Friday, July 25, 2014

Construction project stages

Construction is not about physically constructing a structure only but lot of other things involve. Construction in-whole are involving a few stages. Those stages start with setting goal by the owner (consultant/contractor's client) then followed by designing stage. Once the designers completed their design, they must first get approval from the client prior to the call for tender. Designer have to get their design as closed as they can as what had been describe by their client. This is important as to minimised any interruption during construction period due to design change. It is also important for the client in order not to burst their allocated budget for the whole project.

Upon approval of their design then consultants can proceed with the tender stage. This can be done via open tender such as through media advertisement. However some might one to call for invited tender. Invited tender is a bidding process where consultant will look for list of trusted, well reputable and competent contractor to submit their tender price for the purposed construction work.

After submission tender price, together with the client consultant, have to evaluate and come to a conclusion to whom must they award the contract. Another important part of this process is to counter check if client budget is enough. If the price they get burst their budget, the client might want to reduce the scope of work or call for another round of tender. Usually this is termed as re-tender process.


Next before the construction can really start, upon deciding who is the contractor that can do the construction work, client will send an official "Letter of Intent" or most of the time, Client will  issue "Letter of Acceptance" or "Letter of Award". Once the official letter was sent out to the winner of the tender, consultant then need to prepare the contract document for both parties to sign.

Right after the signing process, by procedure wise, only then the awarded contractor can proceed with their physical construction work. While dealing with the construction of the structure, it is vital for every parties to keep their record of everything or important event as accurate, complete and safe as they can. This is because  those entire documents might have legal value in it. Among the records are letter of Award, Construction site diary, construction test and inspection approval, design change record, instruction from the client, records of construction meetings (site meeting, technical meeting and others important meeting or discussion) and may more.

Another important document that have to be kept properly and can be access by all parties involve is the "Master Work Program". This will show, when contractor going to start a certain work and when will they finished. Other than that, by having this master work program, client, consultant and contractor can monitor their construction health. Construction health is whether the construction work is ahead of schedule, on time or delayed. If the progress of the construction work shows delay, this is where all parties need to know why, and how to speed-up the progress or client might need to revised the construction completion date by granting Extension of Time base on valid reason as mentioned in the contract to the contractor. However if the records shows that reasons behind the delay is due to contractor negligence, client can by virtue of the signed contract and by any applicable law, penalised the contractor. Commonly happened is contractor being slap with the "Liquidated and Ascertained Damages (L&AD)" as allow in the contract.


Upon completion of all of the construction scope of work and if the client satisfied with the end product, Client then will issue a letter of completion to contractor. This letter normally termed as "Certificate of Practical completion (CPC)". As mentioned earlier, "construction in whole involving a few stages", then bare in-mind, the issuance of CPC does not meant that the whole construction is over. Upon issuance of the CPC, another stage that will follow is the "post-construction" stage. This is a stage where all constructed structure being put into real test. The in-operation of the structure and all other components reassemble a complete structure will reveal all defects to the structure have. Defects in construction simply mean works that is done but does not functioning well. When this happened, client together with their consultant need to identify if is a defect due to contractor works or not. If it the answer is "yes", then client can request the contractor to rectify the defects as long as the defect occurred within the defect liability period. Inspection on the defect must be performed in the present of client, consultant and contractor and list of defects must be served officially to the contractor.

When the defect liability period is over, client has to close the construction account which normally termed as "closing of project account". In this stage client will released whatever money due to their contractor and consultants or recouped back whatever amount due to them from the contractor or consultants.

The next and final stage of the whole construction project is the post mortem by client them self. By performing this stage, client can evaluate, in overall, the cost, the construction period, functionality of the project and whether or not the project achieved their earlier goal. The result of the post-mortem will provide a better understanding and can be incorporated into the new project that they wish or planned to do.

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