in categories: project management
Building projects can be so complex that it’s easy to lose sight of the primary objective: to deliver a building that is efficient, fit-for-purpose, safe and comfortable for the people that work in or visit it.
There are five key elements to delivering a building that meets all of these requirements:
1. Concentrate on whole-life value, not just initial capital costs
Budgets are often tight, so it is tempting to cut costs at the outset. The problem with this approach is that if you over-do cost cutting it can be difficult to deliver within the overall budget.
Another unintended consequence is that buildings that are cheap at the outset are often much more expensive to run in the long term.
2. Identify the needs of various groups of users of the building and make sure they are “in balance”.
It is important to consult all stakeholders and accommodate their needs, without giving precedence to “those who shout loudest”.
In a health building for example, this means discussing requirements with medical staff, nurses, administrative staff, finance, estates and maintenance and patient groups (such as Friends of the Hospital).
In education buildings it will include Management, Finance, Administration, Teaching staff and students.
3. When you have established a budget, stick to it!
The most important thing to get under control is changes during design or construction, because they almost always cost more than the original design and also cause delays which exacerbate the additional costs.
Change control processes, which include the advantages, disadvantages and the costs of proposed changes are vital. (It can often be better to delay changes until a building has been handed over).
4. Communicate clearly throughout the project
Many users involved in building projects are not experienced in the process and may have difficulty in understanding drawings and understanding the technical terms involved.
It is the responsibility of a Project Manager and Design Team to ensure that everything is explained to stakeholders and to ensure that they are kept well informed.
5. Handover the building efficiently
A complex building may be difficult for staff to find their way around. It is important that everybody can use or maintain the equipment effectively before the building is used to full capacity.
A proper programme for handover is essential including tours, familiarisation and training.
Living and working in effective and efficient buildings is an essential to people's wellbeing, therefore the importance of user satisfaction cannot be underestimated.
by Robert Davis
| 12/08/2016 14:00 |comments powered by Disqus