The goal of any construction manager is to complete a project on time and within budget. And as construction is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, managers put a lot of time and effort into planning a construction project. Planning is the most important part as this is where project guidelines are outlined. It also helps companies manage their budget more efficiently and ultimately save money. In this blog, we will cover four aspects construction managers need to factor in to ensure the success of their construction projects.
4 Factors to Consider for Successful Building Construction
Preparing an accurate building layout is as important as laying the foundation. The building layout is the core plan used by different contractors, such as builders, plumbers, MIG welders, electricians etc., throughout the project. An inaccurate building layout can lead to a domino effect in erecting a building. If managers overlook the flaws at the onset of the project, any subsequent installation of a wall, pillar or other bearing structure will suffer, resulting in the project exceeding the allocated budget and extended timelines.
A building layout should not be confused with a building plan. A building layout is done on the ground surface to show the building’s position and orientation with respect to the ground. A building plan is drawn to scale on a sheet of paper and can include units like a site plan, floor plan, elevation and landscape plans.
As building layout is the core of any construction project, finding a reliable and experienced architect to draft an accurate building layout is crucial. Managers also need to make sure the architect they chose knows the specifics of the niche, e.g. commercial/residential construction. It is imperative to research different architectural bureaus that have experience drafting commercial or residential building layouts. Asking for estimates to further narrow the choices will also help make the right decision.
2 Selection of Right Materials
Sacrificing the quality and suitability of the materials is not always a good way to save money. Some materials with a lower price tag may be inferior in quality than the more expensive ones. However, it’s suitability that plays the core role here. All construction managers are responsible for making sure the materials they choose are suitable for the project. Some of the most common base materials used in construction are concrete, steel, brick, stone and wood. Some commercial construction projects may incorporate aluminum, construction foam and glass. Let’s further explore the use of materials in construction using the example of concrete.
Concrete is one of the sturdiest materials. It is a composite that can change its properties depending on the scope of application (e.g. lightweight concrete or waterproof concrete). These properties are achieved through curing – the process of maintaining necessary moisture and temperature conditions at depth and near the surface of the material. Curing is necessary for maintaining an adequate amount of moisture within the material to ensure its strength, volume stability, resistance to abrasion, scaling, and various weather conditions – all to maximize the material’s longevity. Stable temperature measurements of the concrete are the primary indicator that the curing process is going well. Thus, it is important to use high-precision temperature sensors to get the most accurate results. If concrete is not cured properly or if the humidity and temperature conditions were not observed, the stability of the building may be affected in the long run, e.g.the building will suffer cracks & shrinkage.
3 Finding a contractor with the right specialization
There is a myriad of contractors out there. It is important to hire contractors with the right specialization, especially for those who run small construction businesses, and hire other specialists to complete the project at various stages. For instance, residential construction projects often involve a lot of structural welding using MIG welders. This especially applies to highrise buildings where a lot of metal joints have to be welded to ensure the integrity and stability of the structural frameworks. It is recommended to hire a contractor with a track record in a given construction field (residential or commercial). This will reassure that the project is in the hands of a professional.
Another type of contractor that a construction project may require are window installers. As windows are an integral part of any residential or commercial building, the installation must be done right. It is recommended to look for contractors with extensive experience in window installation. Reading reviews and asking peers around for recommendations will ease the choice-making process.
4 Ensuring safety compliance from the construction company
Safety must be the number one priority for all contractors. A contractor that strictly follows safety rules on the job site not only ensures a safe work environment for the workers and improves credibility, but also ensures the business’s good standing among clients. Whether it’s a small business working with different contractors or an individual looking to hire a construction company to do the work, it is important to ask if the chosen contractor has the required safety certificates and is registered with WSIB.
Construction projects require a lot of planning before the actual work begins. Managers in construction must approach their projects responsibly as this is what underpins the future integrity and safety of the structure. These five factors can act as a project planning guide for managers. If you are a construction manager struggling with preparing a project schedule, read our blog on the eight methods to enhance construction project scheduling.
- What are the types of construction?
Construction buildings can be classified according to owners, materials used or types of structures. There is also another way to categorize different construction buildings by the level of fire resistance.
- Fire-resistive Type I – The #1 feature of fire-resistive buildings is their height – they are all 75 feet or higher. These buildings feature reinforced concrete and protected steel, so they can easily withstand high temperatures for a long time. Fire-resistive buildings are very durable, but this also makes them more expensive.
- Non-combustible Type II – Type II structures have non-combustible walls, columns, floors and partitions. However, because they don’t have a fire-resistive coating, they are more prone to collapsing. If a fire were to burst in a building like this, the first thing to do would be to ensure good building ventilation to prevent the temperature from rising and the structure from collapsing.
- Ordinary Type III – Type III structures have brick or block walls with a wooden roof or floor assembly – the two parts that are the most prone to catching fire. These structures can have vertical ventilation. Most older homes fall under the category of type III buildings.
- Heavy Timber Type IV – In heavy timber type IV buildings, the exterior walls and interior elements are non-combustible. These structures must meet certain dimensional requirements: wood columns, beams and girders need to be at least 8 inches thick, and roof & floor planks need to be 6 inches thick or more. Type IV buildings don’t collapse easily during fire thanks to their structural mass.
- Wood-framed Type V – Type V structures are the most flammable on the list. Type V buildings are almost entirely wood-made. Some wooden buildings contain exposed wooden parts. If a building like this catches fire, it will burn out in minutes.
What are the three components of a construction project?
Completing a construction project involves many stages. From drafting a plan to laying that last piece of tile, every stage requires the highest level of precision and responsibility. The following are the three crucial components of a construction project:
Scope. Defining the scope of work is important to avoid stumbling onto any project blocks after the start of the construction. Aside from discussing the budget and timelines, it is imperative to bring up questions like “Is there enough power to supply all the electrical appliances necessary for the project?”, “Do I have all the permits from the municipality to fulfill the work?”, “Is the land soil suitable for this type of building?” etc. Answering these questions before commencing the construction project will help avoid many unpredictable situations.
Schedule. Setting up timelines and milestones will ensure a stable advancement of the project. However, it is also crucial to set a schedule that is realistic and reasonable. Missed milestones will result in shifts in project completion dates which can further carry out implications throughout the construction project.
Budget. A well-planned budget will help companies save time and money and ensure timely project completion. It is critical to understand that budget planning is done on the basis of a well-defined project scope and schedule.
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