cnstrctr https://www.cnstrctr.com the social building space Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:17:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 124050122 Construction Tendering – Everything You Need To Know https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/construction-tendering-the-basics/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/construction-tendering-the-basics/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:45:24 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=2010

Construction tendering is something every project manager will need to go through in their career. Tendering on construction projects typically signals that a project is close to starting, therefore it can be an exciting time period. While the time may be exciting, having a proper tender can dictate the success of the project. Selecting the […]

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Construction tendering is something every project manager will need to go through in their career. Tendering on construction projects typically signals that a project is close to starting, therefore it can be an exciting time period.

While the time may be exciting, having a proper tender can dictate the success of the project. Selecting the wrong vendor could mean quality suffers or worse they go bankrupt and impact the the progress on the whole project.

What Is Subcontractor Tendering?

Subcontractor tendering is the process of selecting a vendor to perform a certain scope of work by having a group of vendors compete for the work. A selection of vendors are solicited and submit their bids which are then analysed. The successful trade typically has the most complete scope of work and the lowest number.

 

Start By Defining Your Construction Timelines

Before you start tendering you need to understand your construction project. If you need help developing your work break down structure and schedule, check out our article on construction scheduling. The reason for developing your schedule is to assist you in understanding the sequence of your tenders.

Not all projects are the same, and on one project you may need your mechanical vendor on site first, another you may need your drywaller. Understanding this sequence is critical to tendering.

Once you have your priorities established start by scheduling your tenders. List all of the subcontractor scopes you’ll need a tender package for and list timelines beside them. Here’s some timeframes to give yourself:

  • Tender Package (With Trades) – 2 Weeks
  • Time for Addendum (Questions and Answers) – 1 Week (just incase)
  • Post Tender Interviews – 2 Weeks
  • Contracts – 1 Week

 

Overall you should be able to tender and award a package in six weeks. If it’s a larger more complicated package you may need to give yourself and your trades more time.

 

Who Will You Be Tendering To?

Now that you’e established your timelines you need to determine who you will be going out to. If you’re part of a larger company you may already have a prequalified list of vendors that can perform your work. If not, consider reaching out to your local construction association. They keep a list of subcontractors and can help you in selecting vendors for your project.

Each package should have a minimum of 3-4 bidders and each bidder should be unique (ie not two divisions of the same company). There may be certain restrictions limiting who can be on your list, some of them include:

  • Capacity of the trade for work
  • Unionized or non-unionized (are you or your owner obligated to use union trades)
  • Timeline and schedule
  • Quality requirements (not all companies can build luxury product)

Create a spreadsheet, and along with each of your packages and timelines associated with each, add in all of your vendors per package.

Before you go out to tender, make sure to call each of the bidders and confirm that they would be interested in providing a price. Simply sending the package out without talking to them could waste your time and theirs.

construction tendering

 

 

Preparing Your Tender Package

A tender package should consist of a front end document, tender forms, drawings, specification, schedule and any other important information you think the subtrades should have. The front end document is the most important, and while we won’t go into great depth as to what it should include, here are some key items:

  • Details on the tender duration itself (time and date for submission)
  • Where and how to submit bids (ie by email, in person, by fax etc)
  • Duration pricing will be good for
  • Contract type and summary
  • Accounting requirements
  • Safety Requirements
  • Logistics Restrictions
  • Detailed trade scope of work (ie drywall, painting etc)

Your tender forms should follow the main tender package, typically tender forms are broken down into a few different pages

  • Main Price Breakdown
  • Itemized Pricing (Pricing included in the main number but broken out (ie a washroom within a house))
  • Seperate Pricing (Pricing that is NOT included in the base price but you may want to add the scope (ie a the price to add a second washroom to a house)
  • Alternate Pricing (pricing to use alternate methods or products)
  • Unit Rates (Unit Pricing for their materials – ie Supply and Install of a SF of Tile – typically used to evaluate changes)
  • Staff Rates

Once you have your tender forms prepared it’s time to send out your tender package.

The Construction Tendering Period

Typically nowadays tender packages are distributed by email or by way of an online bid submission software. Drawings specifications and any other information is also distributed digitially (dropbox or box help greatly with this). In the old days (not that long ago) the general contractor would make documents availablke in their office for the trade to come and review.


#cnstrctrtip - Once the #construction documents have been sent out to the sub-trades for tender it’s important to follow up with them regularly. You don’t want to waste two weeks only to find out noone is pricing the job.
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Once the construction tender has been issued you should arrange for a site walk. This will allow the trades to view the site, and give you the chance to walk them through the logistics and site restrictions.

It’s important to remember that the tender is supposed to be confidential therefore, do your best to limit emails or correspondence where the trades see eachother’s email addresses. BCC when sending information out via email.

When questions get asked by trades you need to ensure all vendors get the same information at the same time (in order to ensure fairness). Answers should be compiled into a document called an addendum and issued to all of the trades of the same package. Any changes to the tender scope and information should also be issued via an addendum as well.

 

Closing the Construction Tender, Interviews and Award

The closing details should have previously been outlined in your tender package, therefore when it comes time to close it should be pretty clear. Wait until you’ve received all of the bids, and then open them.

The bids should all be initialed by yourself, and your owner if necessary to ensure there is no page swapping once they are open.

After you’ve opened them it’s time to prepare a bid evaluation. For a great article on evaluating construction bids check out this link – it goes into great detail on what to look for and how to grade them.

Interviewing the vendors is an important part of the evaluation process. Bring the most complete and lowest vendors in for a meeting, in it discuss the details of their bid, your tender package to ensure they have a firm understanding of the scope of work and the construction project.

Once your meetings are done, the evaluation has been completed and you know which vendor it’s time to prepare your contract and issue an award letter to the selected vendor to let them know they are successful.

As a matter of best practice it’s important to let the other vendors know they weren’t successful. Issue a letter of regret to the bidders who won’t be getting the project. This will help to maintain relationships with the others for future projects.

Do you have a best practice or need some help with your specific tendering problem? Let us know below in the comments or shoot us an email. We also offer consulting services. Reach out to us at webmail@cnstrctr.com for more information!

 

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Construction Financial Reporting – Why It’s Important and How To Do It https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-01-general-requirements/construction-financial-reporting-why-its-important-and-how-to-do-it/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-01-general-requirements/construction-financial-reporting-why-its-important-and-how-to-do-it/#respond Sun, 11 Feb 2018 23:09:04 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1983

When someone thinks of the excitement of constructing a new building, financial reporting immediately comes to mind. We’re kidding of course. For a lot of people financial reporting is something they don’t enjoy. Nevertheless it an important part of any construction project. Throughout my career I’ve been on projects with both good and bad reporting […]

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When someone thinks of the excitement of constructing a new building, financial reporting immediately comes to mind. We’re kidding of course. For a lot of people financial reporting is something they don’t enjoy. Nevertheless it an important part of any construction project.

Throughout my career I’ve been on projects with both good and bad reporting structures and methods. Keeping an owner, and your own company informed of the financial status of a project is just as important as quality and schedule.

In order to determine who your report will be distributed to you need to first determine who your audience will be, there are two main audiences for reporting:

Internal Reporting – is important for two reasons. The first and most obvious is knowing how much money you will be making. Contractors charge fee on a project, and that fee is intended to go into the business. Reports help to monitor that fee and make sure the company limits exposure. The second reason is for cash flow. A project that doubles in value will have a significantly different impact on the organization.

External Reporting – is equally if not more important than internal reporting. Ensuring your client is aware of their costs is important. These reports should summarize the overall budget, potential change orders, cash flow, risks and more. These reports get distributed to your client and consultants.


Knowing your audience for your #construction #financial report is important as you'll want to tailor the information you'll be providing to the audience's needs
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How Often Should Construction Financial Reports Be Issued?

The contract is the first place to start when determining how frequently your construction financial reports should be issued. There may be information outlined in the specification or the contract itself which dictates both frequency and timing of the reports. Consider issuing your reports on a monthly basis if the contract doesn’t specifically outline it in detail. This will typically cover your from both a liability and due diligence standpoint.

What Should be Included In An Internal Financial Report?

There are a number of key items which need to be included in your internal financial report, below we’ll walk you through each and provide some examples.

Internal Reports

Forecast – the forecast needs to at a bare minimum identify what your budget numbers are, costs or committed costs to date and anything left over or any over run. You should break this report down by division including soft costs from hard costs (your costs vs costs that are subcontracted out).

Staff Forecast – if you’re part of a larger company staff planning is important. Provide forecasts for the staff you have on your project including how long they have been on the project vs how long they have remaining. You can use this as a staff loading chart to tell you how much money you have to spend on staff.

Fee – we are all in business. Part of running any business is making money. Identify how much money your project will be bringing in for your company in a seperate report.

Schedule – Provide a schedule. Don’t know how to prepare a schedule sorted by WBS? Don’t worry we have you covered with this article on construction scheduling.

 

External Reports

Forecast – depending on your contract type the reporting requirements here will vary. For example, if you have a lump sum contract the amount of information you’re required to provide is minimal. On a construction management contract you’ll need to be more transparent. Regardless, as a bare minimum you should outline all of your budget line items for each division.

Changes – identify changes by a reference number, status of them and the value. Identify if they have been issued by consultant, quoted or if a change order has been issued and fully executed.

Risk – this is one of our favourite parts. Identify any major risk items that are out on the project right now. For example, if there’s a chance you’ll find asbestos, identify what that cost could be. These are “might happens” but atleast you’re identifying it early rather than forcing your owner to make a last minute decision. As part of this report you should identify the likelihood of it happening again. For more on risk check out our managing risk in construction article.

Cashflow – ensuring an owner knows how much money they will need to spend at certain points in the project is important. Providing a cash flow graph should be mandatory in every report.

Schedule – your contract likely has a legal requirement to provide a monthly schedule update. This is a great way to easily satisfy that requirement. To take it a step further, provide a written summary.

Submittals and RFI’s – provide a log and summarize outstanding submittals and RFI’s from your trades.

Putting Your Construction Financial Report Together

This report will take time to put together. Be proud of the work that you’ve done and make sure other people are aware of your pride. Put a nice cover on it. Make sure there are headers on each of your pages, page numbers go a long way.

Just because we work in an industry that isn’t always the fanciest doesn’t mean we can’t prepare professional looking documents.

Take the time and prepare a professional looking report. It will go a long way to getting your client to appreciate the report.

Additional Resources

Below are a few links to some additional resources to help you prepare your reports:

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Infographic – LEED in the Construction Industry https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/infographic-leed-construction-industry/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/infographic-leed-construction-industry/#respond Sun, 28 Jan 2018 00:03:12 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1985

LEED has been around now for a number of years and is becoming a much more common certification in the construction and real estate industry. We’ve found a great infographic from SuretyBonds which does a great job at breaking down how it’s benefited the construction industry.  

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LEED has been around now for a number of years and is becoming a much more common certification in the construction and real estate industry. We’ve found a great infographic from SuretyBonds which does a great job at breaking down how it’s benefited the construction industry.

 

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Exterior Access in Construction https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-02-site-works/exterior-access-in-construction/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-02-site-works/exterior-access-in-construction/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 17:45:59 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1955

Picking an exterior access solution for your construction project can be a complicated decision to make. Choosing the wrong solution can create logistical, schedule and quality issues. Today we’re going to walk through the different exterior access solutions you have available to you in construction, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. Note […]

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Picking an exterior access solution for your construction project can be a complicated decision to make. Choosing the wrong solution can create logistical, schedule and quality issues. Today we’re going to walk through the different exterior access solutions you have available to you in construction, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Note that we are writing this from Canada, some of the terminology and techniques we are writing about may be different in your country. Make sure to check with local vendors on solutions they have available to you.

 

Scaffolding

 

When you start in construction likely one of the first temporary structures you will come in contact with is scaffolding. There are many different types and forms of scaffolding so let’s stick with the “tube and coupler” type which is used throughout North America.

Scaffolding can be defined by its ladder like look from the outside.


Scaffolding is a very flexible solution for #construction and can be custom designed for your project by a structural #engineer.
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Scaffolding is the most common access type mainly because of it’s safety and versatility. Scaffolding can provide you consistent (key word here) throughout the entire face of your building at intervals that you define. So if you need a platform every 6’ for 25 people to work off of, scaffolding is your best bet.

One of the other great advantages of scaffolding is the ability to enclose it. It is common practice to enclose the scaffolding in netting preventing tools, debris and dust from falling and hurting or disturbing the surroundings. If netting isn’t enough you can use an insulated tarp and heat the cavity space, or print a graphic on a scrim and hide your scaffolding all other.

One of the main disadvantages to scaffolding is the cost. Typically scaffolding is put up when you need regular acccess to an area for a long duration or an intense short duration. The initial setup, dismantle and engineering costs can be prohibitive.

The weight of scaffolding can also be a deterrent. Depending on the height you need to get to scaffolding can be heavy. Weight can affect the surface you sit it on, so, depending on the structure below you may need additional shoring to support the weight of the scaffolding.

 

Swing Stages

 

Swing stages are next up one of our personal favourites. Swing stages are commonly seen on high rise towers where window cleaners have to get access to the exterior facade. Swing stages have a strong use in commercial construction as well as they provide a flexible means of accessing the exterior.

Swing stages can be identified by a metal platform that is hung off of the roof by cables (two cables or four). Unlike scaffolding there is no support at the ground level.

This system is advantageous for a few reasons, it is quick to set up allowing workers to be on the side of the building in a relatively fast manner. It allows continuous access to any point along a certain “drop” on a building. Swing stages are also relatively quick moving when you compare them to scaffolding or climbers.

One of the main disadvantages to swing stages is safety. Swing stages require special training and sign off by an engineer. Dealing with less reputable vendors can sometimes jeopardize the quality of the stage and it’s parts potentially putting the workers at risk. Before you start any stage work make sure to check with your local vendors and ensure their industry certifications check out.

Another downside to swing stages is that they are top loaded and difficult to move. The roof system needs to have roof anchors, otherwise large counterweights need to be installed to support the stage. When you need to move the swing stage to another location the stage needs to be relocated manually by a certified vendor / installer.

 

construction exterior access - climbers

 

Climbers

 

When you need more capacity and something a little more rigid than a swing stage turning to a self climber system might be the answer for your exterior access needs. If you’ve ever walked by a construction site and seen a platform supported by a large vertical metal mast that is a motorized self climbing system.

The platform is centrally supported by the mast which is attached to the side of the structure. The platform moves up and down the mast by a motor.

Some advantages of a self climbing system are a higher capacity and safer more stable work surface. The platform allows you to put multiple people and material on the same level. Because the platform is relatively stable it is safer for the workers and can integrate guardrails.

One of the down sides to using climbers is the weight on specific points in the strucutre. The brackets attach to beams or columns as it goes up the building and the point loads on those can be high. If you have an older building this may not be a suitable option.

construction exterior access - scissor lift

 

Lifts (Scissor and Boom)

 

Lifts are one of the most common pieces of equipment on a construction job site and require minimal training to operate. Using a lift on a project jobsite should be one of your first considerations due to their flexibility and relatively inexpensive cost.

Many companies in North America have built businesses on renting out lifts. They can come in many different types, from boom lifts where the arm extends to the height you need. To scissor lifts which provide you with a stable platform and are relatively compact. There are even off road variants and variants that fit through doors.

One of the main advantages to lifts is their ability to reach complex places. They have a strong safety record (as long as they are well maintained) and are relatively inexpensive when you compare them to some of the other options on this list.

Conversely, lifts can get very heavy the higher you need to go with them. Some of the larger lifts (in excess of 50’) may require shoring underneath of them if your substructure is weak. In addition lifts reach can be limited. When you get to some of higher heights their stability is limited and it can be difficult to work off of.

Safety First

 

No matter what lifting solution you end up going with on your project it’s important to remember that the safety of your workers should be paramount.


There are many ways that #workers can get hurt when working when working from heights in #construction, take all precautions necessary to put proper protection and procedures in place.
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Remember to have an emergency response plan in place and have your schedule refined.

Do you have a vertical access solution that we haven’t listed here? Let us know below or in our social media channels!

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How To Plan Your Next Construction Crane Lift https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-02-site-works/how-to-plan-your-next-construction-crane-lift/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-02-site-works/how-to-plan-your-next-construction-crane-lift/#respond Sun, 14 Jan 2018 16:29:55 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1939

Many construction projects have a crane lift on them and planning them correctly is a difficult process. There can be many different reasons for needing a crane on site, from moving a big piece of equipment onto site, pouring concrete, or installing windows, cranes have many different applications. In today’s article we are going to […]

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Many construction projects have a crane lift on them and planning them correctly is a difficult process. There can be many different reasons for needing a crane on site, from moving a big piece of equipment onto site, pouring concrete, or installing windows, cranes have many different applications.

In today’s article we are going to walk through some of the basic requirements for a crane lift and things you should be looking for.

What You’ll Need to Start Planning Your Crane Lifts

Getting the basic tools and parties together to start planning your first lift is important. Starting out organized will help you to be more organized as the job get’s more complex.

People and Companies You’ll Need

  • A crane company (with an engineer)
  • A safety department
  • City staff (permits for roads, sidewalks, airspace, etc)
  • Superintendent and Project Manager for the project
  • Subcontractors and suppliers
  • Traffic control personnel (if necessary)

Some tools and equipment you’ll need

  • A binder with tabs to organize all of the information you’ll get
  • A crane
  • The equipment you’ll be lifting
  • Traffic control equipment (if necessary)
  • The crane itself and any related equipment (jib, extended boom, hook, counter-weights)

Information You’ll Need

  • The weights and sizes of equipment you’re lifting
  • A city services plan
  • Structural drawings for the building and surrounding structures
  • Geotechnical report
  • Weather report (for the day or days of the lifts)

Once you have everything in hand above let’s get started planning your lift.

Determining Your Requirements for a Construction Crane Lift (s)

Weight and Size of the Items

One of the first things you should do is establish what the crane will be for. What is the object you are lifting? Are there multiple’s of this object and or multiple objects?

Once you’ve determined what you’ll be lifting pull out the information on the products. Find the weight and dimensions of the object. A two tonne item that is the size of a person is a lot simpler to lift in some instances than a two tonne item the size of a school bus.

Determing the size and weight of the items you’ll be lifting will help you to determine the capacity requirements of your crane but there’s a third factor to consider. The location of the lift and final location of the product will also impact the size.

Location Matters

Pull out the drawings and determine the start and end points for your product. Determine where the product will be delivered and where it will need to end up, if there are multiple locations, mark out them all out on a drawing. This needs to be done in both a horizontal and a vertical direction.

Frequency

The frequency of your lift will impact the type of crane. Need regular lifting (day to day) but don’t want to close a lane, you may need to put in a semi-permanent tower crane or derrick crane. Need one large lift – a mobile crane may be your best bet.

Just in case the above doesn’t quite make sense, we’ve included a chart below which indicates what each type of crane will be best used for to help in your decision making.

Crane Type Space Requirements for Setup Frequency of Lift (Days Between Lifts) Capacity (Amount it can carry) Mobility (Set Up and During Lift)
Borderson Crane  Low  Frequent  Low High
Tower Crane – Standard  Medium  Frequent Medium  Low
Tower Crane – Luffer  Medium  Frequent  High Low
Derrick Crane  Low  Frequent  Low Medium
Mobile Crane  High  Low  High Medium
Crawler Crane  High  Low  High Medium

Once you’ve made a selection on the type of crane you plan on going with it’s time to start finalizing the location of it.

There’s a number of people you’ll need to start consulting at this point but some basic advice will be to get an engineer involved. They will help you to determine the correct size for the crane and make recommendations on any special attachments that are required (more on this a little later).

Finalizing the location of your crane comes next. Some things to ask yourself are: what are the site restrictions? Do I have adjacent structures surrounding the lift point that could limit the swing radius? Is there existing structure that I could need to shore? Are there subsurface services or tunnels that would need to be protected or reinforced during the lift?

If the location has been settled, put together a high level drawing indicating the crane, swing radius and final locations of all of the pick and drop off points. Highlight any surrounding structures and underground services that the operator and team need to be aware of. Distribute this to the group including your engineer for review. The engineer will need to draw up a formal document, stamped with all of the loads and lifting weights noted.

Of special note – as loads get further away from the central hub of the crane the capacity decreases and therefore a larger crane may be required for smaller lifts that have to travel a long distance.

 

Planning Your Day (s) of Lifting

Remember that binder we mentioned earlier, open it up and begin preparing it. We recommend including the following items within the binder, alot of these documents will need to be developed with your team and will help to keep your information organized:

Executive Summary – this is a high level summary of the lift for those interested in getting the coles notes. Include the purpose for the lift, location, time date and summary of the pick points and crane type and size.

Contact List – this is important, communication on the day or days of the lift is important and it’s good to have everyone’s contact information in one spot. This should include all points of contact for all companies involved in the lift.

Engineered Crane Layout and Cutsheets – include all information related to the crane layout and the cutsheets on the piece of equipment on the crane. This should include the final signed off drawing from the engineer we mentioned earlier.

Permits – theres a long list of permits you may need – this could include a permit for air rights, road close permit, even the building permit could be good to include in this section.

Safety Tab 1 – Activity Specific Safety Plan – this is a critical piece of information, and should be developed with all those involved. Include a detail job hazard analysis. Each trade should have their own JHA

Safety Tab 2 – Safety and Emergency Response Plan – Include the general safety plan for the contractors and an emergency response plan incase something is to go awry.

Schedule – develop a detailed schedule with your team. This schedule needs to include the time and duration of the lift setup. What time each of your loads will be delivered to site and the time required for each of them. A good practice for this is to also include the contact for each of the lifts so people know who to contact in the event something isn’t going as planned.

Insurances – there’s likely going to be some hefty insurances provided from each of the vendors. Make sure it’s provided by everyone and filed in the event it’s required.

Traffic Control Plan – unless you’re building in an open field there’s a good chance your deliveries or lifting will impact traffic and or pedestrian flow. This should be included in the binder as well and should mark all controls clearly as well as include a description for any flagmen or police.

Other Information – we like to include a tab with other information or correspondence at the end of the binder. This section can include things such as delivery routes (if you have oversized loads coming to site), communication with your owner, and other pertinent information you feel you might need on the day of the actual lift.

Let’s Do This – The Big Day of the Construction Crane Lift

The big day or day’s are here, and you’re justifiably nervous (though if you have all of the above information in hand you’re about as prepared as you can be). Start the day early (we mean 4AM early) and arrive first to site to give yourself some time to mentally prepare for the day.

Start the day off by bringing all parties into a meeting room and doing a huddle, go over who is responsible for what, what the schedule is and appoint a go / no go point of contact for the day and each of the deliveries.

Collect everyone’s information including the crane drivers certifications and crane certifications. Make sure everyone fills out the site specific job hazard analysis and signs off on the safety plan.

one important thing to understand is that the crane operator ultimately has the last say on a crane lift. If they feel the least bit uncomortable about a situation they can call off the lift. Respect their opinion. Becoming an operator takes lots of training and often times they know best.

Be mindful of your schedule throughout the day, if your permits have time limit watch them closely, make sure communication is open. Consider assigning a radio channel for the team so everyone know’s what’s going on.

construction crane lift planning

 

Celebrate or Re-Group

The big day or days have come and gone and things either went well or haven’t. Take time to celebrate your accomplishments as a team. It’s important to reward people for their work. If thing’s didn’t go as planned, start by understanding what went wrong and plan your next day.

A successful crane lift can be a lot of work and you should always go into it prepared. Be kind to people around you and understanding of their requirements. This will be something you’ll likely do a few times in your career so take time to reflect on your lessons learned both good and bad.

Think you have what it takes to plan a crane lift? Let us know if you’ve done one in the past and what you think about our guide in the comments!

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Construction Trends Shaping the Face of 2018 https://www.cnstrctr.com/all-posts/round-ups/construction-trends-shaping-face-2018/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/all-posts/round-ups/construction-trends-shaping-face-2018/#respond Sat, 06 Jan 2018 19:54:35 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1935

This week we feature an infographic from our friends over at bigrentz – check out their website for more great construction related articles.

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This week we feature an infographic from our friends over at bigrentz – check out their website for more great construction related articles.

construction trends 2018

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The Top Construction Blogs in 2018 https://www.cnstrctr.com/community-showcase/the-top-construction-blogs-in-2018/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/community-showcase/the-top-construction-blogs-in-2018/#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2018 02:58:24 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1930

The construction industry is in a constant flux, it can be good or bad change and many of us require up to date information, in order to get that information many of us turn to construction blogs and news sites on the internet. Today we’re recognizing some of our favourite construction industry blogs in 2017 […]

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The construction industry is in a constant flux, it can be good or bad change and many of us require up to date information, in order to get that information many of us turn to construction blogs and news sites on the internet.

Today we’re recognizing some of our favourite construction industry blogs in 2017 as well as a summary (list) of others we’ve found throughout the internet.

For those of you that want a complete list of construction news, we’re revamping our news page to be more user friendly and offer feeds from around the community!

Featured Construction Blogs

GenieBelt – is actually a task and project management software for construction sites but they also run a really great blog. They regularly post up top date articles on different subjects in the construction industry ranging from the labour shortage to starting your own construction company. Geniebelt is one of our favourite blogs on the internet.

Construction Marketing Ideas – our industry is great at building things and getting our hands dirty but when it comes to advertising and marketing often times we come up well short. Construction Marketing regularly writes articles on things like putting proposals together and how to get new clients.

Lean Construction Blog – lean construction is one of the buzz words in our industry right now (we’ve even done an article on it). Lean Construction blog focuses on the methods and practices that are at the leading edge of lean construction practices.

The Construction Junkie – construction junkie doesnt focus on one subject in particular. The love is spread across the industry, they have alot of good articles on current events, projects and major issues facimg the construction industry.

ConAppGuru -this blog focuses on construction technology which if you’re anything like us you can’t get enough of! They feature a regular podcast which reviews software, equipment and other new tech coming into and out of our industry.

Constructech – want even more technology in your life? Constructech is another technology blog and one we read regularly. Staying on top of changing trends is important and constructech can help you do so.

ConstructionDive – this list wouldn’t be completed without adding Construction Dive. Regularly updated on current events in the construction industry this blog is followed by many and considered one of the best resources.

construction blogs

 

Honourable Mention Construction Blogs

The above blogs are just some of our favourites, but there are plenty of other great resources that are available in the industry, below are some of them bringing more news to the industry:

Interested in getting your blog or one you love listed in the above? Leave us a comment below!

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Top Five cnstrctr Blog Posts of 2017 https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/top-five-cnstrctr-blog-posts-of-2017/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/top-five-cnstrctr-blog-posts-of-2017/#respond Sun, 24 Dec 2017 16:38:21 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1900

Our blog work here at cnstrctr started in December 2016, so it goes without saying that the year 2017 has been an important year for us. We’ve introduced a glossary, discussion forum and have written over 40 articles aimed at helping the construction, architecture and engineering industries. We’ve grown our followers on social media accounts […]

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Our blog work here at cnstrctr started in December 2016, so it goes without saying that the year 2017 has been an important year for us. We’ve introduced a glossary, discussion forum and have written over 40 articles aimed at helping the construction, architecture and engineering industries. We’ve grown our followers on social media accounts by over 1500 followers.

Today we’re going to run through our top five articles of 2017 by traffic generated. Looking forward to continuing this journey with everyone in 2018.

5 – Lean Construction – Pull Planning Explained

 

In December wrote an article on pull planning. Lean construction can sometimes be a confusing subject, and it’s one of the big buzz words in the construction industry right now. Pull planning is the process of scheduling from a milestone backwards with the help of your trades and all parties involved. Check out the article for a full rundown on scheduling and pull planning.

 

4 – How to Manage Construction Project Risk

 

The proper management of risk on a construction project is the sign of a good project manager. It is vital for the success of any project or set of projects. One of the things we walk you through in this article is identifying risk in a timely manner and sharing it amongst others by way of a risk register. Read more on how to effectively manage your construction project’s risk.

Blog construction posts 2017

 

3 – Five Ways To Make Your Building More Efficient

 

It doesn’t take long for you to come across the next great thing that will save you money in the real estate and operations industry. We’ve been working in the construction industry now for over ten years and have made five recommendations to improving your building’s efficiency that make the most sense. Read up on all of the building efficiency tips here.

BONUS – since writing this article, we’ve done a number of project using spray insulation and can’t say enough about the application of this material onto existing surfaces!

 

2 – Beating The Construction Labour Shortage

 

For years people have been warning of the upcoming labour shortage in the construction industry. With baby-boomers retiring and young people more interested in careers in tech, finance and other industries it’s created a real problem. Like it or not this problem is here and isn’t going away anytime soon. We’ve offered some advice such as implementing lean techniques, training and developing your existing employees to help beat the shortage.

 

1 – Seven Steps for Construction Startup

 

Our most visited article of the year focused around getting your project started. A strong project start is critical to project success and doing it incorrectly can mean a schedule that starts out behind. Making sure that your safety plan is complete, budget is signed off and in place and your work plans are fully thought out are just a few ways to get prepared. We share our most important steps to construction project setup in this article.

 

That’s it from us for 2017! We look forward to an exciting and productive 2018 with all of you. If you have a different article that you really enjoyed let us know below in the comments.

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Temporary Electrical Systems On The Jobsite https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-16-electrical/temporary-electrical-the-basics/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-16-electrical/temporary-electrical-the-basics/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:12:56 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1866

If you’ve ever been on a project where the electrical breakers would be constantly tripping and lighting was at a minimum, dont’t worry you’re not alone. Building a project without a temporary electrical network is like building a structure without concrete, it doesn’t happen. Every day you hear about some new technology that’s changing the […]

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If you’ve ever been on a project where the electrical breakers would be constantly tripping and lighting was at a minimum, dont’t worry you’re not alone.

Building a project without a temporary electrical network is like building a structure without concrete, it doesn’t happen. Every day you hear about some new technology that’s changing the way we do business in the construction industry. It’s often the most simplest of thing’s we sometimes overlook and take for granted.

Electricity on a job makes things work, from the lights that keep spaces bright to the battery chargers for your drill. If it doesn’t exist it’s very difficult to build anything.

There’s alot that goes into creating a temporary plan and network on your project. At no point should you be doing it alone. Input from all of your trades and co-workers is important to make sure that you’re not missing anything.

This article isn’t intended to explain everything about electrical design to you, but it is intended to give you a strong understanding of how to plan your temporary electrical network on your next project.

Basic Electrical Concepts

Electricity is measured and discussed in Amps, Volts, and Ohms with each having a critical role to play. We won’t go into too much depth but we found a great analogy online:

Voltage is measured in volts, current is measured in amps and resistance is measured in ohms. A neat analogy to help understand these terms is a system of plumbing pipes. The voltage is equivalent to the water pressure, the current is equivalent to the flow rate, and the resistance is like the pipe size.

Often in construction you won’t hear much about resistance (that’s typically designed by an engineer) but you will hear people discuss equipment in volts and amps.

For a full walkthrough on the concepts we’ve found this article to be great at explaining it.

In order to start your temporary electrical plan you’re going to need a number of pieces of information:

A schedule – your temporary power requirements are going to change throughout construction. What you need at start up might be more or less then you need later on in the project. The other question you need to ask yourself is how long will you be on temporary power for? Will you need to run new equipment off of it or will the new building power be up before you start commissioning? Not sure how to schedule? We can help.

Logistics Plan – consider how you are getting material up and down the building, where deliveries will be? What are the pieces of equipment you will need to perform different activities. Have a read through our article on construction start up for a better understanding of items you might need at start up.

Trade Input – what power will each of the trades need? A floor grinder might have a power requirement of 600V 100amps where your fans might have a power requirement for 120V 15A. Each piece of equipment needs to be reviewed as this will dictate what power you take to where.

There’s never such thing as having too much information when planning this type of work.

Once you have an understanding of the different concepts of electricity and the above information we recommend you grab a floor plan of your building.

 

temporary electrical - generator

Temporary Electrical – Feeding The Beast

Start by identifying the source of power for how you will be feeding the project site. If you’re in an existing building and can use the power from it, good start. If however, you’re in the middle of a field and need to bring power in to the project you may need to bring in a generator. In order to figure out the sizing of the source you’ll need to pull in the list of equipment you and your trades will need and add it all up.

Once the source has been determined it’s time to start feeding the job site. Larger companies have pre-fabricated temporary panels but if you’re a smaller outfit you’ll have to have your electrician make up some temporary panels. As a recommendation we suggest building panels with a disconnect connected to an electrical panel feeding a series of outlets mounted to a backboard. Another suggestion would be to install these on wheels so that they can be easily pushed around the job.

These should be distributed around the jobsite as needed, the frequency of them will be dictated on how much activity there is in a specific area. For example a mechanical room that has a significant amount of demolition and welding would require much more power then an open office area that needs to have a ceiling, carpet and walls installed.

Mark all of your small locations down on the floor plan.

Temporary Electrical – The Heavy Lifting

Once you have the jobsite fed for small equipment with your temporary panels it’s time to identify the bigger load equipment. Some examples of larger equipment which may need to be indepentely fed are:

  • Tower crane
  • Welding machine
  • Floor grinding equipment
  • Concrete pump
  • Sprayed fireproofing pump
  • Elevators or hoist equipment
  • Temporary electrical heaters
  • Chipping guns

There are alot more examples, but each of these will likely require independent electrial feeding them.

Mark all of these down on your floor plan.

temporary electrical - lighting

 

Bring On The Lights!

Lighting is important on a project and you don’t want to forget it. Not only is it a safety requirement but having more light also increases productivity for workers. We recommend keeping your lighting feeds seperate from your construction power feeds. This way if your breakers trip for your panels it won’t put your building into darkness.

A big part of temporary lighting of a building is the actual fixtures you’ll be using. Everyone’s least favourite way of lighting a project is the classic light stringer. Always damaged, never safe and always in the way. Other options can include high bay light fixtures or fixtures such as wobble lights.

Mark all of the lighting locations down on a floor plan, and the panel locations you’ll use to feed them. In general you typically want to feed around 45,000SF of space off of one panel.

Putting It All Together

Once you have your floor plan with the locations of each of the above start by laying them out on a riser diagram. The wiring to each of the pieces of equipment will be critical for your material orders. Add each piece of equipment to the drawing and the source, then start drawing a line between it and the panels.

At this point in the process you may need to bring in an engineer to help you with the design, many panels can likely be fed off of a single line. Make sure to have someone sign off on the overall strategy and design.

Once you have the final design it’s time to start installing, when you’re planning it you should be looking at your constraints. Things like elevators can limit the size of equipment you bring into a given space.

Make sure to hire a qualified electrical contractor to install all of the equipment on your project. Once the equipment is installed they will need to bring in an Electrical Safety Authority to sign off on the installation. There may be a maintenance requirement for your equipment (ie monthly inspections), make sure this is followed.

Finally, remember that things change on a job site.

Don’t expect to install this and leave it the same the whole time. It will need to be modified as trades come on board and leave. Include some contingency in your plan for those inevitable surprises that will come up as you go.

Do you have any temporary electrical ideas for your jobsite that are creative? We’d be interested in hearing about them so feel free to share them below!

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Construction – The Building Cycle Infographic https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-01-general-requirements/construction-the-building-cycle-infographic/ https://www.cnstrctr.com/general-construction-knowledge/division-01-general-requirements/construction-the-building-cycle-infographic/#respond Sun, 10 Dec 2017 22:24:34 +0000 https://www.cnstrctr.com/?p=1854

The construction industry can be confusing and so can the project building cycle. When do contractors typically come on board? Who manages what? How is the design developed? These are all really good questions and the whole process can be tricky to navigate. This week we wanted to share an infographic we found on the […]

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The construction industry can be confusing and so can the project building cycle. When do contractors typically come on board? Who manages what? How is the design developed? These are all really good questions and the whole process can be tricky to navigate.

This week we wanted to share an infographic we found on the internet which does a really good job at explaining the whole process.

construction - the building cycle

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