There’s normally more than one method that a project can be constructed, but often some methods will be safer and more efficient than others. Time spent understanding the project and the site conditions as well as the available resources and their capabilities and then analyzing the suitability of different construction methodologies will result in the best construction method being selected which is appropriate for the project, and which can deliver the project efficiently, safely and within the specified time. Methodologies that worked on another project may not be the best for the next project.
What to consider when deciding on a construction methodology
Some factors to consider when deciding on the construction methods are:
- the workers’ safety during construction
- The safety of neighbors, the public, the customer’s workers and other contractors
- the facility or structure to be built
- the project schedule, including when access and information will be available,
- costs of resources (for example in some areas labor costs are high so it’s advisable to reduce the amount of labor required by using more machinery or proposing precast solutions)
- the customer’s design (some methods may require the design to be modified which could result in additional design costs)
- restraints imposed by the customer such as:
- their access requirements
- the availability of services
- coordinating with their other contractors
- access to work areas
- tie-in and disruption of existing services, processes and traffic
- restrictions on imports
- utilization of local resources
- the availability of:
- skilled workers
- services such as power and water
- the site conditions such as:
- topography (for example steeply sloped sites may make it difficult to set-up cranes)
- ground conditions (for example unstable ground or rock may dictate the rate of progress, the schedule and the type of equipment)
- access to the site (for example the roads may have load limitations which limit the size of equipment or items which can be brought to the site)
- traffic on and around the site which could slow deliveries or limit the hours of work
- congestion on the site and around the site (for example cranes required to place heavy equipment might not be able to be set-up close to structures)
- the location of the work area (for example it may be elevated which would restrict access to personnel and materials)
- what methods the contractor’s personnel are used to, as well as their level of skill.
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