When dealing with a construction project, you should ensure that everything is seamless leave no room for mistakes in the overall design. To achieve this, you have to go through the whole process before getting started on the actual construction. This is where the concept of constructability comes in handy.
Constructability is a relatively new concept and is yet to be embraced by many contractors in the industry. However, it is the ultimate game-changer in project management when it comes to the construction field. You cannot go wrong with this practice as it will make your work faster, easier, and simpler in every way you can think of.
In this article, we will delve deeper and uncover the concept of constructability in project management, how to approach it and what benefits it has to offer. We will also include a few examples to offer more insight into this concept. If you are looking to maximize your project’s efficiency while minimizing waste and finishing your project in good time, stick to the end of this article. I hope this article is insightful and enables you to have an easier time working on your next construction project.
What is Constructability?
Constructability is a tool in project management used in the construction field to run through the whole process before getting started with the construction. The purpose of doing this is to prevent and minimize any chances of having errors, going beyond the budget, and also allow you to estimate the time you will need for the project. This is because it helps to identify any possible hurdles or obstacles before beginning your project and gives you time to look for ways to curb them.
You need to have a constructability program in place as early as the planning phase of your project. This is important as it helps you plan and have a budget in place that will also take care of any extra costs. It would help if you also stuck to the constructability plan to the project’s end for accountability purposes. It will also enable you to meet your deliverables with ease.
Concept of Constructability
The constructability technique was introduced into the field of construction to ensure that the knowledge and experience gained are used in the initial planning stages to achieve the best results. The project owner is the one to drive the constructability since, at the planning stage, the constructors are yet to be brought in.
It benefits not only the project’s owner but the contractor as well. It helps cut down on the construction expenses, improves the work quality, and enables the owner and contractor to have a safety and risk management plan in force.
While coming up with a constructability program, you need to ensure that it meets certain criteria. Firstly, it should offer you the easiest way of completing your project while achieving all deliverables. It also needs to ensure that it incorporates all the knowledge and experience gained in the field into the planning phase to ensure that the best means are used for the project, and the best results are attained. Lastly, the constructability plan needs to help curb environmental pollution. This means that, during the implementation and actual construction, the building should have minimal impact on the environment.
Now that you know what constructability is in project management, how exactly do you apply it into practice? This can be a bit tricky to navigate, especially if it is your first time using a constructability concept—however, you do not have to worry as you will soon get the hang of it. As mentioned before, you should ensure that the constructability program you come up with during the planning stage is what you stick with to the completion of your project.
I suggest that you have a checklist with you as this will make the work easier. This is especially important if it is your first project or you are a beginner. For each phase of the project, as all you will have to do is tick off the related deliverables. This will enable you to save on costs, make the process efficient while still achieving your objectives. For a better understanding, let us break down how the constructability concept would come into effect in real practice.
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1. The Design
Here, the constructability program will check and ensure that the design is realistic and it is something that can actually be built. The project owner, the contractors, and the architects would all need to be on the same page. Therefore, the contractors should check with the architects to make sure that they do not get carried away and that the design is practical.
You also need to examine and review the budget you have allocated to the design and if you will need more funds for it. Do not also forget to review the timeframe given for the whole project and consult with all the involved parties if there would be enough time or go beyond the scheduled time to complete the project.
2. The Planning Phase
It is at the planning stage that you get a bit more into the requirements for the project. It would be best to consider the materials needed to come up with the envisioned design. It is crucial that you settle on the most cost-effective materials without compromising on the design. You also get to consider and decide on the equipment required for the construction process. It would be best to cut down on all the luxurious tools that the project can do without avoiding going overboard with the budget.
While planning, I suggest that you go for a tool or equipment that will be able to perform many functions. For instance, cut down on having many tractors for different roles and hire one to perform all the needed functions. This will be cheaper and cost-friendly in the long run. The client/ project’s owner should also consider the type of soil in the intended construction site and the possible ways in which it could impact the building.
3. Construction Process
During the construction process, you need to keep tabs on the contractor. This is to enable you know how they are fairing in terms of time. You need to check whether they are falling behind schedule or doing good. If they are behind schedule, you should find out what is holding them back and what can be done to improve the situation.
You should also check to see if the design you had envisioned is being brought to life and if your expectations are being met. Keep in mind that constructability helps you ensure that the construction causes the least impact on the environment. Therefore, remember to follow up with the contractors to know how any construction waste is handled. Finally, even as the construction process is ongoing, it won’t hurt to check if there are any expensive equipment on site that are unnecessary and eliminate them. This will help a great deal in significantly reducing the cost of the project.
Importance of Using Constructability in Project Management
Using constructability in your project management exercise already puts you ahead of so many other contractors who do not. Constructability guarantees you efficiency in your project. This is because the communication is made clear, and it is easier for all parties to agree when every party’s expectations are expressed.
You can also save on costs and stick to the budget since are every stage, you get to examine anything causing unnecessary expenditure and cut down on it. It is also easier to complete the project on schedule or even before. This is because you can keep tabs on the contractor and how they are doing throughout the whole process. This builds and boosts your reputation and allows you to take upon many more projects, thus making you more money.
Constructability also offers you the opportunity to consciously take care of the environment by ensuring that any waste from the construction is properly managed and disposed of.
Examples of Constructability
Constructability touches on all aspects of the project to ensure that everything runs smoothly and meets the deliverables. Some of these aspects are:
This refers to the time that is allocated to the project—the period in which it is expected to run until completion. There should be clear deadlines given to the contractors upon which they should hand in their deliverables. This is to avoid any delays in the project, and in case of any, they should be explained and accounted for.
The client should have a budget they are working with. It will be up to the contractor to stick to the budget and deliver. However, the project’s owner should also hand in a practical design that can be accomplished with the budget they have to meet their expectations. The contractor should also cut down on any unnecessary expenditure to stick to the budget, and if they can spend even less, the better. Any expenditure beyond the allocated funds should only be there if necessary and must be well explained.
Constructability is wired towards safety and risk management. During the planning phase, any risks involved during the construction process should be considered and safety measures put in place. This ensures that in case of an accident during the construction, the injured persons will be well taken care of. The risk management plan is meant to reduce the risks involved in the process.
4. Detailed Design
Having a detailed design comes to the core of constructability. A detailed design informs the client of the budget they should have to see their project through while communicating their expectations to the contractor.
This design will also dictate the material needed and inform if the client’s site would be suitable for the design.
5. Equipment Requirements
Constructability allows you the opportunity to think about and examine all the tools and equipment required for undertaking the project. Here, you will be required to only go for equipment that will get the job done, and if equipment can perform various tasks, the better. This is to cut down on costs while maximizing efficiency.
Constructability also helps with sourcing the material needed for the project and the personnel that will be required. This is excellent for accountability purposes and transparency. It also makes it easy only to acquire what is necessary, thereby reducing the costs.
7. Project Management Team Organization
The team that gets to work is also taken into account by constructability. By doing so, only the best and qualified get to work on the project, which in turn guarantees the best results.
8. Environmental Impact
The practice of constructability ensures that your construction project causes minimal impact on the environment to reduce pollution. It achieves this by ensuring that every waste from every phase of the project is managed and handled properly. It also looks to ensure that the materials used result in minimal waste.
Although the concept of constructability is still new in project management, it is never too early to jump on the bandwagon. This concept offers you the best out of your project and simplifies everything. It enables you to stick to your budget and cut down on unnecessary expenditure. You are also able to deliver within the schedule, which increases your efficiency. Even though construction poses a big risk to the environment, constructability practice ensures that your project’s impact on the environment is minimized.
Constructability does not only offer you conceptual benefits but physical ones as well. The impact on the environment is much less for a project that uses constructability than one that does not. Therefore, if you care for the environment, this is definitely the way to go. When you finish your projects in good time and your deliverables meet the client’s expectations, you get paid in good time, and you can take up other projects. I urge you to take advantage of this technique to improve your delivery. You will not regret it!