Project management header
products page

Construction projects – part 2 - Project requirements



Project requirements

Below are typical requirements that a construction project might need.

Site inspection

This is the initial step.
If you do not inspect the site a lot of problems can and will probably arise.
Whilst information concerning the site will be available from the Client and perhaps other parties there is no substitute for carrying out a full inspection.
This should be done either by yourself or by a trusted employee or consultant.

There is no reason to believe that the information supplied by the Client is absolutely correct.
Without this information confirmed it will be hard to take into account some basic project risks prior to putting in a bid.

Requirements and simple method

Prior to carrying out a site inspection you will need particular items of equipment.

Namely:

  • A tape measure suitable for measuring both length and height (modern laser equipment will be more accurate if available)
  • Some sort of level
  • A builder’s line
  • A notebook, paper, ruler, pencil and rubber
  • Hand held digging equipment for exploratory purposes (will need owner permission)
  • Implements for cutting vegetation as necessary

Armed with a notepad and paper you can begin to make a simple drawing of the site.
Make sure that you record anything of note that is on the Client site map. For example, boundary markers, trees, walls etc.
Check your measurements against that provided by the Client and follow up on any discrepancies.
It’s quite possible for items to be added or removed from that used in the bidding process.

It’s important to note differences in the site levels.
The simple implements above may suffice for this purpose or more modern laser equipment could just as easily be used.

Whilst at the site you will need to make other notes that may be relevant to you carrying out the project.
You may need to consider a variety of factors, for example:

  • How good is transport access? The site may be a long way from the nearest town and ease of access may be poor.
  • Is the site subject to flooding? The existence of flowing water may prove a problem as well as poor drainage.
  • Are there any trees or old root systems that may need removal?
  • Is there easy access for clean water, power and fuel that can be used in the project and by the workers.
  • Are there any neighbouring properties / buildings etc that need consideration.
  • Will the soil type cause any problems?
  • Will access to the site cause other problems, for example, will it cross any private land?
  • Site security will be an issue.
  • Can many materials be obtained locally?

Make sure that you check that you have all of the information required and double check measurements

Drawings

When the job is large the consultant, on behalf of the Client, will provide necessary drawings.
If the project is small you may have to make the drawings yourself.
Without these it will not be possible to make a good estimate of the costs involved.

Understanding of the drawings is vital to aid in the estimation process.
They will normally included:

Floor plan

This should cover the following aspects:

  • Key dimensions for the project in hand.
  • Additional measurements to key features, for example, windows, doors and floor levels.
  • Should show key items such as sewerage, any rights of way etc.
  • A description of the finish and materials used in the construction of walls and floors, for example, wall types (brick or breeze block, for example), tiling and floor finishes.
Elevation
  • These will add extra detail to the position / size of windows, doors and walls etc.
  • Roofing and flooring finish levels will be included.
  • Details of down pipes, gullies, gutter and waste pipes etc.
Sections
  • These will add detail to ceilings, damp proof membranes, insulation and particular finishes to foundations etc.
Detailed drawings

These will cover electrical, plumbing, road layouts and particular fixing detail etc

  • You must keep an accurate record of all the drawings that you get access to.
  • This should include the date you receive them and any version numbers.
  • Keep a note of any comments / issues that you have and that you communicate with the Client or Consultant.

All records are extremely important in case of later disputes.

Estimating

The more knowledge you have through the project drawings the easier it will be to produce an accurate estimate of the costs.
There are other aspects that may require your attention.

  • Excavation and filling should be considered. Any data provided should coincide with your own estimates from your site inspection.
  • Walls may need attention either for removal or protection.
  • There may be debris or rocks that must be moved.
  • Help in the assessment of foundation problems may be supported by borehole data.
  • Water on the land in the form of ponds, streams or particularly boggy areas may prove problematical.
  • Vegetation in particular trees. Some trees will have to be moved whilst others may have preservation orders on them.
  • Root systems are not easy to remove and may undermine foundations.
  • Existing water, gas and electricity supplies must be considered.
  • Site access may cause particular problems. Land may need to be put back to its original state once the project is complete.
  • Is there plenty of space for offices, storage and work areas.

It is a good idea to note all features of a site and ask yourself the questions:
‘How might this affect the project?’
‘Will this be a problem?’
‘What will it cost to overcome it?’
In all cases you will need to assess the severity of the problems and get clarification from the Consultant or Client as necessary.

Non - PRINCE2 information