Construction defect management – Risk analysis of causes and effects

A construction defect is generally a deficiency in the design or construction of the facility. A small construction defect can be destructive and lead to damage to the property and users. However, you can’t always detect this defect because while some are obvious, such as faulty drainage or water seepage,  most are not detected until years after finishing the building. The problem is, once the defect is there you can’t go back to change the causes, all you can do is try to find a solution to prevent the financial and material loss.

A leaking pipe under ground

A construction defect is not usually the outcome of a single cause, it’s interfering terms that combine to form this faulty work. You can’t suddenly say that a worker’s lack of experience was the sole cause of the defect. If the worker is not skilled it’s part of the organization’s responsibility to train him and to supervise his work on site to prevent these defects. Many causes combine to cause the defect at the end. However, there are some common factors that are counted as the main contributors to construction defect on site. For example, inexperienced workmanship, inaccurate measurement, inferior materials, and ineffective communication. What if you were told that construction defects will no longer be the biggest problem in your business? PlanRadar solves most of these obstacles by offering a defect monitoring platform that you can carry in your pocket.

What is the difference between the two main project management phases: planning and construction?

Have you ever got mixed up with construction management, construction planning, and the real facility construction phase steps?

Construction management is a wide sector that branches into two different time actions. First, construction planning, this action is done before starting the project as a predicting and scheduling study to every detail in it. Second, the construction phase, which is a field of work responsible for all the construction tasks and to manage every defect through the project. Know the steps needed to accomplish each of these phases with the aid of PlanRadar in the diagram below. If you think about past claims because of a damage in your property or project, we´ll show you why PlanRadar offers a more consistent coverage than any insurance. Learn how to avoid liability issues and legal difficulties by using our guidance and software.

Chart about the correlation between construction management, construction planning and the construction phase

How to manage a construction project step by step

Construction management can be defined as the supervising tool on the project from the early stages until the project delivery. The main purpose why construction projects need to be managed is to fulfill the owner’s satisfaction with the project. A successful construction project is the result of proper management of cost and time schedules while preserving a high level of quality. The following are the most common steps implemented in the construction project management policy to reach this goal.

Project establishment is the first step, in this step, your focus will be on gathering the basic data such as the feasibility study results, project requirements and the client’s demands. From the previous data, you can start to make a detailed program of the project to be forwarded to the design team. Afterward, is the planning phase which includes finishing the architectural, structural, and mechanical plans and organizing time schedules and expenses of the project. To make the proper cost management plan, you need to check three main categories: Materials with specifications and quantities, equipment needed, and labor force fares. By finishing the project drawings and the planning phase you proceed to move to the project land to start the construction stage. In this stage, your project management plan will be executed. This phase practically is divided into two parallel processes, first is the construction task related, second is the monitoring and supervision of the workflow. The project manager’s main task here is defect management. The smartest thing you can do here is to choose a technology solution for documenting defects as PlanRadar. The software saves your time, costs, and minimizes your daily working tension. In the end, there is the construction punch list step, checking for any final defects in the project before being delivered to the client or his consultancy after finishing the warranty contracts.

After knowing the main management steps, we will now move on to the main two branches, to be explained in detail, starting with the preconstruction planning process.

Construction project planning steps

Construction project planning includes all the preconstruction phase tasks. This phase precisely is the cornerstone of the project. Providing a collaborative working environment to the all the project members is your main focus now as this will be your first barrier. In this step, you need to provide all relevant data as the project studies and prerequisites to both, the client and the designer. They coordinate to work on this data and statics and give it back to the project manager as a final decision. The project management then reviews these decisions according to the project budget, schedules, and quality standards. The preconstruction phases primary objective is to provide the customer with his needs and turn his vision of the project into reality. Despite there is no fixed process to the preconstruction planning as it depends on the project size and constructing company. Even though there are common main stages in most of these plans as:

  • Finishing and reviewing project drawings and descriptions
  • Project budget estimation
  • Value analysis
  • Calculation of quantities and specifications
  • Pre-construction logistics and sequencing documents
  • Bid distribution and contracts
  • Initial scheduling
  • Quality control and quality assurance planning
  • Risk assessment backup planning.

 

Finishing the preconstruction process is the green light to start the project. Now we will move from the first branch of management into the second one, which is the construction phase. Up next, we will explain how to manage the construction stage properly using the PlanRadar defect management software.

Construction project steps with PlanRadar

The construction phase is the implementation stage, where you put your previous plans and schedules into work. Progressive steps will carry the project into success while the improper planning for each of these steps will lead to a whole mess. A case study that demonstrates the importance of good construction planning and its effect on the construction phase is the roadway rehabilitation project in Pittsburgh. In this project, the decks of the bridges as well as the pavement on the highway itself were to be replaced. The initial plan was to work from outside of each end of the bridge while the highway surface was replaced below the bridges. As a result, access of equipment and concrete trucks to the overpass of the bridges was a considerable problem. However, the highway work could be staged so that each overpass bridge was accessible from below at prescribed times. By pumping concrete up to the overpass bridge deck from the highway below, costs were reduced, and the work was accomplished much more quickly. The construction phase is divided into two parallel operations. First is the site works, as digging constructing, insulation works… etc.  This operation is the responsibility of the general contractor. Second is to monitor the project workflow and ensure general safety on site. This is the project manager’s responsibility. We will show you the main tasks of the two operations and how to accomplish these tasks with the help of PlanRadar.

Continuous inspections of construction defectsPlanRadar lets every project member from the general contractor to the craftsman record any defects and forward them to the responsible person. Automatic notifications are generated to notify this person about the defect, so he can take an action instantly.

Documenting daily and monthly reports. This is one of the main tasks during the construction phase.  PlanRadar is a cloud-based software where you can document any project data or reports safely. This saves you time and the tension of losing any important working document during the proofing process. All these documents will help you to enrich your company policy. Each and every defective piece or damage in your project will be listed chronologically. Whether you get into legal liability processes, PlanRadar is going to be your first insurance. The coverage of your data collected with our software is going to support you regarding state law requirements for full documentation of processes.

Backup planning and risk analysis. Client’s changing orders is a common activity during the process. In this case, the project manager has to be prepared with correspondence plans and a common communication base to all the project parties. This common base will help the PM to forward the new modifications directly to all the team to avoid any delays. With the benefit of PlanRadar, you will have a 24/7 touch point between all the project participants. You will save the time spent on formal emails trying to explain an incident, prevent misunderstandings between the project members and respect their privacy. In the end, all that you need for your project is a productive site with a motivated team working on it.

Enhancing site productivity in construction industry with minor changes

Construction productivity controls the project indicator of effectiveness. If productivity is high, the construction firm can then accomplish their mission in time and due to the estimated quality. While ineffective productivity can lead to high-risk values of delays, accidents, and material waste. The job site is hard to manage but the main aspect that can trigger the worker motivation is providing a healthy encouraging working environment. The labor force is the central gear of work on site. A study showed that “workers on a construction project are unproductive for 50 percent of their time on site. Waiting consumes more than half of an employee’s unproductive time and about one-third of the total project time”. The study stated as an example a $1 million construction project for which direct labor costs typically account for about $400,000. Labor that is unproductive half the time costs the construction company $200,000, with nothing to show for it. This is a huge part of the capital mass to be lost in addition to the expected delays based on this wasted time. A small act of change can add motivation and enthusiasm to the site workers as:

  • Supply all the needed training for the supervisors and the crew
  • Set small goals that commensurate with the project and labor size
  • Support communication between the project participants
  • Ensure the worker’s safety, this gives them a sense of security
  • Share the positive actions
  • Stay clear and transparent, the relationship between workers and manger is based on trust
  • Provide health insurance to the project team
  • Be strict about addressing the mistakes.

 

These little adjustments in addition to implementing new technologies will create a big difference in your project. A new documenting and monitoring software can yield an immediate return on your investment.  Try the 30 days free trial version of PlanRadar to increase your project efficiency and have an exceptional experience in management.

Construction efficiency – Improvement guide for the project manager

The project manager acts as the link between the client and the contractor. His tasks are always going between taking the owner’s demands and the contractor’s need of processing them into an action plan. He must be present from the planning stage to the delivery time and to monitor every project step in addition to be a fast decision maker. A good project manager is a person who can bring out the inherent powers in his work by increasing efficiency not only for the project but also for himself. Obey the following tips and tricks to improve your efficiency on the job site.

  • Manage your time wisely
  • Use Building information modeling system (BIM) in your work
  • Arrange regular meetings
  • Listen to your crew & stay in contact with all team members
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Measure performance so you can make a continuous evaluation
  • Implement new technologies as PlanRadar to stay connected all the time
  • Make your own risk curriculum and follow it
  • Provide an efficient plan for claims and litigation
  • Align with client concerns
  • Understand your competitors.

 

Learning from these tips will help you to overcome the non-routine daily tasks. A project manager has no fixed duties or even a typical schedule. One day he could be on site to monitor the workflow, the next he could be in the office working on some planning or even on a meeting with the project stakeholders. Don’t be left behind and choose the smart solution for managing project defects and documenting your reports.

The best insurance regarding state law is full documentation of all processes and defective materials on the job site. Contact us and learn now, how and where to start the implementation of the best software-tool available.

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