Articles

    Construction Productivity – 2016

    In order to properly manage Construction Productivity, you must first review the Construction Culture.  Ask yourself if your company culture includes the following items: a. promote team work, b. recognize the value of balancing work and family, c. being an equal opportunity employer, d. being a drug free work place.

    Construction Productivity is not being handled properly by many construction people today. A few things the Project Manager is to critique and analysis are as follows:

    A. Peoples inability to segment delays, impacts and disruptions on a contemporaneous basis, and isolating and capturing the coat of productivity loses.

    B. There is a lack of a comprehensive project cost management system on our project.

    C. The failure to keep your CPM schedule updated so it shows all project activity.

    Construction safety has been proven that it is essential that company and project leadership be committed to eliminating accidents and achieving a zero-accident environment. In a clearly defined safety culture reinforced with effective proven best practices, training, planning and clear significantly reduced accidents on their project.

    The same is true for improving construction labor productivity.  

    The Project Manager must critique all of the following as to their effect on productivity:

    1. Any overtime required will be controlled by the circadian rhythm of the crews involved.

    2. Change orders may require additional time.

    3. The demand for additional resources.

    4. Night crews cost extra.

    5. Any RFI’s need time to be resolved.

    6. The change in weather may affect productivity.

    Cluttered projects have low productivity. When sites are cluttered and disorganized, workers have to work around the clutter and waste time searching for missing components. Contractors need to provide adequate facilities for disposal of trach efficiently and to provide appropriate general project cleaning.

    Storage and work areas that will be muddy should be improved using dry earth fill, gravel, plywood or planks. Stairs and emergency exits should be kept open at all times.

    Clean and orderly projects will also promote good safety practices and reduce the risk of accidents.

    One of the most significant claims by contractors is lost productivity. Many of us agree that a lost of productivity is one of the least understood and most difficult claim to quantify.

    There is a lack of comprehensive and centralized project cost management system on most projects. There is also a lack of effective procedures being put in place for identifying, coding, capturing and measuring labor productivity, especially when and where delays, impacts and disruptions occur.

    The failure to keep a project CPM Schedule properly updated and reflecting all delays and actual performances as it occurs will reflect on the critique of productivity. The inability or failure to segment delays, impacts and disruptions and then to document the cause and effect on the cost of productivity losses is a big problem.

     The Project Manager must critique the CPM Schedule sequence and all concurrent activities as this may affect the project productivity. Also know the adequate resources required for each activity. 

    The failure to agree on the time element results in a compressed schedule that creates change work conditions and contributes to possible impact cost on unchanged work and the potential for lost productivity.

    Impact claims usually include damages for lost labor productivity due to delays, interferences, disruptions, overtime, and accelerating performance. Some of the causes of low labor productivity include:

              1. Lack of ability to maintain the CPM Schedule

              2. Resequencing of activities

              3. Overriding the labor cost in the original project cost estimate

    Norman F. Jacobs, Jr. CSI Emeritus, AACE, ASPE, IIE, PMI, SAR

    CSI certifications

    BY Winnie Sung

    CSI certifications consist of the Construction Document Technologist (CDT), Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA), Certified Construction Specifier (CCS) and Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR). The foundation training for these certifications are as follows:

    CDT: Project Delivery Practice Guide (PDPG) provides an overview of construction delivery process and industry standard of construction documentation. .

    CCCA: CSI Construction Contract Administration Practice Guide takes an in-depth look at standard contract documents and the roles and responsibilities of all parties to construction agreements. 

    CCS: Certified Construction Specifier Practice Guide focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the specifiers with guidelines on writing quality construction specifications, product selection, and writing sustainable design specifications. 

    CCPR: Construction Product Representation Practice Guide is an essential resource for building product manufacturers, sales representatives, and related professionals. It covers the construction process and the roles the construction product representative plays in the workflow of any project delivery.

    CDT is the prerequisite for the three advanced certifications: CCCA, CCS and CCPR. The certification training covers how a project unfolds from conception to delivery. The content includes facility management, construction process, contractual relationships, and interpretation of construction documents. Pictorial illustrations are used throughout the PDPG to clarify the differences between procurement requirements, contract documents and the interrelationships among documents.  Wheel of a hub is one of the best illustration that shows how project manual and document could potentially be affected by Division One. The diagram illustrates the interrelationship between documents and how Division 1 expands on the Condition of the Contract.  It is important for the project team to know how the documents are organized and where to retrieve the pertinent information to avoid risk 

    The knowledge of document relationships will help the project team to know where information should be located and to eliminate the error and duplication. The CSI principle is “say it once and in the right place.”  By providing information in the correct location, the entire project team would save time and benefit from an accurate pricing/bid. It is vital to the success of a project to understand the impact of the front end of Contract Documents on the project performance. Specifications and drawings are considered complimentary and there is no precedence. The interrelationships and the complementary concept among documents is fundamental to eliminating conflicts and redundancy.

    The practice guides go over the Graphic Formats (e.g. National CAD Standard), language, writing style, vocabulary, sentence structure and symbols to use in a construction specifications and drawings. They are based on the accepted industry standards for contract documents.  Enforcing standards and Written Formats (e.g., OmniClass™, Uniformat™, MasterFormat™, GreenFormat™, SectionFormat™, PageFormat™) in contract document are critical to the preparation and retrieval of information. The Principles of communication: clear, concise, correct, complete (4Cs) in documentation are emphasized in the training.  The goal is continuous improvement toward producing a clear coordinated documentation.  Writing clear and concise notes and using the correct industry standard notations help minimize conflicts.  Better documentation means the project team will spent less time in responding to RFI’s which may impact cost and time. Avoiding confusion is the best way to avoiding risk.   

    CDT goes in depth over the content in the conditions of the contracts using the AIA A201, and it provides the basic understanding of the roles and legal responsibilities of project team members. 

    The intent of the certifications is to help the project team to deliver quality construction document, project manual, and construction administration.  Most professionals would agree that universities generally train students to be designers and not practitioners. Architects learn construction knowledge at work.  Sometimes we learned from costly mistakes. Information in the project guide is very practical and useful.  Studying for certifications is like bridging the gap between school and practices. 

    The project guides provide the tools to understand project delivery methods, contractual relationships, document organizations, document preparations, insurances, and claims and disputes. Through the certified training programs, owners, designers, contractors, construction administrators, product representatives, and facility managers could work together as a team to enhance the quality of construction for the life cycle of a facility. 

    The certifications are open to everyone, and there are no educational prerequisites. Certifications can prepare every team member to face difficult challenges and can open up opportunities to make worthy contributions to projects. When a contractor, a product representative, a facility manager, an architect, an engineer, a building official, or a construction administrator makes the effort to be certified, these individual take their knowledge in construction seriously and strive to improve the quality in construction. Becoming certified in one or more professional certifications should represents a significant accomplishment that offers recognition of professional achievement.