Construction Management

    Functions
    The functions of Construction management typically include the following:

    • Specifying project objectives and plans including delineation of scope, budgeting, scheduling, setting performance requirements, and selecting project participants.
    • Maximizing the resource efficiency through procurement of labor, materials and equipment.
    • Implementing various operations through proper coordination and control of planning, design, estimating, contracting and construction in the entire process.
    • Developing effective communications and mechanisms for resolving conflicts.

    The Construction Management Association of America (a US construction management certification and advocacy body) says the 120 most common responsibilities of a Construction Manager fall into the following 7 categories: Project Management Planning, Cost Management, Time Management, Quality Management, Contract Administration, Safety Management, and CM Professional Practice. CM professional practice includes specific activities, such as defining the responsibilities and management structure of the project management team, organizing and leading by implementing project controls, defining roles and responsibilities, developing communication protocols, and identifying elements of project design and construction likely to give rise to disputes and claims.
    The Five Types of Construction

    • Residential: Residential house is for society including individual homes, apartments, condominiums, and townhouses.
    • Commercial: This refers to construction dealing with the needs of commerce, trade, and government. Examples include shopping centers, schools, banks, hospitals, theaters, and government buildings.
    • Heavy Civil: The construction of transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railroads, tunnels, and airports. Dams are also included here, but other water-related infrastructure is considered environmental.
    • Industrial: Buildings and other constructed items used for product production, including chemical plants, steel mills, oil refineries, manufacturing plants, and pipelines.
    • Environmental: Environmental used to be part of heavy civil, but it now has its own section since it deals with projects that improve the environment. Some examples are sanitary sewers, waste management, and clean water.
    • Planning Engineer
    • Project coordinator
    • Field Engineer
    • Office Engineer
    • Quantity Surveyor
    • Project Engineer
    • Area Superintendent
    • Project Superintendent
    • Project Manager
    • Estimator
    • Lead Estimator
    • Senior Estimator
    • Chief Estimator
    • Project Executive

    Obtaining the Project
    Bids

    • A bid is given to the owner by construction managers that are willing to complete their construction project. A bid tells the owner how much money they should expect to pay the construction management company in order for them to complete the project.
    • Open Bid: An open bid is used for public projects. Any and all contractors are allowed to submit their bid due to public advertising.
    • Closed Bid: A closed bid is used for private projects. A selection of contractors are sent an invitation for bid so only they can submit a bid for the specified project.

    Selection Methods

    • Low-bid selection: This selection focuses on the price of a project. Multiple construction management companies submit a bid to the owner that is the lowest amount they are willing to do the job for. Then the owner usually chooses the company with the lowest bid to complete the job for them.
    • Best-value selection: This selection focuses on both the price and qualifications of the contractors submitting bids. This means that the owner chooses the contractor with the best price and the best qualifications. The owner decides by using a request for proposal (RFP), which provides the owner with the contractor’s exact form of scheduling and budgeting that the contractor expects to use for the project.
    • Qualifications-based selection: This selection is used when the owner decides to choose the contractor only on the basis of their qualifications. The owner then uses a request for qualifications (RFQ), which provides the owner with the contractor’s experience, management plans, project organization, and budget and schedule performance. The owner may also ask for safety records and individual credentials of their members.

    Payment Contracts

    • Lump-sum: This is the most common type of contract. The construction manager and the owner agree on the overall cost of the construction project and the owner is responsible for paying that amount whether the construction project exceeds or falls below the agreed price of payment.
    • Cost-Plus-Fee: This contract provides payment for the contractor including the total cost of the project as well as a fixed fee or percentage of the total cost. This contract is beneficial to the contractor since any additional costs will be paid for even though they were unexpected for the owner.
    • Guaranteed Maximum Price: This contract is the same as the cost-plus-fee contract although there is a set price that the overall cost and fee do not go above.
    • Unit-Price: This contract is used when the cost cannot be determined ahead of time. The owner provides materials with a specific unit price to limit spending.

    Project stages
    PART ONE: DESIGNThe design stage contains a lot of steps: programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development, and contract documents. It is the responsibility of the design team to ensure that the design meets all building codes and regulations. It is during the design stage that the bidding process takes place.

    • Programming and feasibility: The needs, goals, and objectives must be determined for the building. Decisions must be made on the building size, number of rooms, how the space will be used, and who will be using the space. This must all be considered to begin the actual designing of the building.
    • Schematic design: Schematic designs are sketches used to identify spaces, shapes, and patterns. Materials, sizes, colors, and textures must be considered in the sketches.
    • Design development (DD): This step requires research and investigation into what materials and equipment will be used as well as their cost.

    PART TWO CONTRACT DOCUMENTS: Contract documents are the final drawings and specifications of the construction project. They are used by contractors to determine their bid while builders use them for the construction process. Contract documents can also be called working drawings.
    PART THREE PRE-CONSTRUCTION:The pre-construction stage begins when the owner gives a notice to proceed to the contractor that they have chosen through the bidding process. A notice to proceed is when the owner gives permission to the contractor to begin their work on the project. The first step is to assign the project team which includes the project manager (PM), contract administrator, superintendent, and field engineer.

    • Project manager: The project manager is in charge of the project team.
    • Contract administrator: The contract administrator assists the project manager as well as the superintendent with the details of the construction contract.
    • Superintendent: It is the superintendent’s job to make sure everything is on schedule including flow of materials, deliveries, and equipment. They are also in charge of coordinating on-site construction activities.
    • Field Engineer: A field engineer is considered an entry-level position and is responsible for paperwork.

    During the pre-construction stage, a site investigation must take place. A site investigation takes place to discover if any steps need to be implemented on the job site. This is in order to get the site ready before the actual construction begins. This also includes any unforeseen conditions such as historical artifacts or environment problems. A soil test must be done to determine if the soil is in good condition to be built upon.
    Procurement
    The procurement stage is when labor, materials and equipment needed to complete the project are purchased. This can be done by the general contractor if the company does all their own construction work. If the contractor does not do their own work, they obtain it through subcontractors.
    Subcontractors are contractors who specialize in one particular aspect of the construction work such as concrete, melding, glass, or carpentry. Subcontractors are hired the same way a general contractor would be, which is through the bidding process. Purchase orders are also part of the procurement stage.