Why not everything from a single source? In any case, a construction project has many participants. Regardless of whether all work phases are covered by the architect himself or parts of the project are outsourced after planning. However, the client, who turns to a general contractor instead of an architect and also an architect who does not want to provide certain services himself, should think carefully about the consequences of this. PlanRadar strengthens the bond between the client and the architect with a new construction management system.

We will show you:

  • How to push quality if you are a building owner
  • How an Architect is going to support you in this,
  • And why it isn´t advisable to hand all phases to a general contractor.

Quality vs. Quantity

The general contractor´s interest

General contractors or prime contractors pursue interests that overlap with those of the client, but these do not necessarily have to be 100% in line with the quality standards of the architect and the client. The prime contractor also acts primarily in his own interest to carry out the required construction work in its own company or to assign subcontractors who meet his requirements. The aim is and remains a defect-free object during the final inspection. So far so good. Nothing can be blamed on him in his economic interests as long as he delivers the agreed quality.

In turn, the architect and builder hand over control at this point. In the following, we show how PlanRadar’s construction management system supports architects to push quality in detail without incurring unnecessary risks. Our goal is to deliver the best possible result for the client. With PlanRadar we´ll provide you with all necessary tools for a consistent construction project management. Our PlanRadar trial version is now available to you for 30 days free of charge.

There are many mobile applications and software solutions on the market. They all want to save you money. Only a few of them give you a real additional benefit like a mobile usability, cloud-based storage and other features which exactly fit your demand to manage your job adequately. There must be a solution which not only supports the planner but builds a bridge between him and all contractors participating in the building project. Expectations are accordingly high. For Architects: Start to manage your business, your contractors, your risks and all cost causing components with the features provided by PlanRadar.

the archtect's handbook
Source: squarespace.com 

An architect can do more!

The architect differs significantly from the building company in his actions. At a point where a general contractor wants to achieve his goals on a purely economic track, the architect does so, but the self-image of his profession forces him to a high standard of execution. What does this ultimately mean for the client? What should be expected from this professional?  His solution will not only be cost efficient, but projects based on offers made by architects will also bring you another great benefit:

Quality in detail! In addition to the pragmatic basic knowledge necessary for the implementation of a building project, such as building physics, statics, and material science, the training of the architect includes a number of other aspects. The design, the ensemble, the aesthetics, the lasting benefit, the optimization of a building for the user and the inclusion of a high-quality design play a decisive role for him. Not trying to do as much as possible here is damaging his own reputation and business.

It is slowly becoming clear what point we are referring to. The work phases 1-5 according to AIA (Architect´s Handbook of Professional Practice) are clearly separated from each other so that the architect can deduct his fee for services relating on the basis of clearly distinguishable steps. Besides, the client will retain a cost overview with this guideline and be able to compare every single step with his own needs.

The work phases 1-5 according to AIA:

  1. Schematic Design
  2. Design Development
  3. Construction Documentation
  4. Bidding or Negotiation
  5. Construction


WP 1-2 deal with everything from the schematic design to design development. Only from WP 3 onwards the architect’s direct influence on the quality of the object can be taken into account. Planning is not the same as implementation. The constant pricing pressure is reflected in the quality of construction. Companies are fighting to offer the best and cheapest solution. Therefore you are in the need of professional who is able to manage contractors and distinguish good from bad bids.

Quality competition instead of pricing pressure

We have to confront ourselves with the fact that there is a clear link between planning, cost reduction, and shortcomings. We can speak of a construction triangle. But what becomes even clearer when looking at the diagram, however, is: Economic pressure and the need to break down costs by concentrating on low-cost materials isn´t a convenient option or solution to lead a good working business. Construction business has to work with different variables. Costs arise mainly from defects. If these are recognized late, the costs of their elimination increase almost exponentially to a certain extent to the timeline.

The main problem arises where planning and execution begin to be separated from each other. The moment when an external contractor takes care of an implementation without cooperating with the architect. Defects can be avoided by staying with the first planning instance. The architect knows his own work in detail and will try to achieve the required results in the execution.

defect costs increase econimic reasons

Source: slidesharecdn.com 

The work phases 3-5 are the ones who like to be transferred to a General Contractor. Construction documentation, bidding or negotiation, construction as well as property management are outsourced. The planner loses control at this very point over whether the companies ordered by the general contractor are in a position to provide the quality demanded by him. He wouldn´t know if they use the intended materials or whether cheaper alternatives are preferred in order to save costs. Who is to do the construction supervision, document the construction and report defects? The general contractor will appoint a local building supervisor who will do this in a measure that at least corresponds to the current standard. In many cases, this would not meet the architect’s high attention to detail. The owner as a layman cannot resist this. He lacks the required know-how! Accordingly, he has to settle for less…

Construction Management System – Risk minimization

So the client and architect have to ask themselves why these phases of construction are transferred to a general contractor. Often the answer to this question is easy to find. It is about risk minimization. All contractors involved in building projects are a potential risk to the time schedule. Nowadays only a highly specialized management, based on software features, offers a functioning solution for imponderables coming along with every construction project.

So, why it is important to manage projects with the help of software features? The risks lie in scheduling, coordination, liability issues, rectification of defects and compliance. With the PlanRadar construction management system, we want to contribute to building a culture and support both, architects and clients in achieving the highest quality at minimum mutual risk.

Our software has been specially tailored to the needs of construction documentation and defect management. Using the web and mobile application, you can coordinate all project participants and contractors from a laptop, smartphone or tablet and stay connected to the network at all times. Deadlines, appointments, and responsibilities can now be connected with a minimum of time effort. That´s what business solution to manage your projects properly is about. As an architect, you keep track of the situation and can also provide the client with an overview in order to create a mutual basis of trust. PlanRadar supports you in the work phases 1-5, minimizes all the risks mentioned above and underpins the relationship between client and planner with cloud-based mobile software solutions.

Time to rethink

A rethink on the part of customers and companies in the first place is necessary for a change regarding a high-quality building culture. Only an enlightened customer can demand quality. In this case, demand determines supply. However, in order to steer the demand and not only to rely on a general contractor in good faith, but it is also absolutely necessary to contact a representative of interests.

Due to its reputation and a very specific self-image, which is intended to push the quality of a building to the limit, only an experienced architect can be considered. PlanRadar would like to become active here both on architect and owner side. A business is just as good as the combination of its offers, management, projects and delivered quality. In 2018 you´ll need the perfect configuration of a cloud-based software, with good offers regarding the management of your construction project. These features must be available to you on your laptop and mobile device to stay competitive and efficient in the digitalized era.

Without ifs and buts

When it comes to building culture, building owners and architects must regain greater trust in each other. This involves an investment in the property, its quality, and a whole spatial environment. Our habitat.

PlanRadar supports you in securing yourself against contingencies due to defects, non-delivered services or building damage in the long term and with proof. At the same time, it reduces the time and coordination required for implementation.

In order to convince you, we offer our software 30 days free of charge for testing. Get an impression for yourself and don’t settle for less than the best!

There are many construction management software solutions on the market. They all promise to save you cost and time. Some of them are free and poor offers, others give you a real additional value like a mobile solution for your smartphone, cloud-based storage, features which exactly fit your business needs and solutions to manage your projects and contractors. Companies in the construction industry have high expectations when it comes to facilitating processes. Based on our experience with a great number of satisfied users we´re adapting our software to all requirements demanded by our customers. The best solution for your business needs is our challenge.