In most industries, there is a hierarchy of employment that exists, one of which has distinct lower, middle and upper tiers. A lot of these industries allow people to climb these ladders to positions with greater responsibility and authority.
With regards to the upper levels, they are generally considered to be roles that incorporate leadership and oversight. You are not only responsible for yourself, but for others as well.
Construction is an industry that prides itself on having a clear and concise chain of command. And why doubt this? The industry is one of the largest in Australia, as it has a direct impact on the growth and prosperity of the nation.
Dealing with all kinds of construction projects, from major roads all the way to residential construction, means that the chain of command must be adhered to in order to ensure successful completion of projects.
The ones based in leadership roles often need to be skilled in construction management to make sure all processes are followed and no stone is left unturned.
Construction management is a professional service that provides oversight and management of construction projects from inception all the way to completion and delivery. Many make the assumption it is a simplified role of responsibility but this is far from the case. Construction management involves accounting for planning, design, construction etc. as well as managing resources, delegating tasks etc.
Construction management is carried out by a construction manager. To describe this role in simple terms,the most important part of being a construction manager involves planning. You can be skilled at leading a group of people, or discussing ideas with other professions. But if you do not have a plan in place to execute ideas and maximise time and efficiency, you can guarantee that slip ups will inevitably occur.
This is why construction management plans are crucial to the delivery of projects. Having a fool-proof plan in place is key to completing a project on time and within budget. But what exactly is a construction management plan?
A construction management plan details the process and nature of a construction project. This could incorporate many factors, such as the work that will be carried out, the itinerary for each day, the amount of labour scheduled etc. Essentially, it is supposed to encompass an entire project so as to make sure everything is accounted for in the end.
There are certain things to consider when developing a construction management plan. This is to certify that your plan is fit for use in a construction environment. For instance, one of the more pressing matters to tend to is following codes of practice. Codes of practice can vary depending on the area you are performing construction. The general rule of thumb is that codes of practice will cover areas such as:
- public safety, amenity and site security
- permitted hours of building work
- noise and vibration controls
- air and dust management
- stormwater and sediment control
- waste and materials reuse
Larger construction projects may also need to take extra consideration with regards to traffic controls. Having a traffic management plan in place goes a long way to making sure there are no safety hazards for pedestrians.
Permits may also need to be considered as part of a construction management plan. This ties into the previous point on pedestrians. Some construction projects bleed out into the public, affecting surrounding areas from functioning as they normally would. You would realistically need to obtain permits for things that will impact the public. Such permits include:
- Vehicle Crossing
- Road Opening/Drainage connections works
- Occupy Road/Council land
- Tree removal/Landscaping
It could even be said that the overarching reason for the existence of construction management plans is to minimise impact to the public and public facilities. This is further evidenced by the fact that a construction management plan needs to be submitted to a relevant authority.
A construction management plan also has a checklist of items that need to be checked off to be approved. Some of the factors to consider when developing a plan are listed below:
- Detail the scope of the works to be completed including details of the various stages, e.g. Demolition, Excavation, Construction etc. and the duration of each stage.
- Identify local traffic routes to be used by construction vehicles.
- Identify ways to manage construction works to address impacts on local traffic routes.
- Detail how construction workers will travel to and from the site and parking arrangements for those that drive.
- Identify any proposed road closures, temporary traffic routes, loss of pedestrian or cyclist access or reversing manoeuvres onto a public road and provide Traffic Control Plans (TCPs) prepared by an accredited RMS Red or Orange card holder to manage these temporary changes.
The items discussed above relate to the mechanisms behind construction management. But what about the process of planning? What is entailed in this?
When it comes to planning in construction management, there are certain stages that need to be passed through to smooth the operation. These include:
- Feasibility and design: goals and objectives are identified, and the decisions regarding use and purpose are deliberated upon. Schematics, design development and contract documents are considered.
- Pre-construction: a notice to proceed is given, and a project team is assigned.
- Procurement: labour, materials and equipment are purchased. Can be obtained through contractors or subcontractors.
- Construction: the final stage where everything comes together and the actual project commences.
There are also different types of construction management plans that exist. There are main types of construction management plans. These include:
- An overall plan: this is a generalised and wholesale plan used to extensively map out a construction project from start to finish. It has the largest scope as it is designed to give general details to all participants.
- Detailed building plan: this plan outlines tasks, schedules and costs within a project, which provide further information as to how the project will be completed.
- A plan that is related to the impact of a project on surrounding areas and how this will be accounted for.
Construction management plans are meant to be comprehensive and concise, and having a well detailed plan in place ensures a project can be completed on time and within budget.
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