The rhythm of the work. 2 slow 2 furious

Continuing with the saga of posts that we at Antana want to launch to try to guide the most neophyte developers within the universe of the project and construction, now it is the turn of the analysis of the pace of work. Is the work being executed at a normal pace, are they going slowly and should I be disappointed?

In the following we will differentiate between the different perceptions during the construction phases and list the most convenient ways to analyse progress.

Let's take a normal construction site as a reference, i.e. a site for which there is a good execution project, a detailed study of the works has been carried out and a realistic plan has been drawn up in accordance with these works. This may seem obvious, but it is less common than we think, although it is fundamental for the correct development of the construction.

That said, it would seem that simply with the planning in hand, we would be able to evaluate progress. The problem is that sometimes we do not take the time to analyse it, and also that planning is a living document, i.e. it is susceptible to change in order to adapt to the multitude of conditioning factors on a construction site, such as project modifications, unexpected problems, changes in materials, etc. Therefore, it is an indispensable document, but we must complement it with other control strategies.

Phases of a construction site

Going back to the development of this normal work, experience tells us that we can distinguish 3 phases in which the client perceives 3 different speeds of execution despite the fact that the planning is being strictly adhered to.

  • PHASE 1: We start the work and the structure, the façade and the partitions are executed. In this phase people seem to fly. This is because we trust what our eyes see and we see a lot of volume realised.
  • PHASE 2: Installations and orders. Undoubtedly the worst moment, week after week the client sees the same thing, it seems that people are standing still without working, the fact is that there is a similar number of workers, but it doesn't move forward. Well, this is not the case. The problem is that at this point the installations are usually being carried out, filling the partitions, ceilings and trenches with cables, ducts and conduits. It is also common that we are waiting for an order for a singular machine that was made at the beginning of the work or for a carpentry that was to be measured in phase 1, so that some works cannot begin until the material is received. It is time to keep calm and make sure that everything is in order, using the tools that we will indicate below.
  • PHASE 3: We start to approach the end and the change between a raw material and a finished one is spectacular. The rooms change by the hour, the perception is that the workers are once again flying through the air executing their work and if we also start to receive furniture we are mentally transported to the wonderful day of the delivery of the work.
phases of a construction site

As clients/promoters, we can be guided by other parameters in addition to planning to objectify this perception. The most common is the relationship between certified quantities and the number of people on site, since monthly production during a project, except for the reception of very singular elements in a specific period, is usually more or less continuous except at the beginning and end, when it is a little lower. In other words, if we are in the middle of planning, half of the work has been certified and there are more or less the same number of people on site as those who carried out the previous month's production, it is normal for everything to go well. This is applicable to any moment of the work, it will simply be necessary to calculate the percentage of work that should be executed.

It is important to remember that the least interested party in construction delays is usually the construction company, as the indirect costs increase beyond expectations and the work may no longer be profitable. So when a delay is detected on site , it is necessary to investigate the true origin of the slowdown in order to correct it and bring the work back to the right point.

It is common that some decisions not taken by the construction company are not being made as quickly as possible and, combined with longer than normal delivery times for materials chosen at the last minute, cause long delays. These decisions may even depend on the client himself who, despite warnings, is not aware of the repercussions of postponing the choice of a material or a simple luminaire.

Note this last point, it is not always the construction companies that are to blame for everything.

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