Thursday, 05 April 2012 11:14

Planning Tips & Time Chart

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At an early stage the project time chart should be discussed and agreed between client and architect. It should take into account the nature of the project, the building market situation generally, site availability, etc., and from it a choice can be made from the various types of building contracts. This important decision governs the character of the documents to be prepared and the time needed for them.

Particular requirements regarding a project's completion time should be discussed with the architect as early as possible. There is usually an optimum construction time for a building and it can be costly to stipulate either a faster or slower contract time.

The time chart sets dates for important items such as the preparation of the client's program of requirements, the completion of the schematic design and design development stages, the client's approvals and instructions, the completion of the contract document stage, the preparation of the bill of quantities, the calling of tenders for both main and subcontracts and the start and completion of the building and contract administration stage. The chart finishes with the date for practical completion or occupation.

This allows orderly financial planning and, with prompt decisions from the client and the avoidance of changes, the chart should not be difficult to maintain.

With carefully planned projects and adequate contractual arrangements it is possible to exercise satisfactory control of quality, cost and time.

Projects should be planned and detailed well ahead of construction itself. They can be carried out to fixed cost commitments and constructed to a fixed timetable. There are many examples of successful projects of this kind which have resulted from full co-operation between owner, architect and contractor.

Building contracts define the respective responsibilities and obligations of the contractor and owner, and for that reason the architect must deal with matters where there is a conflict of interests between the two parties. Fortunately in most building projects these cause little trouble.

The most satisfactory results are achieved when owner, architect and contractor help each other with the minor and sometimes major problems.

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