"Completing a construction project successfully requires a team effort"
When construction projects don’t go according to plan the contractor is often blamed for the problems. However, completing a construction project successfully requires a team effort between the client/owner, designers, the client’s appointed project manager (if there is one), the main contractor and their subcontractors. Failure by one of the parties can lead to the project not achieving its outcomes.
Last week I published an article; ‘how can clients ensure their projects meet their expectations?’ In this week's article I would like to focus on the role of the designers. Here I include architects, engineers of various disciplines, landscape architects, interior designers, etc. In some cases the architect or engineer may also be appointed as the client’s principle agent which may require them to fulfil an overall project management role, but, I’ll focus on this in my next article How can the owner's Project Manager ensure the success of their construction project..
What can designers do to ensure the successful outcome of their construction projects?
I’m sure we have all been on construction projects where drawings have arrived late, changes have been made to completed work which then required rework and projects that have been difficult and expensive to construct because the design hasn’t taken cognisance of the local conditions. We have probably also seen grandiose projects which have been inappropriate to the client’s needs and brief. Often this is a result of a poor or weak design team.
So how can designers assist to ensure projects successfully achieve their outcomes?
"Designers must ensure that they and the client are both on the same page with common project expectations"
"Designers must realise that it is their name on the project."
Recently I presented a webinar on ethics in construction. This webinar dealt more than just with normal fraud and corruption. I illustrated how delivering poor quality was also poor ethics. I also discussed how poor designs which did not meet standards and specifications, designs that were flawed, and designs which were not fit for purpose was bad ethics by designers.
At the end of the webinar a designer posed a question and stated that often designers were forced by clients/owners to compromise the design, cut costs, and take short cuts. What could designers do in these cases.
My answer was simple. When problems develop later after project completion usually the contractor is blamed and called back to fix the issue. If the contractor can prove it's a design fault then the designer will be held liable. Fixing a design issue will cost the designer, whether that's directly or through their insurance. Blaming the client for a design fault which arose because the client insisted the designer reduce costs and compromise the design will never be accepted as a legitimate excuse, or help the designer avoid liability for the problem.
Designers must realise that it is their name on the finished project. The project will stand as an advertisement for their work. Who wants to employ a designer that delivers projects which blight the neighbourhood? Who wants to be known as a designer that delivers substandard projects, perhaps projects that are unsafe or that don't meet acceptable standards?
No designer wants to be called back to a completed project that has problems - problems caused by a poor design or inadequate detailing.
Designers must be proud of their projects.
"Designers must become more discerning, understanding their clients, and understanding project budgets."
"Designers should promptly advise clients when changes to the design could impact the project budget"
An essential book for clients and their project managers.
Good design teams are invaluable to the success of construction projects
A well briefed and coordinated design team with the right skills can be invaluable to the success of a construction project. Having a substantially completed design available before construction starts usually allows the client to develop a more accurate budget, get more accurate pricing from contractors and results in fewer delays during construction.
#constructionprojectmanagement #constructiondesign #constructionmanagement
To read further on this topic visit: Improving construction productivity with Dr. George F. Jergeas
For other similar articles by the author read:
In construction it’s important to know your clients.
Do your construction materials meet specification and are you installers competent?
Will your construction project be completed on schedule?
(Written by Paul Netscher the author of the acclaimed books ‘Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide’ and ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’. Both books are available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and other retail outlets. This article includes information from a third book which will be published later this year. To see how Paul can help you visit: Construction Management Services)
© 2022 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
construction management construction project management
12/4/2021 09:07:38 pm
The facts that have been discussed here are really important. Thank you so much for sharing a great post.
12/4/2021 10:17:31 pm
Thank you for giving us a direct and straight to the point answer! It greatly helped in clearing our confusion.
1/3/2022 03:18:21 pm
The design should go through several stages of review to ensure that it meets the client's brief, that it complies with all codes and specifications, and that it is constructible.
28/9/2022 09:32:34 am
I like the tip that you gave that the changes to the design should be seen by the clients to prevent misunderstandings. I have a cousin who told me yesterday that he and his wife were planning to have their home remodeled, and he asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to make the most out of their home space. Thanks to this helpful article, I'll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if he consults a trusted building design service as they can figure out the best layout for his home.
26/4/2023 01:32:53 pm
Designers can make construction projects more successful by communicating clearly, collaborating with the project team, paying attention to detail, being flexible, and incorporating sustainable design principles.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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