Construction CommunicationEvery successful construction project depends on clear, frequent and continual communication among everyone involved: architects, engineers and clients. Construction administration can be seen as the communications hub in the project.

Every paving, roofing, landscaping or any other kind of project necessarily requires a number of different teams with their own skills, priorities, tools and needs. The construction administration project manager’s role is to understand all these aspects, develop the schedule and make certain that everyone understands their own role, their schedule and what the other teams need from them.

Communicating goals up front

Pulling all this off requires that construction administration put a priority on communication from the get-go. That means the project manager has to sit down with the client or owner and learn the goals of the project: what the client wants to get out of it, in addition to the budget and timing needs. Construction administration has to ensure that the architects, engineers and all construction teams understand them.

Ensuring complete plans

At this point, construction administration must work with the architects, engineers and construction teams to foresee any potential problems before they come up.

It’s the job of the architects and engineers to translate those goals and needs into clear plans that the construction teams can use. But it’s the job of construction administration to make sure that the client understands the plans. It’s also the job of construction administration to manage bidding, respond to requests for information, monitor construction, provide quality control, and make regular observation reports.

The construction administrator coordinates all documents and records, and does the final inspection at completion.

Communicating change

No matter how well everyone communicates at the outset of a project, changes later are common. Site surveys, local regulations and bylaws, changes to team personnel, labor conflicts, fluctuations in prices,materials shortages and a host of other issues often require changes to plans, budgets and schedules.

The construction administration project manager has to be able to adapt to these changes, make sure that all the teams understand the changes and communicate them, and their consequences. If the changes affect the cost or the completion date, the project manager has to inform the client and find out about the impact.

Often, changes have ripple or knock-on effects: new information about the site or ground can necessitate changes to the foundation plans. These can require changes to the elevation, paving, materials and schedules. Construction administration has to make certain that all the teams have the information they need to adapt. This includes documenting all the change orders and recommendations.

Construction administration: solving problems as they arise

The larger and more complex a project gets, the more likely that something will go wrong, no matter how careful it’s planned.Construction administration has to be able to work with the teams to find solutions quickly, and keep the project on schedule and on budget.

Keeping the client involved

The longer a project will take, the more that the client will want to do an inspection during the process. Inspections can be beneficial for everyone involved. A client inspection reassures the client or owner that the project is going well, and that they’ll get the results they wanted.

It also brings reassurance to the construction teams that they’re working in concert toward delivering what the client wants, and there won’t be any conflicts when they hand over the invoice.

Without communication, results can be very different from expectations, which can lead to tensions and even legal conflicts. By ensuring continuing communication, construction administration avoids misunderstandings and keeps the project running smoothly.