Construction CPM Scheduling
ECS has a developed history of providing effective CPM schedule support for projects through as-needed contracts. The success of a project relies on the ability of the construction management team to accurately track the contractor’s progress and effectively forecast areas where the progress may be affected. An approved, reasonable and detailed CPM schedule is the most essential item in tracking and forecasting of contractor progress.
PROGRESS TRACKING AND REPORTING
Effective tracking and reporting of the contractor’s progress requires an approved, reasonable CPM schedule as well as reasonable, accurate and timely updates (see CPM scheduling above). The contractor’s baseline CPM schedule (and subsequent approved updated CPM schedules) is used to evaluate progress, determine delays and evaluate time extension entitlement, evaluate resequencing and acceleration options, and forecast completion dates. The CPM schedule is the most important tool for evaluating all of this information.
CHANGE ORDER REVIEW AND NEGOTIATION
All projects have change orders, and change order negotiations can be difficult or even adversarial because the interested parties may have different goals. Without resolution, minor disagreements over changes can escalate to major issues and may reduce the overall effectiveness of the project team. It is essential that changes are resolved as quickly as possible, to prevent conflicts with the contractor, delays to the critical path or other non-time-related impacts to the project. Change order requests that go unresolved will affect the relationship between the City and the contractor, and may result in claims to the project. ECS staff members have a great amount of experience evaluating contractor change requests to determine entitlement and negotiating change orders.
Dispute resolution, whether formal or informal, can be an effective means to resolve outstanding issues on a project. Dispute resolution can be used when standard negotiations break down or remain unsuccessful. ECS has been effective in performing dispute resolution for many City projects to prevent the need for claims litigation. By putting together much of the approach and experience outlined in the items above, ECS can evaluate, document, and negotiate complex issues in order to resolve and close out claims, whether through formal or informal dispute resolution.
The primary point of contact between the construction management team and the contractor is the Resident Engineer (or Construction Project Manager). The roles of the resident engineer include:
• Provide on-site monitoring, tracking and documentation of the contractor’s work
• Log, review, distribute and coordinate RFIs, RFCs and proposed change orders
• Negotiate contractor change orders and claims
• Coordinate reviews and weekly meetings to solve problems and prevent delays; distribute minutes
• Provide monthly status reports on progress, budget and schedule
• Review and make necessary changes to Contractor’s progress payment requests – review may include verification of actual work, inspection of stored material and equipment, evaluation of as-built drawings status and other payment-related issues
FIELD ENGINEERING AND INSPECTION SUPPORT
Providing engineering support and inspection in the field during construction is essential. These services include:
• Site inspection of civil, soils, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation and controls according to specifications, plans and code requirements.
• Review and evaluate as-built drawings
• Review the quantity of work performed for month progress payment
• Develop and administer inspection plan
• Inspect all construction work and observe all testing
• Assist resolving conflicts or difficulties in contract documents
• Participate in progress meetings, technical meetings and field staff meetings
• Review plans, specifications and shop drawings for compliance prior and during construction
• Resolve conflicts between field and design control points, including field survey control points, and assist in scheduling and requesting required field services
• Review field condition changes and its impact on design
• Review change order requests
• Prepare and review as-built drawings, to be used as a check to the contractor set
• Review observed serious safety hazards
• Prepare and maintain project documentation, including progress records on a daily and weekly basis, and construction records
• Verify field measurement for progress payments
• Review and verify contractor’s payment requests
• Investigate complaints from the public
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL
Quality Control (QC) sets specific standards for construction performance, usually through the plans and specifications, and measures deviations from these standards. QC also triggers corrective actions to minimize such deviations and to provide plans for improvements in the standards themselves. In brief, QC ensures that the construction work conforms to the set criteria. Quality Assurance (QA) introduces systems to ensure that the work meets or exceeds the desired quality criteria. QA includes the documentation necessary to verify that all steps and procedures have been satisfactorily completed. ECS can prepare and set up a QA/QC program for specific jobs.
CLAIMS ANALYSIS, CLAIMS AVOIDANCE, AS-BUILT CPM SCHEDULE SUPPORT
Claims represent the final step of negotiations of change order or disputed work between the project team and the contractor. It is typically accepted that it is better to resolve issues prior to going into a claims situation. ECS will attempt to resolve all change or disputed work issues prior to claims litigation, as this typically does not benefit either of the conflicting sides. The most successful way to prevent claims is to resolve all issues that arise before the issues become claims. ECS refers to this as “claims avoidance” – the active pursuit of resolution of outstanding issues to prevent claims. Every attempt is made to work with the project team and the contractor to evaluate each disputed item and reach a settlement that satisfies all parties. In many cases, ECS’s separate evaluation and negotiation of the contractor’s costs and/or schedule items may result in the resolution of potential claims before they have been submitted as formal claims.
ECS | 290 Division Street, Suite #307, San Francisco, CA 94103 | (415) 934-8790