29 Oct Mitigating delays
The two biggest causes of delay and unexpected costs are the weather and mismanagement. Whilst the weather is out of your control (although this could be a consideration for the start date of your project), mismanagement is something that can be mitigated to a greater extent. Take a look below at some of the impacts which may arise from severe weather conditions and mismanagement.
The most common forms of unforeseen costs after the Substructure and Pre-construction tend to be:
Bad weather in Q1 2018 cost the UK an estimated £1bn per day.
Construction Contracts do not always define adverse weather conditions, so it is down to the Contract Administrator to adjudicate, which could lead to disputes.
- What time of year is the project taking place? Are foundations being dug/ filled in overtly hot/cold weather? This is also something to be considered during the bricklaying phase.
- Cold weather
- Sub-zero temperatures make it impossible to lay bricks.
- Health & Safety; low temps. affect concentration and dexterity of workers in already high-risk environment.
- Transportation costs- Road conditions for deliveries. Similarly, if the site is muddy, it can be dangerous for truck drivers as well as other road users.
- Concrete doesn’t set below certain temps, affecting foundations, brickwork, screed.
- Hot and dry conditions
- Water in concrete and masonry evaporates too quickly
- Dry bricks absorb water in mortar, forming a weak bond
- Wet weather
- Trouble excavating
- Pumps to remove water
Mismanagement can be put down to poorly preparing and organising your professional team. Instructing experienced and reliable professionals is key to the success of a project.
- How active is the Architect in the project? – This is interlinked with what type of contract is used. Regardless, it is no doubt easier to build a project if the person who designed it is there to guide
- Has the Developer employed a professional Project Manager? Experience of Project Manager is central- the more complicated a project, the need for someone to coordinate the ideas from all parties and the logistics of the project (as described below). A good project manager will provide efficiencies in every aspect of a development.
- Organisation of the project manager- Do they have a clear idea of when things should be happening. Most often implication of poor organisation arises towards the end of the project, with Sub-Contractors working on top of each other and Utilities quotes not being provided.
- How hands on is the developer?
- It is important for all involved to have Clear Goals of what they want for the project. A changing of scope mid-project will understandably frustrate time and cost scales.
A well thought out utility plan is key to ensuring that delays are mitigated as much as possible.
- How difficult will it be to make connections to the development?
- This has been sighted as the most common cause of delay in construction projects.
- Thing that need to be thought about:
- Access, where the connections will be made. Existing infrastructure may have to be moved or closed temporarily.
- Route of the utilities, potential obstructions being considered.
- Contact with the relevant suppliers should have been made, quotes acquired, by the project manager/contractor as early as possible.