PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT | CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

 PHASES OF A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT :


The following are the stages involved in any construction project :

1. Briefing stage

2. Designing stage

3. Tendering stage

4. Construction stage

5. Commissioning stage

1) Briefing stage :

This stage is also called the Report stage. It is the stage where ideas originated by individuals are studied with regard to cost and benefits so as to establish the economic viability or social utility of a project.

Purpose :

The purpose of the briefing stage is to enable the client / owner to specify project functions and permissible costs so that engineers, architects and other members of the construction team can correctly interpret the owner's wishes and provide a likely estimate of costs. It also leads to an objective on the scope and feasibility of the project. A feasibility report is prepared during this stage.

Activities :

Various activities involved in the briefing stage are :

  • To appoint a project steering committee, if necessary. 
  • To appoint a project manager who will have a continuing responsibility to the client through out the construction process.
  • To carry out technical and non-technical investigations so that alternative proposals may be given due consideration.
  • To study the various alternatives and identify the most feasible one. 
  • To prepare the project report which is the outcome of the first stage (i.e. briefing stage). 

Feasibility report :

A feasibility report is prepared to present an in-depth techno-economic analysis carried out on the project. It contains results of technical as well as economic evaluation of the project so that the owner can take investment decisions and the project can be properly planned and implemented. The feasibility report is prepared during the briefing stage or report stage of the project.

The viability of any project mainly depends on the following analysis :

(i) Technical analysis

(ii) Economic analysis

(iii) Financial analysis

(iv) Ecological analysis

(i) Technical analysis :

The technical part of the feasibility study identifies alternative methods of and the selection of the best available technology. 

It includes :

  • Selection of suitable site
  • Selection of appropriate method of construction. 
  • Availability of various resources or raw materials.
  • Specifications of raw materials Selection of construction equipments

(ii) Economic analysis :

Economic analysis checks the economic viability of the project. Sometimes, a project is technically feasible but economically unviable.

Various methods of economic feasibility assessment are :

  • Pay back period method
  • Return on investment method
  • Benefit cost ratio method

(iii) Financial analysis :

The financial analysis of a feasibility study includes : 

a) Estimation of capital cost requirement :

All costs incurred during the completion of a project will be termed as capital cost.

It includes:

  • Engineering and project management cost
  • Engineering fee
  • Supervision during construction
  • Construction equipment
  • Enabling works
  • Working cost
  • Contingencies
  • Operating cost, etc.

b) Sources of financing :

The sources of financing may be divided into two groups internal sources and external sources. For small projects, internal sources are used, while for large projects, external sources are used.

(iv) Ecological analysis :

Ecological analysis i.e. environmental impact assessment is particularly necessary for major projects which have significant ecological implications, like.

  • Power plants
  • Major irrigation projects
  • Chemical industries
  • Drug industries
  • Leather processing industries, etc.

2) Designing stage or planning stage :

It is a very important stage in the field of construction because any modification in the project after this stage would prove expensive. A realistic and detailed cost estimate of the project can be prepared during the design stage.

Purpose :
The purpose of this stage is to complete the project summary and determine the method of construction and estimated costs so as to obtain necessary approvals from the client. Its purpose also includes :

  • The preparation of working drawings
  • Specifications
  • Arrangements for inviting traders
Activities :
Activities at this stage are :
(i) To develop the project summary for the final adoption of the most suitable alternative. 
(ii) To carry out technical investigations such as :
  • Soil investigation
  • Topographic investigation
  • Materials surveys
  • Market surveys, etc.
(iii) To prepare detailed design, working drawings, specifications, bill of quantities, final cost estimate           and preliminary construction program.
(iv) To obtain the owner's final approval of the project summary.

3) Tendering stage :
During this stage tenders are invited and the contract is awarded at the best available terms agreed mutually between the owner's team and the contractors. 

Purpose : 
The purpose of the tendering stage is to appoint a contractor or a member of contractors who will undertake the construction work on the most suitable terms and conditions of quality, cost and completion time.

Activities :
  • To invite tenders from the contractors for the construction work and to award the contract.
  • Pre-qualification of contractors involves an investigation of the potential of contractor's financial managerial and physical resources, contractor's experience of handling similar projects, etc. 
  • To prepare contract documents, to be signed by the client and the contractor. The contract documents should be prepared with extreme care and by experienced persons because the contract forms the basis on which the project management team exercises control of the project during the construction phase.
  • Holding a pre-bid conference and providing the necessary information.
  • Negotiating contract price with qualified contractor. 
  • Reviewing documents submitted by contractor e.g. work schedules, manpower qualifications, equipments, etc.
  • Clarifying ambiguities in the contract documents.

4) Construction Stage :
The construction stage involves the execution of construction work as per the design, drawing and within agreed limits of time, cost and specified quality.

Activities :
The construction stage consists of a member of inter - related activities. The failure or delay in one activity may disrupt the entire construction schedule.

a) The construction planning includes the preparation of :
  • Construction schedule
  • Manpower schedule material delivery schedule plant and equipment schedule 

b) The control of site operations includes:
  • Supply of materials and equipment
  • Supervision for quality control 
  • Co-ordination among sub-contractors Supervision for quality control 
  • Supply of necessary drawings

The construction stage is the most resource intensive and difficult stage of any project. The problems encountered during this stage may have to be referred to the designers for
appropriate solutions. 

5) Commissioning stage :
It is the stage in which the performance of the structure is evaluated and the proposed nature of maintenance and repair are considered.

Purpose :
The purpose of this stage is to ensure that the construction work has been carried out as per the drawing and specifications, and all the facilities developed function properly as envisaged in the design.

During this stage records are prepared of the actual construction work finally carried out
at site.

Activities :
  • To keep various records of actual work. 
  • To inspect the construction work thoroughly and have any defects rectified.
  • To prepare operating instructions and maintenance manuals.
  • To carry out tests for performance such as water tightness, strength, etc.

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