction

05 Advise on the need for specialist contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to design and execute parts of the Works.

06 Prepare proposals and make application for outline planning approval.

The architect will need at least one meeting client and will aim to establish the main parts and general outline of his requirements. It is important for the architect to plan his work so that it matches the fees he is receiving. These fees are charged at a percentage of the overall cost of the project depending on the job type.

At this stage the main financial concern is limitations. This is where money must not be overspent and prices for materials must stay acceptable. It is important that acceptable methods of communication are discussed during the early stages of the job.

B Feasibility

The following processes will be carried out at this stage.

01 Carry out such studies as may be necessary to determine the feasibility of Client's requirements

02 Review the Client's alternative design and construction approaches and the cost implications

03 Advise on the need to obtain planning permission, approvals under Building Acts and or other regulations or other statutory requirements.

04 Develop the Client's requirements.

05 Advise on environmental impact and prepare a report

In this stage the architect will work out whether it is technically possible to construct the motel on our given site. In order to do this the architect will have to obtain information on costs, detailed information on the site and information on the clients requirements provided at the inception stage.

The local authority will be asked to supply us with there standard briefing checklist that will be used to record information. The highway authority will be consulted to carry out checks to determine that there are no problems with access relating to the site. These are all discussed in meetings.

Drawings and models will be produced to help determine feasibility. These will be purely visual aids only and will not consist of construction information or details. After the results of the investigations are gathered, the architect will report to the client and say whether or not it is a feasible proposition to meet the client requirements.


The brief is the means of communicating the client's requirements to the professionals who will be responsible for implementing the Client's instructions. The instructions may be to a lawyer, an architect, an interior designer, etc. Although there are many forms of brief, the brief for a construction project will be dealt with, in particular, in these notes, but the process and approach is applicable to any brief.

The brief should be based on a systematic appraisal of the Client's requirements. The brief should not be based on preconceived ideas or assumptions. The brief may be developed through discussion and negotiation, which are used to clarify and define the Client's needs. The brief will form the terms of reference for the work to be undertaken by the Professional.

As a set of instructions, the clearer and the more detailed the information supplied, the greater the probability that the service being provided will fulfil the Client's requirements. Thus it is important that a brief gives very detailed information describing precisely the requirements of the Client. The brief, as well as communicating factual information, it should also define the constraints and criteria within which the professional must work. Such constraints and criteria may be the budget, the time scale, etc.

C Outline Proposals

The brief is further developed in line with the general approach to layout, design, construction and services. A cost plan is established. The client is asked for his authoritative approval on how to proceed.

0.1 Analyze the Client's requirements; prepare outline proposals.

0.2 Provide information to discuss proposals with and incorporate input of other consultants

0.3 Provide information to other consultants for the preparation of an approximation of construction costs

0.3 A Provide an approximation of construction costs

04 Submit outline proposals and approximation of construction cost for the Client's approval

05 Propose a procedure for cost planning and control

06 Provide information to others for cost planning and control throughout the project

06 A Operate the procedure for cost planning and control throughout the project

07 Prepare and keep updated a Client's running expenditure plan for the project

08 Carry out negotiations with tenants or others identified by the Client

Here the architect will relate the client's requirements to the information given in stage B. expert advice from structural and building engineers will be sort. The relevant parties will then discuss the various different options given to us This will help us to determine what type of construction would be best for the site on plot j. now the outline scheme drawings can be prepared.

Cost limits of the project will be taken into account by the quantity surveyor, where the architect will help him. Within the cost limits the quantity surveyor and architect will discuss the building standard, which can be provided with these limits.

Indication as to when the building work will start on site and when it is to finish, an outline pre-contract programme will be prepared.

D Scheme Design

The brief is completed and architectural, engineering and services designs are integrated. The cost plan, overall programme and outline specification are developed and planning and other approvals applied for. A report is submitted to the client for his approval.

01 Develop scheme design from approved outline proposals

02 Provide the information to discuss proposals with and incorporate input of other consultant into scheme design

03 Provide information to other consultants for their preparation of cost estimate

03 A Prepare cost estimate

04 Prepare preliminary timetable for construction

05 Consult with planning authorities

06 Consult with Building Control Authorities

07 Consult with Fire Authorities

08 Consult with environmental authorities

09 Consult with licensing authorities

10 Consult with statutory undertakers

11 Prepare application for full planning approval

12 Submit scheme design showing spatial arrangements, materials and appearance together with cost estimate for the Client's approval

13 Consult with tenants and others identified

14 Conduct exceptional negotiations with planning authorities

15 Submit an application for full planning approval

16 Prepare multiple applications for full planning approval

17 Submit multiple planning applications

18 Make revisions to scheme design to deal with requirements of planning authorities

19 Revise planning application

20 Resubmit planning application

21 Carry out special construction research for the project including design of prototypes. Mock ups or models.

22 Monitor testing of prototypes, mock-ups or models.

Now the Design Team will prepare a scheme to show parts of the building as to where they go and what they look like. It will also give a brief description of the materials being used. To do this the architect will have to complete his studies to get the ‘user requirements.' Specialist firms and the design team will decide materials, finishes and services etc.

We will now sort full planning permission and building regulations approval and all effected parties, which will be involved in the site such as highways and drainage, will be notified of our intentions by the local authority.

The architect will now require a cost plan, this will be drafted up with the aid of the quantity surveyor. This will consist of an approximate cost of the project and a separate cost for building 3 and 4. this will then be submitted to the client for his approval. The client will be notified that the scheme cannot change once he has given his approval, and if he does so then this will result in the payment of additional fees.

E Detailed Design

The team designs, co-ordinates and specifies all parts and components, completes cost checks and obtains client's approval of significant details and costs. Specialist tenders may be sought.

01 Develop the detailed design from the approved scheme design

02 Provide information to discuss proposals with and incorporate input of other consultants into detailed design

03 Provide information to other consultants for their revision of cost estimate

03 A Revise cost estimate

04 Prepare Building Notice under building Act and/or Regulations

05 Agree form of building contract and explain the Client's obligations thereunder

06 Obtain Client's approval of the type of construction, quality of materials and standard of workmanship

07 Apply for approvals under Building Acts and /or Regulations and other statutory requirements

08 Negotiate if necessary over Building Acts and/or regulations and other statutory requirements

09 Conduct exceptional negotiations for approval by statutory authorities

10 Negotiate waivers or relaxation's under Building Acts and/or regulations and other statutory requirements.

In this stage of the process the final drawing will be completed and the specification of the building will be completed. The specification will be done by the architectural technologist. The plan of work will be put together. The bill of quantities will be put together by the quantity surveyor from the specification. Information will be provided for the revision of cost estimation also the authorities will be consulted on developed design proposals. The client will approve to the type of construction, the quality of the materials, the standard of workmanship and revised cost estimation. The client will be advised on the consequences of any subsequent changes on cost and programming.

F Production Information

The team prepares working drawings, schedules and specifications and agrees with the client how the work is to be carried out. Specialist tenders may be sought.

01 Prepare production drawings

02 Prepare specifications

03 Provide information to discuss proposals with and incorporate input of other consultants into production information

04 Co-ordinate production information

05 Prepare other production information

06 Submit plans for proposed building works for approval of landlords, funders, freeholders, tenants or others as requested by the Client.

The Architectural Technologist will put together a specification so a tender document can be produced. The production information will be prepared for tender purposes; also schedules will be prepared for rates and quantities. The architectural technologist must prepare and submit under building acts and regulation for the statutory requirements. Building notice must be prepared and given however this is not so in Scotland.

Roles of the Design Team (Task 1B)

Everyone on the design team has specific roles that need to be carried out with care. If a role is not carried out to a specific degree of quality then the offender may be liable for any accidents or damages as this is classed as negligence.

The client;

These are the client's duties however the client may decide to appoint a clients agent. Then the client's agent would carry these tasks out however it is still the ‘client' responsibility to appoint a ‘competent' agent to do the job.

• Appoint a planning supervisor;

• Provide information on health and safety to the planning supervisor;

• Appoint a principal contractor;

• Ensure those you appoint are competent and adequately resourced to carry out their health and safety responsibilities;

• Ensure that a suitable health and safety plan has been prepared by the principal contractor before construction work starts; and

• Ensure the health and safety file given to you at the end of the project is kept available for use.

If you arrange for someone to prepare a design or for a contractor to carry out construction work on the project, you also have duties to ensure they are competent and are adequately resourced to carry out their health and safety responsibilities.

The Architect;

The architect is responsible for defining and maintaining the structure of the solution, and ensuring that it will meet the requirements. An architect must also help the team to work together in an agile fashion, to jointly own the solution, and to interface well with other parts of the organization.

There are five main parts to this:

  • Understanding the requirements - identifying the stakeholders, helping to analyze the requirements and extracting those of architectural significance
  • Formulating the design - creating a solution structure which will meet the various requirements, balancing the goals and constraints on the solution,
  • Communicating the architecture - making sure that everyone understands the architecture. Different people have different viewpoints, so the architect has to present various views of the system appropriate to different audiences,
  • Supporting the developers - making sure that the developers are able to realize the architecture, by a combination of mentoring and direct involvement,
  • Verifying the implementation - ensuring the delivered system is consistent with the agreed architecture, and will meet the requirements.

The Architectural Technologist;

Architectural technologists work in building design and construction management teams, working especially closely with architects. They form the link between the architect's concept and the completed construction, bridging the gap between the idea of an attractive functional building and the reality of that building performing successfully. They ensure that the right materials are used and that the building meets building regulations and other legal requirements.

They also monitor quality assurance, cost and the meeting of deadlines throughout the lifetime of a construction project. Fully qualified members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) can take total responsibility for the management of a project.

The balance of different activities varies according to the kind of projects and the size of the organisation. However, typical work activities usually include:

• Meeting with clients and other involved professionals at an early stage to agree the project brief;

• Understanding how the design aspects of a construction project influence and relate to performance and functional issues, so that practical questions can be addressed at an early stage;

• Evaluating environmental, legal and regulatory issues and advising on these;

• Contributing to planning applications and other regulatory application procedures;

• Assessing what surveys (e.g. land surveys) are required before work can commence and ensuring such surveys is undertaken and their results fed into the project;

• Developing project briefs and working on these as the project progresses;

• Preparing and presenting design proposals using computer-aided design (CAD) and traditional drawing methods;

• Leading the detailed design process and co-ordinating design information;

• Advising clients on procuring the best and most appropriate contracts for the work they are undertaking;

• Liaising with appropriate authorities (e.g. planning enquiries and building inspectors) when producing documentation for statutory approval;

• Producing, analysing and advising on detailed specifications for suitable materials or processes to be used in construction;

• Carrying out design-stage risk assessments;

• Administering contracts and project certifications;

• Obtaining feedback on work in progress and finished results from clients;

• Appraising the performance of buildings which are in use and producing maintenance management information;

• Evaluating and advising on refurbishment, re-use, recycling and deconstruction;

• Managing the work of trainee technologists;

• Contributing to the overall running of business.

Landscape Architect;

Landscape architects/designers are essentially designers of outdoor spaces, of any land open to the sky, including land lying around and between buildings. They work to ensure that any changes made to the natural environment are appropriate and sensitive, as well as innovative and aesthetically pleasing.

Projects can be both urban and rural and range from designing the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates to improving land affected by mineral extraction or motorway construction. The work involves collaborating closely with landscape contractors, as well as other professionals, especially architects, and those working in surveying and engineering functions.

Structural Engineer;

A structural engineer designs structures that will withstand the pressures they have to endure. These may be buildings, aerials, bridges, oil rigs, aircraft; anything from a playground climbing frames to the tallest building. They develop initial designs, using mathematics to calculate the stress that could arise at each point in the structure, and simulate and model possible situations, such as high winds and earth movements. When construction has commenced, they are often involved in inspecting the work and advising contractors.

These engineers often work in partnership with architects. They also examine buildings, bridges and other structures to discover whether or not they are structurally sound.

Services Engineer;

A building services engineer is responsible for ensuring the cost-effective and environmentally sound design and maintenance of energy-using elements in buildings. They have an important role in developing and maintaining buildings, and their components, to make the most effective use of natural resources and protect public safety. This includes all equipment and materials involved with heating, lighting, ventilation, air-conditioning, electrical distribution, water supply, fire protection, safety systems, lifts and escalators, and even acoustics.

Whilst the role increasingly demands a multidisciplinary approach, building services engineers tend to specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Electrical engineering;
  • Mechanical engineering;
  • Public health.

Stages of Project Planning Process (Task 1C)

Planning Team

The project team can be very important and it is essential to show that the team have the relevant experience, skills or training. It is often necessary to employ people who have been associated with similar projects previously. The experts may be expensive or may have limited availability, in which case the expert can be appointed as an advisor and may not have a great input. It is important not to mislead the Client by indicating a greater input than there will be in reality.

G Tender Documentation

This is the first part of the planning stage. Here, the contract documents have been signed and any matters that have not been signed will be discussed between the architect, the client and the contractor. Both the client and the architect have rights and responsibilities where they must understand their own roles in the project. The client will be the employer and the architect will be the employer's agent. Really this meeting will sort out the roles and responsibilities of everyone and a checklist may be used so that nothing is forgotten.

H Tender Action

Main contract tenders are obtained by negotiation or competitive tendering procedures. The client is asked to agree that suitable tenders are accepted.

01 Advise on and obtain the Client's approval to list of tenderers for the building contract

02 Invite tenders

03 Appraise and report on tenders with other consultants

03 A Appraise and report on tenders

04 Assist other consultants in negotiating with tenderer

04 A Negotiate with a tenderer

05 Assist other consultants in negotiating a price with a contractor

05 A Negotiate a price with a contractor

06 Select a contractor by other means

07 Revise production information to adjust tender sum

08 Arrange for other contracts to be let prior to the main building contract

The contractor will be given a list of firms that the architect is considering using including the ones named at the tender stage. The architect must ensure that the contractor has no objections with any of the firms involved.

The subcontractors and suppliers will receive letters telling them that they have been successful or unsuccessful. The contractor will then be informed to accept the sub-contractors quotation. When the architect has the meeting with the contractor he must make sure the agreement has been completed the clauses have been deleted from the conditions as appropriate. The signing of the contract includes many operations such as checking the contractors insurance and sending the contractor a copy of the contract.

J Project Planning

Contract documents are processed. The contractor receives information needed to plan the work. The site inspector is briefed and all roles are defined. The site is made available for work to start.

01 Advise Client on the appointment of the contractor and on the responsibilities of the parties and the Architect under the Building Contract

02 Prepare the building contract and arrange for it to be signed

03 Provide production information as required by the building contract

04 Provide services in connection with demolition

05 Arrange for other contractors to be let subsequent to the commencement of the building contract

Production information must be ready for the project meeting. This is the meeting that takes place before any work starts on site. The project information will be made up of two copies of the drawings, schedules and specifications. Copies of statutory approvals and the architect and contractor programme will be needed.

K Operations on Site

Contract is administered and contractual obligations fulfilled with progress and quality control monitored. Financial control, with regular reports to the client, is maintained.

01 Administer the terms of the building contract

02 Conduct meetings with the contractor to review progress

03 Provide information to other consultants for the preparation of financial reports of the Client

03 A Prepare financial reports for the Client

04 Generally inspect materials delivered to site

05 As appropriate instruct the taking of samples, carrying out of tests of materials, components, techniques and workmanship and examine the conduct and results of such tests whether on or off site

06 As appropriate instruct the opening up of completed works to determine that it is generally in accordance with the Contract Documents

07 As appropriate visit the sites of the extraction and fabrication and assembly of materials and components to inspect such materials and workmanship before delivery to site.

08 At intervals appropriate to the stage of construction visit the Works to inspect the progress and quality of the Works and to determine that they are being executed generally in accordance with the Contract Documents

09 Direct and control the activities of site staff

10 Administer the terms of other contracts

11 Monitor the progress of the Works against the contractor's programme and report to the Client

12 Prepare valuations of the work carried out and completed

During the early stages of project planning, it is important to identify the resources and schedule for development of the Maintenance & Operations Plan. The roles and responsibilities of the various resources must be determined and an overall approach developed.

Most project processes will have maintenance and operations equivalents, including change management, governance processes, testing and communications. Employers need to review Project planning elements to determine those needed on an ongoing basis and include them in the Maintenance & Operations Plan.

A risk assessment will have to be carried out for each operation that will occur on site. This determines what PPE the person will have to wear and how big the risk is of carrying out this operation. A check list will have to be made so that all equipment can be checked over once and a while. For example, the oil level in generators must be checked weekly so that they are able to run smoothly on site. A checklist can be ticked off once the generator has been checked and is in good working order.

L Completion

Project is handed over for occupation. Defects are corrected, claims are resolved and final account is agreed. Final Certificate is issued.

01 Provide drawings showing the building and main lines of drainage

02 Arrange the drawings of building services installations to be provided

03 Generally give advice on maintenance

04 Prepare drawings for convincing purposes

05 Compile maintenance and operational manuals

06 Incorporate information prepared by others in the maintenance manuals

07 Arrange maintenance contracts

This is the stage where the building is handed over to the client so that it can be occupied, rented etc. All remediation is done to any thing that's is wrong within the project. The final account should be signed by the client to say that he is happy and that there is nothing else to be done. The architect also needs to sign it. It also means that everything has been done according to the contract.

M Feedback

The performance of the building and the design and construction teams are analysed and recorded for future reference.

This stage also mentions that after the building has been finished, the architect and the contractor are responsible for any failures that may occur to the building in the near future. However, it is obvious that if the failure occurs in the far future then this not their responsibility.

At the end of this stage there are many questions asked. These include things such as,

  • Did the contractor work well?
  • Does the building function properly?
  • Did the design process work smoothly?
  • What does the client think of the building?

Factors that effect planning decisions (Task 1C)

There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when making planning decisions, all projects produce different factors to be considered such as the following;

  • Budget
  • Availability of materials
  • Availability of workers (Hiring sub contactors)
  • Weather
  • The Planning (conservation areas & listed building areas) act 1990
  • The Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • Restrictions on the land/local area
  • Usage of development
  • Surrounding infrastructure
  • Existing Access
  • Who will be using the facility e.g. old people or disabled
  • Demands of the client
  • Building regulations

How to overcome these factors

1) Analysis of the Problem Breakdown the problem into simple components which may be easily managed. Create a flowchart in the form of a decision tree. Each stage of a project and all possible options are shown so as to produce a series of outcomes.

2) Assessment of Outcomes. This is based on utility (the relative desirability) which is assessed for each possible outcome. The criteria are listed and their relative importance is evaluated. Each outcome is assessed against each criteria and then is evaluated by summing its utility score against each criteria weighted by the relative importance of each criteria.

3) Assessment of Probabilities. The alternative outcomes of each decision stage are allocated probability of the likelihood of their occurrence. These are subjective assessments, but experience is used to lend some objectivity.

4) Determining Optimum Path The optimum path through the decision tree is determined by working backwards from the final outcome and calculating the expected (weighted average) utility of each event node. Where several activities enter an activity event node, the path with the highest utility is elected and the others are eliminated. The best path through the decision tree is found.

5) Sensitivity Analysis Important elements of the decision tree should be assessed by applying a range of values to determine the effect.

Decisions to be made for this project (Plot J)


The budget for the project and the program for implementation will be very difficult to ascertain at this early stage, but if some indication can be given and an approximate cash flow, it could be very useful to the Client and would indicate our understanding of the project.

In order to ensure my project comes in on budget I will be employing a skilled and experienced quantity surveyor. This is because there is a big difference between estimated costs and true costs, which would be calculated to a degree of accuracy by the quantity surveyor. Budgets for the professional fees and program's for the professional services would also be useful.

Green Field site

As our site is situated on a “green field site” then there will be certain implications which may hamper the development.

  • Once land has been converted to development, it is unlikely to ever be converted back to Greenfield use
  • Destruction of the natural habitat of some animal and plant species
  • Loss of agricultural land results in loss of production and loss of employment
  • Reduction of or complete loss of amenity or recreation value
  • Negative effect upon transport and energy use
  • Loss of the green belt of agricultural or designated wildlife land, that clearly defines and separates areas of difference, be they cities, towns, suburbs, villages or hamlets of housing

Restrictions on development and Leases

As our site is located on a Greenfield site therefore it has not been built upon before and our development is the 1st on the site then therefore as long as the local authorities accept planning permission then there are no restrictions as to what we can build. Where as if this was a brown field site that had a restaurant then there may have been a lease so that the site could only be used as a restaurant.

Also the local authorities have also said that there are no restrictions on our roof designs. Therefore this leaves us in a good position to come up with something suitable, attractive and original whilst also maintaining our budget.

Trees (TPO's)

As it is a Greenfield site there is as expected trees on the site. It is the duty of the local planning authorities to preserve trees. It is an offence to cut down, lop, top or willfully damage such trees without the consent of the local planning authorities unless they are deemed to be dangerous, dying, dead or the work Is executed in compliance with another act of parliament. Prior consent should always be sought.

In order to save time but to also create a nice environment around the site I will be trying to include as many of the existing trees as possible. This will create an attractive environment for the people staying in the motel. Also the local authorities would also appreciate this as it would allow the development to fit into the local surroundings.

Access, Services and Infrastructure

As I have already been given a site layout plan then the position of the buildings and the road access has already been established therefore when designing the buildings I will have to make sure that the fit into the plots provided.

However I will have to decide on where the services will come into the site. This includes water supply, gas, electricity and drainage. The services generally follow the path of the road into the site so therefore this won't take much planning as the road layout is already set out. However I will determine where the services will enter the buildings and also the relevant terminals.

Accessibility to all

As the motel will be used by everyone such as young children, elderly and the disabled then by law we will be required to provide the appropriate access, services and accommodation so that it can be used by all.

In the motel I will be included appropriate access facilities such as lifts, hand/ rails, ramps and also disabled parking. This will ensure that all persons can move around the motel freely and safely.

I will also be incorporating special rooms which will provide appropriate accommodation for all. These will include special equipment such as disabled bath and toilet facilities for the disabled and also family rooms which will provide appropriate baby changing facilities.

Time factors that Bear upon the Design and Construction of the Project (Task 1D)

In order to ensure that a project is completed on time then the project team need to stick to a strict schedule. However with every project there come delays whether it is of human or natural causes. Some allowable time should be placed on a project in order to cope with this however there are still sometimes heavy delays. Here are a few delays, which may occur;

  • Availability of materials
  • Delays on materials
  • Subcontractors not being able to meet deadlines
  • Unforeseen problems (ground conditions)
  • Weather
  • Injuries and sickness of employees
  • Machinery breakdowns
  • Employees making mistakes that cost time and money

How these may affect my project located on plot J


The length of time the project will take for completion relies heavily on the how long it will take for the materials, required, to reach the site. If the project requires rare or specific types of material then these may need to be imported from other countries, which would take up valuable construction time. Damaged or faulty materials would also cause delays in construction.

For instance if the specified roof tiles are made in Italy to specific requirements and the delivery is delayed or the materials are damaged, then this would mean that the roofers would then be behind schedule which in turn could mean that the decorators could not get in to do there job, this means that any delays have a nock on effect for other stages of the construction, creating more delays.

In order to reduce the likely hood of massive delays in the arrival of materials to our site on plot j, we will, where ever possible and feasible, only specify materials that are produced or are widely available inside the UK. We will also only deal with suppliers that have a good reputation for delivering goods on time and in sound quality.

Contractors, Subcontractors and Employees

The reliability, punctuality and efficiency of all site workers contributes hugely to the overall construction time. If a job on site isn't completed on time then this has a nock on effect to the people who are carrying out the next stage of construction. This may occur where persons become inefficient, incompetent or where there are absences due to health reasons.

For instance if an electrician takes ill and has to take time off, then the electric's wont get installed on time therefore the plasterer wont be able to get in to plaster the walls. All of this effects hugely whether the project meats deadlines and stays on timetable.

In order to reduce the risk of becoming behind schedule as a result of contractors, subcontractors and employees, we will ensure that only competent, experienced and reputable workers will be hired. As we can't prevent people from taking ill and therefore sick leave, we will also ensure that we have the resources to cope with minor workforce issues.

In order to keep a happy work force which will produce good quality work, on time there will be an incentive scheme. This will ensure workers receive a small bonus for meeting deadlines. This gives workers a reason to work hard for the project therefore producing quality results on time.

Unforeseen Ground Problems

It is said that as many as 25% of construction and engineering projects are delayed by unforeseen ground conditions. Whilst this percentage may appear high, the really surprising issue is the inconsistent way in which standard forms of construction contract seek to deal with the problem. There is no single set of rules which govern the discovery of unforeseen ground conditions and no acknowledged ‘best practice' when it comes to risk allocation and procurement practices.

The starting point is the initial ground investigation report. These reports are all too often hopelessly inadequate. They are procured at minimum cost, sampling at best a tiny fraction of the site, and often prepared in isolation from, and in ignorance of, the intended development of the site. The responsibility for preparation of the initial ground investigation report rarely lies with the party who will carry out the structural design of the project. This contributes to an uncertainty over the allocation of the risk of adverse ground conditions which pervades almost all construction contracts. If the ground investigation has been carried out in this isolated and superficial manner, it is inevitable that its author will heavily qualify his findings and disclaim responsibility for any errors or omissions in the report. Plainly, in such circumstances, the value of the report will be minimal. Moreover, the contractor may be unable to carry out more extensive site investigations during the period available to prepare his tender.

In order to reduce the possibility of delays to our project due to unforeseen ground conditions I will carry out a site investigation following the steps as follows.


Harsh weather conditions mean that construction may have to be suspended. This is because it may not be safe for work to be carried out. This therefore results in deadlines not being met. This is a huge problem on any construction site in any country, however as weather can not be controlled then it is something that the construction industry has to live with.

An example of this is if it is very cold and there is a lot of frost then bricks can not be laid as the cement will crack and crumble. Also if there is heavy rain then the site can become very muddy and slippery therefore it would not be safe to work on as a worker may slip and fall.

Although we can't control the weather we will do our best to prevent the effects of it. We will ensure the site has good drainage so it therefore does not become flooded. Bricks, machinery and cement etc will be kept under cover therefore reducing the likely hood of them becoming frosted, and failing.

Task 2A - Evaluate the standard methods used to determine the plant required for the construction of buildings 3 and 4. The evaluation will need to include at least the following:

• Range of construction plant considered

• Characteristics and use of suitable plant

• Cost versus hire options

• Time and labour savings

• Implications for programming methods

Range of Construction Plant

Here are just a few pieces of equipment that are used on construction. I will explain the characteristics of the plant and also how they may be useful on our site.

Cement mixers

Cement mixers can be seen on almost any construction site. They range in size from the smaller ones shown in the picture to large cement mixing trucks. The larger trucks are usually used to fill in foundations and the likes, whereas the smaller cement mixers are generally used for traditional methods of construction, generally by bricklayers.

We will use large mixers to supply the site with cement for the foundations. The mixers fill up at a local cement mixing sites meaning there is less time wasted mixing it on site.


Generators are used to create electricity for various different pieces of equipment on a construction site. From the kettle in the cabin to drills and welding equipment. The size of the generators depends mainly on the size of the site and how much power they will need, from small box generators to large units.


Whether you need to dig a basement, install drainage, pick up dirt, or load cut timber onto a truck, a backhoe will be able to perform the work as you require it. True, the work could also be done by a team of strong men equipped with the right tools. a backhoe will get the job done in a fraction of the time.

Whenever there is a need for excavation, the shovel bucket attached to the backhoe will operate effectively. The backhoe can dig up even the hardest and most compact materials. The bucket can be raised and swung by an operator to deposit excavated material anywhere. This piece of heavy equipment is ideal for foundation and installation work.

Modern backhoes are powered by hydraulics. Most backhoes are currently turbocharged and diesel-powered. Backhoes move with ease over rough terrain thanks to their large, rugged tires. Since they have both excavating and loading sides, they can be used to load large amounts of minerals and any other kind of loose material onto a truck or container. The front-loading attachment can also be used by the operator to smooth surfaces or push things around. Backhoe loaders can also be equipped with brooms, rakes, forks and a wide range of attachments to suit specific needs. Backhoes are mainly manufactured by American companies, although a few British and Japanese companies also produce them.

Impact crushers

Impact Crushers can crush mining stones and rocks. These are used to grind down the hardcore on site. The hardcore is then used to level off the site and also to provide a hard ground surface. Impact Crusher is mainly suitable for building materials, transportation, energy, cement, mining and chemical industry.


The roadways will have hard core laid in them to stop vehicles slipping through out the course of the project and if they are to become permanent roads they will be tarmac also. To compress the hard core a role will be required to produce a solid level surface that is easy for large wagons delivering goods to use.


A dumper is a four-wheeled open vehicle used to move bulk material on industrial job sites or for smaller construction and landscaping jobs. Often referred to as power buggies, these vehicles help in a variety of tasks such as concrete pouring and dumping, construction debris removal, landscaping, and on-site tool and equipment transportation. These vehicles are also used in cemeteries, golf courses and nurseries. The load skip is integrated in front of the driver and is used to dump the load. This is why the machine is known as a “dumper”.

Initially, dumpers were rear wheel drive vehicles. This diesel operated engine was started by hand cranking, while the skip was secured by the driver's feet. As soon as the catch was released, it would be emptied at the desired place and raised by hand again. A modern day dumper can have a capacity of up to 10 tonnes. The dumper has a multi-cylinder diesel engine or a turbocharged engine. They have an electric start with hydraulics for tipping and steering. A dumper may have various features such as the ROPS (Roll-Over Protection) frame and FOPS (Falling Object Protection). Some dumpers have lifting skips that help discharging the material above ground level.

Buying Versus Hiring

I feel it would be worth while for the contractor to buy the items of plant that would be used regularly on all sites. Therefore they can use them for other jobs. These pieces of plant would include a backhoe, small cement mixers, and generators.

Plant such as large excavators, rollers, cranes and impact crushers would be hired. This is because it wouldn't be cost effect to buy these and they wouldn't be used regularly, which also means storage facilities would have to be supplied.


A master program will have been established during brief development at Stage 1, including the time that the design team assesses as reasonable for the construction process. This time period will be stated within the Construction Contract documentation, and it is the contractor's responsibility to arrange the progress and sequence of works, to achieve completion within this period. It is a normal contractual requirement for the contractor to develop a detailed construction programme, setting out the sequence and duration of all the different construction activities, and highlighting critical path elements associated with the construction process to ensure and demonstrate that expected delivery timescales are met In defining the construction period within the master programme, the client may also have identified whether there are any circumstances (relating say to financial or operational issues) whereby access to certain parts of the project will be necessary prior to formal completion and handover of the project as a whole. Any such requirements will need to be discussed and agreed with the appointed contractor (if not identified within the tender documents), as they may impact on intended progress and sequence of working.

In order to construct any facility, the main contractor will have to establish and co-ordinate a supply chain of sub-contractors, suppliers and specialists. Establishment of this chain will closely relate to the critical path element in the contractor's programme, ensuring timely availability and delivery of main construction elements such as steelwork, bricks, windows and doors, identifying goods and materials that require long lead times, and availability of sub-contract labour at the appropriate stage in the contract.

Forms of Low rise Building (Task 3A)

The choice of building types is more often than not the result of economic considerations, such as land values, land availability and the cost of infrastructure. However, each building type and combination of different types interacts with local environmental conditions in a different way, which affects both the microclimate around the building and that inside it.

Listed below are the concepts that should be taken into consideration when designing a building.

Human Comfort

Environmental efficiency




Low-rise construction is a structure made of just one or two storeys. These are the common forms of low rise construction in relation to there frame.

• Portal frame construction.

• Cross wall construction.

• The two forms of Timber Frame Construction which are Balloon Frame & Platform Frame.

• Cellular construction.

• Skeleton Frame construction.

• Brick and block

Portal Frame construction

This type of building, sometimes described as an 'umbrella' building, is usually constructed of steel portal frames (steel columns and rafters), spaced 4.8 to 6 m. apart and with a clear span of 10 to 30 m. The infill walls between the columns are filled with brick or concrete blocks and/or steel, fibre-cement or timber cladding, and the roof covered with steel or fibre-cement.

The advantages for PLOT J are:

· Rapid construction. The frame can be normally be erected in a day and the roof cladding in a week which then protects the site from the weather and allows walls, floors and internal fittings to be completed without interference from poor weather conditions.

· Clear space. Since the internal layout is independent of the walls and roof, any arrangement of internal divisions and fixtures can be accommodated.

· Versatility. The use of the building can be changed at any time to meet changing farming policies by simply removing or adding divisions.

This form of design reduces the bending moment in the beam which allows the frame to act as one structural unit. The beam transfers the stresses of the load to the column; this can cause movement at the foundation, this can be overcome by the installation of a hinge joint. This would allow free rotation to take place at the point of fixity. Portal frames are primarily used in single storey construction as it provides unobstructed space between the floor level and rafters.

Cross wall construction

Cross-wall is a generic method of building construction using a series of division or party walls which transfer the floor loads through the building to foundation or transfer slab level. The cross-wall system generally utilises stair cores and lift cores for overall stability, using the floors as stiff diaphragms for the transmittal of horizontal forces into shear walls located at staircase and lift shaft positions. The floors are made up of hollow core, solid slab, or composite construction.

This type of construction is suitable for structures up to five storeys high. For a build such as a motel as proposed on PLOT J. Due to this form of construction being highly efficient. An ideal material for cross walls construction is dense cast in situ concrete.

Timber Frame Construction

Timber frame construction is a method of construction that uses timber studs and rails, together with a wood based sheathing, to form a structural frame which transmits all vertical and horizontal loads to the foundations. The external cladding is used purely for wind protection and waterproofing which is not load bearing.

Generally in the UK we use factory manufactured wall frames and roof trusses when using the timber frame construction method. The extent of factory prefabrication can and does vary considerably; from so called ‘open panels' consisting of simple sheathed stud panels with a breather membrane, to ‘closed panels' which include insulation and internal linings and may also include components such as joinery and sometimes also cladding. Floors and roof panels may also be factory-prefabricated as open panels with simple joists or rafters and sheathing panels, or as closed panels with insulation, linings etc fitted in the factory. The selection of an appropriate arrangement is an early decision in the design process.

Timber frame primarily developed in the UK for house building although it is also widely used for buildings such as hotels, hostels, clinics, nursing homes, student accommodation, offices and similar structures.

Platform frame is the most commonly used method in the UK. Each storey is framed with floor-to-ceiling height panels and the floor deck of one floor becomes the erection platform of the next.

The prefabricated wall panels can be either small units (up to approximately 3.6 m in length), designed to be manhandled into place or up to full elevation-width panels incorporating ancillary components for placing with a crane.

Floor-to-floor panel frame: this is an erection method whereby the wall panels (except for the topmost storey) are floor-to-floor, or storey height, rather than floor-to-ceiling and the intermediate floors are hung inside the wall panel. This reduces cross-sectional shrinkage of timber in the external wall and enables the insulation and vapour control layer to be continuous up the wall face.

Volumetric: involves the factory fabrication of box units which can form individual rooms, or larger spaces complete with finishes and services and which require crane erection. This is best suited to repetitive units, such as hotels, hostels or nursing homes.

Post and beam: comprises a load bearing system of posts and beams with lightweight timber or glazed infill panels. In the UK, this tends to be used in the specialist 'traditional appearance' market but there are modern timber frame systems using post and beam elsewhere in Europe.

Skeleton frame construction

Skeleton frame construction predominantly uses a steel structure. This comprises of a series of rectangular frames placed at right angles to one another in order to transmit a load from one member to the next, then projected onto the foundation. Skeleton frames consist of either one of two materials which are either concrete or steel (although timber can be used). The choice of which material may depend on a series of different considerations, these include cost implications, timescale, availability of labour, site conditions.

The frame needs to be protected from fire because steel softens at high temperature and this can cause the building to partially collapse. In the case of the columns this is usually done by encasing it in some form of fire resistant structure such as masonry, concrete or plasterboard. The beams may be cased in concrete, plasterboard or sprayed with a coating to insulate it from the heat of the fire or it can be protected by a fire resistant ceiling construction.

The exterior "skin" of the building is anchored to the frame using a variety of construction techniques and following a huge variety of architectural styles. Bricks, stone, reinforced concrete, architectural glass, sheet metal and simply paint have been used to cover the frame to protect the steel from the weather.

Cellular Construction/Box Construction

This is a method of building with concrete in which individual cells, or rooms, are set horizontally and vertically together to create an overall structural frame. Because the main weight of the building is carried through the cross walls, they must be sufficiently thick to carry their own weight as well as loads from above, and so the potential height of a structure built in this manner is limited.

This structure proves to be rigid, durable and stable, also it is a quick and effective form of construction and the rooms can be easily divided up. With each of the walls being of load bearing quality this furthers the expense of the building. A cellular structure building's walls usually comprise of cast in situ concrete.

I believe this form of construction would be ideal for our site on PLOT J. this is because when a building is prefabricated in factory conditions then there is huge difference in construction time. It also helps to prevent delays to the schedule due to unseen circumstances such as weather. Cellular construction is also very suitable for buildings such as motels and hotels because all of the rooms such as bathrooms, shower rooms etc can just be simply multiplied and uniformed.

However using this type of construction does tend to be very expensive as it takes a specialist fabrication firm to carry this out. Also if the contracted fabricator is unreliable then this will drastically slow down construction. Brick and Block

Brick and block super structure are often built upon strip foundations as each brick and block rests upon the foundation to transfer the load safely to the ground. Brick and block work is erected on site brick by brick, block by block. There are two main factors that affect the strength of brick and block work. The mix of mortar to hold the bricks and blocks together and the bond used. There are many different forms of bonds.

English Bond

This is bond is created by running a course of stretcher bond followed by a course of header bond alternatively. This bonding method is mainly used in a one brick thick wall - 215 mm wide. This is one of the strongest types of bond but also uses the most bricks, typically 89 bricks per m². The image below shows this bond.

Flemish Bond

This bond is formed by running a course of alternate stretchers and headers on each course which is then repeated in each successive course. This method is one of the more I pleasing bonds and is favoured for architectural effect. This method of bonding is not as strong as English bond it uses less bricks though. It uses approx 79 bricks per m².

Special Bonds

Flemish Garden Wall

This bond is created using one header to every three stretchers on each course, this is then repeated on subsequent course but ensuring in each case that no straight joints appear.

English Garden Wall Bond

This bond is created using a course of header bricks followed by three courses of stretcher bricks. It gives a better spread of imposed loads and also uses less bricks than English bond.

English cross bond

Rat Trap Bond

Uses bricks laid on their edge, with hollow pockets between each successive brick on each course. The pattern is then repeated in subsequent courses. This reduces the overall mass of the wall and also allows ventilation to take place in areas below floors etc.

Forms of construction to be used for buildings 3 and 4


Building 3

Timber Frame

Building 4

Brick & Block


In suitable environments, and/or with suitable protection, timber is extremely durable and can last indefinitely. However, poor specification, poor design and detailing can result in rapid degrade. The main agents of deterioration in timber are fungi, insects and ultra-violet radiation. Timber left exposed to the weather and light will lose its color and become grey and the surface may become woolly. Some form of protective finish is needed to maintain the bright appearance of timber when used either externally or internally. External finishes may be paints, exterior wood stains or varnishes. Preservative treatment in itself does not confer surface protection.

We have been using the Brick & block method in construction for many years, and it has been very efficient due to the low maintenance factor. The brick and block method has proven to last for hundreds of years therefore it is more than adequate for our purpose as the motel only has a life expectancy of 25 years

The only main problems involving the brick and block method are weathering by frost Brick and block work can be susceptible to frost heave and weathering of the bricks or stone depending on type of stone or brick. Lime stone is susceptible to weathering. The only other durability factor is that the brick mortar may need re-pointing now and again in order to keep its water tightness and also to prevent it from becoming structurally unsafe. However this does not need to be carried out often.


Diagonal bracing effectively triangulates critical parts of rectangular frame and resists the tendency of 4-pin structures to adopt a parallelogram or to 'rack'. Timber braces of adequate cross section will work in tension and compression and are often used as single braces eg knee braces to keep the construction simple and consistent. Thinner steel rods will buckle in compression but are useful as tensile cross bracing to achieve a lighter appearance, perhaps across a complete bay.

Brick and block work is ridged giving it good structural properties against deforming and warping.

Brick & block work is a solid form of superstructure, However if movement is the substructure take place unsightly cracks can apiary on the superstructure. It has been known for fronts of buildings to collapse due to this. The strength of the bricks will determine the dead loads, imposed loads and life loads.

Brick and block work is highly resistant to fire and can resist fire damage.

Human Comfort

Adding 30mm plasterboard to a timber frame construction generally gives good sound insulation however adding mineral wool into the cavity would give increased sound values.

And of course, the thermal efficiency of timber frame homes is legendary - providing homes that are very comfortable and require a lot less energy to heat. Timber frame developments regularly achieve ‘Very Good' and ‘Excellent' ratings under EcoHomes.

It is very important to make sure a timber frame building is properly ventilated to ensure that the timber doesn't rot. Also timber frame buildings can become very stuffy in warm climates, therefore correct ventilation is necessary to provide a comfortable living environment.

Brick & block has extremely good thermal values, especially when constructed using a cavity and insulation.

To provide adequate

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