Commercial buildings are driven by population growth and business cycles, so new construction is necessary for creating more space for more workers. Each project is unique because every owner has a different view of their design and structure of their building. Commercial construction projects can be categorized into three categorical sizes: small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale for the owner’s unique design and demand. For these projects, project managers are responsible for cost and time management, communication, quality administration, and safety administration.
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Commercial Construction Scale
Small-scale projects under commercial construction are involved but not limited with rebranding, or the focus of updating the interior of the building. Activities with rebranding and reimaging are along the lines of new paint, flooring, technology, etc.
Medium-scale projects are determined by their owner’s desire to expand or remodel their buildings due to the building itself, or the growth of a company. Examples of medium-scale commercial projects include restructuring, expanding, or redesigning buildings for renovation.
Larger-scale projects have no previous foundation or structure, so they need to be managed professionally and with experience. Examples of large-scale projects are high-rise buildings and warehouses. Expertise with these types of projects is crucial because of the attention to detail with budget, labor, and safety, and local business codes. Small mistakes on large-scale projects can potentially become quite costly.
Responsibilities in Commercial Construction Management
Each project size has a different budget, and the project manager is responsible for the activities of planning, estimating, financing, and controlling the costs. Every project’s budget is an overview of the total or periodic costs for the duration. Managers must consider the required time, material, equipment, and labor into cost estimation.
Commercial construction projects vary in size and design, so depending on the scale of the project, managers have to consider the following:
– What is the owner’s vision for the project?
– What is the tentative due date?
– How to delegate tasks as necessary?
– Do I have the proper construction project management software?
Since Commercial construction has complex projects, project managers and workers must use their limited time efficiently.
In the construction industry, communication between project managers and field workers is essential for success. Commercial subcontractors do 99% of the labor and specialize in specific trades and services that work simultaneously on mid-to-large scale projects, so communication ensures that delegated tasks and abilities are communicated on and off the job site.
Tips for communicating during a successful building project:
— Asking questions
— Clarifying details
— Confirming a clear understanding of the issue
— Continual documentation and reporting time and activities
Quality control plans are created by project managers to ensure that the building is at a specific standard. Before the building is delivered to the owner, quality can be measured by following specific standards and procedures. General contractors and subcontractors strive for work excellence because they want to attract more business for future projects. Quality of work also has a direct impact on the profitability of a project as well as the company’s reputation so making quality management part of the delivery process is imperative.
With commercial construction management programs, project managers must negotiate and communicate with the subcontractors in terms of contracts, licensing jurisdiction requirements, and insurance purchases. Project managers have to make sure that they have apt coverage and insurance so they can avoid liabilities and claims. They also must follow the established codes and laws in cities, towns, and counties.
The Commercial Construction Building Process:
A majority of commercial construction projects result from a set bidding process. The design-bid-build process is one method that occurs when the project owner hires an architect to design the project but does not choose a contractor until the completion of the design phase. Once the architect shows the finalized design, the project owner will take bids from contractors for the work. Additionally, the owner will communicate with project managers to estimate the budget with cost management. A more innovative approach is called Integrated Labor Delivery (ILD). Integrated Labor Delivery brings labor (the subcontractor) closer to the management team (architect, owner, GC) with the premise that labor actually begins at the design phase of a project. This new and unified alignment of all stakeholders (owner, architect, GC, and subs) will streamline the entire project delivery process. It will also reduce communication failures, mistakes, rework, and increase efficiencies in an industry plagued with labor shortages and poor productivity.
Next, in the commercial construction building process is the design phase. Once the budget is estimated, the owner will show you how they want the structure to look. The project manager will communicate with the subcontractors to ensure that the project owner’s vision is attainable. Architects can help this phase by presenting 3-D models or blueprints.
Project managers and specialized subcontractors monitor workers’ schedules and budgets in the construction phase. If the owner wants to change the vision of the project during this phase, communication, cost, and time management will be up for review.
In this phase of the commercial building process, the project manager and the owner should walk through and confirm that the project owner is satisfied with the completed work. Along with the final inspection of quality standards and technical specifications, the project manager will display the finalized project. During this phase, the project owner receives all of the necessary documentation and information that operates the building.
In the construction industry, the collaboration between owner, general contractor, and subcontractors is vital in the flow of a successful commercial building project. With technology advancements in data-driven project management software, it enables increased efficiency and productivity for construction. The three scales of commercial construction involve different activities and services to complete depending on the size of the project. The management team and business will be successful if they adhere to best practices using cost and time management, communication, quality administration, and safety administration.