Construction site manager is key role
By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder of Construction DesignWorks, LLC and Nationwide Commercial Inspections, LLC
Within the confines of building design and construction, the construction site manager (CSM), sometimes known as the superintendent, has one of the most critical roles in the project management team. If you do not have a solid CSM, the project will ultimately fail to achieve its goals. The CSM is responsible for the day-to-day activities, workplace safety, monitoring progress, supervision of all tradesman, and communication with the project manager (PM) and design team.
The ability for the CSM to establish priorities is one of his/her most valued traits. To anticipate obstacles weeks and months ahead is vital in reducing delays and work stoppages. I call it the domino effect. If just one domino piece is pulled from the long series of pieces, then the remaining pieces will not fall.
Example of construction site manager domino effect
A recent example of not anticipating the series of events properly was the installation of a new HVAC rooftop unit (RTU). The RTU was scheduled to be installed and when the contractor arrived with the RTU equipment and crane, the construction site manager realized he had not done his job. The RTU could not be installed that day and had to be rescheduled, which cost thousands of dollars and weeks delay. He missed one key element in the series of dominos: he never called the structural engineer.
The construction site manager missed item number one on the series of tasks required to successfully complete the installation of the RTU. Whether it's a ground up or commercial tenant improvement project, only experience and the innate ability to forecast a series of events will assist a construction site manager in successful delivery of the project.
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