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Project design management in the construction stage

Paul Sancandi
July 3, 2012

At the end of the tender stage with the owner having formally awarded the project to the contractor, the next step is to manage the project during construction from a design and technical perspective.

The next step in the project lifecycle is to manage all the design and design team related technical and contractual matters during the construction stage. The key steps in this stage include:

1. Issue approved for construction documents
The design manager needs to manage the design team in delivering the approved for construction documents as per the design management plan at the required time in the required hard and soft copy formats to the required locations.

2. Housekeeping
This is the time to take the opportunity to complete the housekeeping of files on the server, in local drives and hard copies. Revise processes in the document management system to reflect any changes in the project procedures. The exchange and management of documents will thereby continually meet the project requirements. Transfer any BIM models to the contractor.

3. Outstanding design
The design manager needs to manage the design team in delivering any outstanding design due to owner changes or changes resulting from tender negotiations.

4. Manage contractor design submissions and requests for information
The design manager needs to manage the design team in reviewing and responding to any contractor designs, submissions and requests for information. This ensures proper and efficient processing of the contractor’s design submissions requiring the design team’s technical replies and approvals.

Note any design changes resulting from design team instructions and manage related cost or time extension claims. Doing this keeps the design team from creating unnecessary or unapproved variations.

5. Site inspections and quality control
The design manager needs to monitor the design team’s site attendance regarding quality inspections and certification of the works. It is essential that the required numbers of site inspections are undertaken at the appropriate time so construction progress is unimpeded.

6. Building approvals
The design manager should manage building approval requirements from the appropriate authorities. All required obligations must be met in achieving authority approvals during construction.

7. Testing and commissioning
Plan design team inputs for testing, commissioning, and handover of the works in accordance with the specification requirements. Early input of the design team allows advanced planning for the process of testing, commissioning, and handover of the works.

8. Design compliance report
Undertake final review of all design aspects as constructed. Prepare a design compliance report. Verification is then provided of how the as-constructed facility meets the functional design brief requirements.

Once the construction stage is nearing completion, then the design manager will proceed to the next and final stage of the project lifecycle, the handover and operation stage.

Paul Sancandi
Paul Sancandi is a senior design manager with InfraSol Group. He has a technical background as a structural engineer, owned an architectural and engineering practice and has worked in Australia, Asia and the Middle East on a wide range of small to mega projects over the past 32 years.
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One thought on “Project design management in the construction stage

  1. Hi Mr. Sancandi,

    In regard of you explanation of “Project design management in the construction stage.” I have a some concerns about managing a design through construction. I experienced a various problems in construction stages that bring to front many problems and showing a lack in design stages. Here my questions:

    1st, which is a best way based on your expectations to that to lead in advance a design criterion, is it deep study of the design parameters at time of applying a design? Or no way from traditional steps that the one going as you enlisted above?
    2nd, could building information modeling be an alternative method to controlling on design stages before starting construction? Or it’s a matter of environmentalism and nature that achieves to control on steps either design or construction stages?

    With respect

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