Much of the risk associated with a construction project is the result of adversities that can occur between the solicitation of constructor bids and turn-over of the project to the owner. Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) has the technical and construction administration experience to monitor construction, identify potential problems early and advise clients on the risks and benefits of choices that arise. In addition, RJDCE can assist project stakeholders to assess deviations from expectations, evaluate claims and solve problems.
Most project owners need their design professionals to administer the construction contract, thereby providing oversight of the constructor’s compliance with the contract. The administration of a construction project requires responsiveness to the construction contractor’s planning and execution of the work and any unexpected conditions that arise in the course of the project. To complete administrative activities in a timely manner, adequate technical resources must be available to respond to issues as they arise. The process is often less linear and more iterative than any of the parties would prefer. RJDCE can administer specialty structural and geostructural constructions projects and can assist other design professionals to administer conventional building or infrastructure projects.
Construction submittals need to be reviewed by a professional knowledgeable in particular construction type specified. Certain types of submittals require special attention:
- Delegated Design / Design-Build Elements and Systems: Submittals for elements and systems designed by or for the constructor typically include design calculations and working drawings. These submittals must be reviewed for conformance with performance standards as well as integration with the design intent of other elements and systems.
- Temporary Works: While temporary works are the constructor’s means and methods they can have implications for the owner’s operations or impacts on permanent work that should be reviewed as part of the owner’s project risk management program.
- Value Engineering: Value engineering proposals may be developed with the objective of reducing construction cost, but the proposed cost reductions may impact the reliability or performance of the completed work. Value engineering proposals should be professionally reviewed to determine whether they are in the owner’s best interests.
RJDCE can provide submittal review for a variety of construction types, including structural materials, specialty foundations, geostructural systems, temporary works, earthwork construction and foundation waterproofing and drainage.
Field observation by an engineer provides the opportunity to monitor the progress of work and its general conformance with both the construction documents and design intent. Since this process can catch deviations and performance problems early, it is an important tool to control risk. Thus, observation of construction performance is integral to risk control techniques like the Observational Method, which is applicable to higher risk construction. In addition, field observation is often necessary to evaluate potential claims, such as claims of differing site conditions or damage to adjacent construction. RJDCE can provide field observation services for structural, geostructural and foundation construction to monitor both contract compliance, evaluate claims and manage risk. In some jurisdictions, RJDCE can also provide special inspection services.
While these construction phase risks can and should be accounted for in the planning and design of the project, they cannot be eliminated. Therefore, the owner’s project team must have the capacity and capability to execute a risk management strategy for the duration of construction and address problems and risks that can manifest as they arise. RJDCE can assist project teams to develop and implement risk management strategies throughout the construction phase to allow risks to be identified and managed proactively. This allows construction problems to be addressed expeditiously, reducing the likelihood of protracted delays and claims.