BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN CONSTRUCTION
BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN CONSTRUCTION
The world is becoming increasingly mobilized and it has become necessary that construction companies recognize the need of implementing mobile technologies in their business. The construction industry continues to grow every year and therefore latest technology has become a need of the companies to survive in this constantly evolving industry. Mobile technology offers an integrated solution to construction companies to improve their business and ensure that they’re keeping pace with their competitors in the industry.
    There are numerous benefits of implementing mobile technology in construction business. Among these benefits, the major ones are:

    • Reduction of Costly Errors
    • Using manual processes and paper forms have high risk of errors that can be extremely costly for the company owners. Moreover, physical paperwork is a slow and time-consuming task and can be difficult to read. It can also be lost easily in the shuffle of daily work. This can result in payroll mistakes, project delays, miscommunication, and many other issues. The use of mobile technology can minimize these costly errors by rearranging all the data into one place. Workers can enter their working hours directly from the worksite, which helps avoid payroll mistakes. All the team members can directly communicate with each other, which helps them finish their tasks efficiently.

      • Reduction in Liability Issues and Other Legal Troubles
      • Mobile technology collects data more accurately within the field as compared to manual data collection methods. This means that there is a lower chance of incurring any legal issue. For example, it is extremely important to carry out regular safety inspections on the construction sites, but paper forms fail to verify that safety inspections have been carried out at a specific place and time. This can put a company at risk for litigations and several other liability issues. By implementing mobile technology, companies can solve such issues and provide validated date and time stamps as a proof that they have performed safety inspections accurately and efficiently. In case of any disputes, this documentation can help the company settle any issues or legal action.

        • Improved Software Safety and Security
        • By using cloud-based technology, companies can give their data and important information the best possible protection. Many construction companies use their own servers and don’t realize that their systems can collapse anytime and as a result all their data is at a risk of being lost. Also, the servers are always at a risk of being compromised, which leaves all the important information and data of the company vulnerable to malevolent people. Mobile software ensures that the company’s data is always safe and secure and free from all such risks.

          • Keeps Everyone in the Company Updated
          • Mobile technology uses cloud networks which basically means that company will always stay updated about what’s happening in the office, on the construction site, warehouse etc. regular updates are provided to the company by the project teams that makes their work as seamless and efficient as possible.

            • Customized Documentation
            • Unlike manual paper forms documentation, mobile technology has enabled the companies to customize documentation according to their requirements. Workers can modify work order forms to include things like prices for particular parts and specific customer requirements or requests. It is difficult to modify paper forms to add additional information, which increases the risk of errors and miscalculations. Adopting mobile technology guarantees that all the documentation is accurate and complete, with the flexibility for the employees to add additional information.

              • Improved Communication
              • Mobile technology provides a better mode of communication to all the company personnel. The days when one had to call back and forth between the construction site and the office are long gone now. the mobile software has enabled the employees to communicate quickly and more efficiently, and receive immediate responses from the other staff members.
                IMPORTANCE OF DRONES IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
                IMPORTANCE OF DRONES IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
                Drones have led to significant changes in the construction industry. They have changed the way construction processes take place. They have not only made construction operations easier but also improved their productivity.
                  Here are some of the major contributions of drones in the industry and their impact on the construction processes:

                    Land Survey

                      Drones are rapidly replacing the traditional methods of land surveillance. They have become so popular and are being adopted so rapidly that some people have even replaced the classic expression “bird’s eye view” with “drone’s eye view”. Drones have greatly reduced the time and labour involved in land surveying. They have also eliminated much of the human error in the process with their ability to capture necessary date accurately.

                        Improved Infrastructure

                          Drones have provided superior intelligence and endurance on worksites. With their ability to collect and report real-time data, drones have enabled the project teams to complete their work faster. They have removed the need for manual labour to perform this task. In future, drones will take over even more complex tasks involved large projects. They have the potential to cut the time and cost it takes to build skyscrapers by a huge margin. Contractors who use drones in their work will be able to make much more profits and deliver projects on time.

                            Improved Communication and Management

                              Drone technology has made instant communication and connectivity possible on work sites. They are being used to maintain constant contact at construction sites. Drones with mounted cameras can also provide with video footages to facilitate surveillance and communication. They have allowed companies to keep a watchful eye on the workers to ensure they’re working properly and safely. Due to all these benefits, drones have become an invaluable tool or investors and project managers.
                                Moreover, communication and management have seen significant improvement in efficiency to the ability of drones to collect real-time data. The time involved in gathering data has been considerably reduced due to the use of drones which has made worksite management easier and more efficient.

                                  Improved Workers’ Safety

                                    The use of drones in construction industry has led to a significant improvement in workers’ safety. Drones are being employed to constantly supervise the workers on site to ensure they’re working safely. In case of any risks, safety supervisors are able to take action on time before any mishap takes place. Drones have not only improved worker’s safety but also all over worksite security. The supervisors constantly monitor the construction sites to protect them from vandalism or theft. They also have the ability to survey dangerous locations safely and thus reduce worksite accidents. Manual surveys of these locations do not have to be conducted so worker’s safety is not at risk.

                                      More Accurate Surveillance

                                        Drones have the ability to capture everything at the same time. they not only reduce vandalism and theft and keep workers’ safe, but they also create a 24-hour real-time monitoring system. This monitoring system has been adopted by many construction companies and more and more companies are employing it with time. They elevate onsite safety and efficiency by a great margin. Drones have the ability to survey dangerous locations safely and thus reduce worksite accidents. Onsite inspection through drones drastically increases worksite safety and eliminates many safety hazards and dangers.

                                          Better Transportation

                                            The use of drones in aerial transportation of goods allows the companies to carry out difficult inspections and monitor everything that enter and leaves the worksite. It saves time and money keeps the job site secure. Since drones are smaller in size and highly manoeuvrable, they are being used an alternate to traditional vehicles. Another benefit of using drones for transportation is that they don’t have to follow the traffic laws. This saves a lot of time and resources, and allows the companies to deliver the goods in time.
                                            IMPORTANCE OF COR/ SECOR CERTIFICATION
                                            IMPORTANCE OF COR/ SECOR CERTIFICATION

                                            WHAT IS COR/SECOR?

                                              Certificate of Recognition (COR) or Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) is awarded to companies who have developed and implemented health & safety programs for their employees according to the provincial standards. COR certifies that the company’s health and safety measures have been evaluated by a licenced auditor and meet the requirements of provincial health and safety standards. These certificates are issued by Alberta Labour and with Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) as co-signatory.
                                                SECOR program has proven to be an effective way to encourage small employers to improve their health and safety measures and create an office culture where employee health and safety are given due importance, and take conscious steps to reduce risks associated with workplace accidents.
                                                  With a certified health and safety management system, employers can identify and evaluate workplace risks and then take appropriate measures to protect their employees.  This ongoing process enables companies to achieve a workplace culture which complies with occupational health and safety (OH&S) guidelines.
                                                    To qualify for Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR), your business cannot have more than 10 employees. This number includes all staff members including owners, managers, administrative or clerical staff, temporary staff, part-time workers, volunteers, and family members. Another condition to qualify for SECOR is that your business has to be a member of ACSA.

                                                      BENFITS OF COR/SECOR

                                                      • By achieving COR/SECOR, companies demonstrate that they have developed and implemented efficient health and safety management system which is evaluated annually through comprehensive external and internal audits. These audits include interviews, review of documents, and observation techniques to assess who well the company is able to identify, evaluate, and control health and safety risks to workers.
                                                      • The criteria of audit used by Certificate of Recognition (COR) are recognized by all the industries in Canada. A company holding COR will be a part of the nationwide network that will participate in the promotion of health and safety excellence in the country.
                                                      • In a situation where your company has to demonstrate that it has a proactive health and safety management system, Certificate of Recognition (COR) or Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) is an asset. Providing a proof right away that your company has an effective health and safety management system for its employees will give your business an edge over competitors, possibly giving you the advantage to qualify ahead of them for certain projects.
                                                      • Safeguarding health and safety of all the employees at all times is company’s responsibility. By developing and maintaining an effective health and safety management system, companies can successfully eliminate or at least reduce workplace injuries and other accidents.
                                                      • A company’s corporate image and reputation in the industry and community is enhanced by achieving COR/SECOR.
                                                      • Company’s commitment to a safe and secure workplace culture will attract more workers and boost their morale.

                                                        SECOR AND AZIMUTH BUILDERS

                                                          Azimuth builders’ strong commitment to safety in addition to its dedication to quality construction has lead it to secure SECOR health and safety certification. The company has not only excelled in its business practices but has also stood out in terms of transparent and safe workplace culture for its employees. Due to continuous efforts and hard work, Gary Bizek, the President of Azimuth Builders has successfully secured his SECOR health and safety certification. The requirements to achieve this credential are quite extensive among which some major ones are:
                                                          • A standing membership of ACSA.
                                                          • Completion of several certification courses like first aid training and other industry-specific safety training classes.
                                                          • Development, implementation, and maintenance of an effective health and safety management system.
                                                          • At least 3 months’ worth of health and safety documentation.
                                                            Safety is an ongoing process which is evolving with time, and we at Azimuth are committed to achieve the new, higher standards it will set in the time to come.
                                                            TOP 5 BENEFITS OF BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM)
                                                            TOP 5 BENEFITS OF BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM)

                                                            What is BIM?

                                                              Building Information Modelling (BIM) is basically information management using digital modelling, starting from initial building design all the way through its construction process, maintenance, and finally decommissioning. BIM is all about coordination and collaboration between contractors, stake holders, architects, and engineers in a 3D virtual construction environment, and it shares all the related information across these teams.
                                                                BIM allows design and construction teams to coordinate and communicate information about the design and construction at every level of the building process. The shared information remains with the project, right from the beginning of construction till its entire lifetime.

                                                                  Key Benefits of using Building Information Modelling

                                                                    Applying Building Information Modelling in construction process and holding BIM certification can lead to following key benefits:

                                                                      1. It allows visual data collection

                                                                        BIM has provided the designers and builders with access to information about project sites that wasn’t accessible before. With better images of the Earth and improved mapping tools, today projects are analysed using aerial imagery, laser scans of infrastructure, and digital elevation. All these together help the builders and designers capture reality more accurately and streamline project preparations. BIM has allowed the designers to benefit from all the compiled input shared in a model and work in a more efficient way.

                                                                          2. Reduced Onsite Waste

                                                                            BIM provides a shared model to all the teams working on the project, so there’s less need to duplicate or redraft the drawings for different requirements of project teams. The model not only contains a drawing set but all the information related to the project, allowing each team to annotate and link their intellect to the project. The drawing tools of BIM are faster and more efficient than 2D drawing tools and each of the object is linked to a database. The database helps in calculations such as size and number of windows for quantity take-offs that update automatically with the advancement of the project. This quick and accurate computerized counting of project components saves significant material and labour costs.

                                                                              3. Controlled Project Data and Reduced Uncertainty

                                                                                BIM involves aids such as of auto-saving and project history backup so that the users can be sure that all the work they’ve done so far on the model has been captured and can be accessed any time. The access to version history of the model helps avoid disastrous losses like corruption of files that can interrupt productivity. Using BIM allows the project teams to detect, diagnose, and fix any problem with constructability timely before the construction begins. This can save significant amounts of time and money by preventing the need for any replacement materials.

                                                                                  4. Improved Communication and Collaboration Between Teams

                                                                                    Communicating and collaborating with models is much easier and more efficient than with drawing sets. It’s because there are various functions that are only possible through digital-model-based workflows. Much of the project management is now being carried out with the help of cloud. Here, there are multiple tools of the project teams to share their complex models and coordinate with their peers to keep them updated. Review and mark-up steps ensure that all the teams have given their input in the evolution of the project and they’re all ready to execute the finalized concept.

                                                                                      5. Increased Speed and Efficiency of Processes by Better Sequencing of Steps

                                                                                        A model with a well-constructed set of sub-models for each construction phase allows the teams to coordinate the sequencing of steps, crews, and materials for a more efficient and quick construction process. By merging project schedule with BIM model, project managers can watch a project being constructed virtually to ensure that the sequencing of steps within the schedule is accurate and delivering the expected outcome on time.
                                                                                        Contractor vs. Subcontractor – What’s the difference?
                                                                                        Contractor vs. Subcontractor – What’s the difference?
                                                                                        When people are planning to construct their own home, or a commercial building as a business start-up, they usually get confused whether to work with contractors or subcontractors. Well, basically, contractors deal directly with clients and oversee what the subcontractors are doing. They provide people with estimated costs and timeline for their building projects and keep them updated about the progress and occurring problems. One the other hand, several subcontractors are hired for a building project and each one of them is given a specific task like running the wiring across the building, installing pipes, and framing the walls, etc. The contractors are responsible for supervising the work of these subcontractors and ensuring that everything is on track.
                                                                                          Moreover, contractors are usually self-employed and choose the projects they want to manage. They have mostly specialized in a certain skill and perform specific tasks of the project, while for the other tasks they hire subcontractors.
                                                                                            Let’s have a look at the job responsibilities of both contractors and subcontractors and how they differ from one another:

                                                                                              Job Responsibilities of Contractors

                                                                                                As discussed above, contractors deal directly with the clients. They work with engineers and architects and draft the project plan. This planning includes the estimated cost and time of the project, project schedule, materials requires, and attributes that fulfil the client’s requirements. In addition, they have the responsibility to make adjustments in the plan in case there is an accident or any unforeseen complication.
                                                                                                  The primary goal of contractors is to ensure that all the tasks are completed in a specific time frame and within a given budget in spite of accidents or unexpected problems.  Moreover, they participate in certain parts of the construction process, hire subcontractors and supervise their work, and organize the workforce. Contractors also deal with government and lawyers to ensure that all building requirements are fulfilled.

                                                                                                    Job Responsibilities of Subcontractors

                                                                                                      Subcontractors usually have a certain skill set and work on building projects under the guidelines of contractors. For every phase of a construction project, from land clearing to laying the foundation to final finishing, subcontractors are required. Also, each project phase needs a different subcontractor to complete the tasks. It is because all these tasks have their own tools set and require professionals who have specialized in their usage. These tools include trowels for pouring foundation, circuit breakers for working with the wiring, pipe cutters, and shovels etc. To use each of these tools, the subcontractor should have certain skills, and also the ability to work with the contractor and other subcontractors to ensure that part fits well with the others.
                                                                                                        To help you understand better, we’ve listed down the pros and cons of hiring contractors and subcontractors. Read on:

                                                                                                          Pros of Hiring a Contractor

                                                                                                          • He will ensure that every aspect of the construction project is being taken care of.
                                                                                                          • Contractors are experienced, insured, and licensed.
                                                                                                          • He will hire subcontractors when they are required for the construction project.
                                                                                                          • You can negotiate the costs with a good contractor.

                                                                                                          Cons of Hiring a Contractor

                                                                                                          • Contractors don’t perform all tasks themselves.
                                                                                                          • They can be very costly at times, depending on the project size.
                                                                                                          • They mostly hire subcontractors to get different tasks completed which increases the overall cost of the project.

                                                                                                            Pros of Hiring a Subcontractor

                                                                                                            • Subcontractors are usually very efficient and fast as they have specialized in certain tasks.
                                                                                                            • They are mostly available on short notices and are willing to do extra work.
                                                                                                            • They charge much less than contractors.
                                                                                                            • Hiring a subcontractor is a great idea if you want more flexibility in your project.

                                                                                                              Cons of Hiring a Subcontractor

                                                                                                              • They are not always as loyal or committed as permanent employees are, or as contractors are.
                                                                                                              • They don’t deal with the clients directly, which means you have no control over their hiring process and the quality of work they’re offering.
                                                                                                              Hiring a General Contractor vs. Acting as a General Contractor – Know The Difference
                                                                                                              Hiring a General Contractor vs. Acting as a General Contractor – Know The Difference
                                                                                                              Once you’ve decided to build your own home, or a commercial building for business purposes, the very next thing that comes you mind is execution of your idea. It is then that you begin to think of all the professional support that you may need to practically implement you plan. General contractors play a major role in construction projects and therefore their role cannot in any way be skipped.
                                                                                                                When it comes to hiring workers, people often get confused whether to hire a general contractor or act as one. It is because hiring a general contractor will obviously cost you more and the budget of the overall project will increase. Some people are willing to bear these additional costs while some are not.
                                                                                                                  So in case you are facing any such confusion, we have explained below how acting as a general contractor differs from hiring one.

                                                                                                                    Acting as a General Contractor

                                                                                                                      Being a property owner, you will be allowed by most of the jurisdictions to act as a general contractor for your own construction project.  Therefore, you can supervise all the activities taking place on the project site and ensure that everything is being completed by the given deadlines and within budget.  You can also hire and manage sub-contractors and assign tasks to workers.
                                                                                                                        But why would you want to do all this?
                                                                                                                          Here’s why:
                                                                                                                          • The first reason is that you can save a lot of money that you would have to pay a hired general contractor.
                                                                                                                          • Secondly, acting as your own general contractor will help you learn the whole process; you’ll have a better understanding of your business. Being a general contractor along with being an investor, you will have a better know-how of all the phases of construction process including HVAC systems, electrical work, and plumbing etc. You will get to know more about labour prices and material costs, and how much time it takes to install these materials.
                                                                                                                          • The third benefit of doing so is getting more experience in this field. You will gain experience of being a real estate investor and along with that of being a general contractor. The experience you gain as a general contractor will be invaluable for your career as real estate investor.
                                                                                                                          • Finally, you get the chance to deal with your subcontractors directly and monitor their work more closely. Whereas, if you hire a general contractor, you have contact the subcontractors through him or her.

                                                                                                                          Hiring a General Contractor

                                                                                                                          You’d know by now that a general contractor plays a central role in any construction project. Here’s why hiring one may be a good idea:
                                                                                                                          • As they’re experienced professionals, they have a better understanding of the whole process. They know what permits are needed and how to get the project approved. They have dealt with inspectors and building codes before, so they make this process much easier.
                                                                                                                          • Secondly, they know how to maximize efficiency of any job. They get the work done in the most efficient way possible. They schedule the subcontractors and workers and set deadlines to ensure everything goes smoothly.
                                                                                                                          • Another major benefit of hiring a general contractor is that they can get labour and material at better prices due to their links in the industry. These better prices may help you reduce the overall budget of your project.
                                                                                                                          • One of the greatest benefits of hiring general contractors is that they take warranty of the work they do. They will ensure that everything is going right and there are no delays. Even if there are any unforeseen complications in the project, they will come out and solve them as soon as possible. It’s because they want to work in long-term with their clients and keep them happy.
                                                                                                                          SAFETY MEASURES FOR WORKERS IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
                                                                                                                          SAFETY MEASURES FOR WORKERS IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
                                                                                                                          Construction workers, while working on field, encounter more dangerous safety risks as compared to most other employees. All the dangerous machinery, chemicals, and environments can cause major injuries to the workers if constant vigilance is absent.  According to stats provided by OSHA, the total fatalities were 4,836 in 2015 of which 937 were construction worker fatalities.
                                                                                                                            OSHA plays a central role within construction safety protocol. They collect previous reports and data along with current observations and continuously revise, improvise, create, and implement construction safety rules and regulations. Moreover, private occupational safety professionals search and remove the hazards present on construction sites altogether. By using safer tools, chemicals, and machinery they can eliminate or reduce the chances of injury from the environment.
                                                                                                                              Along with reducing and eliminating safety risks from the work site, they also provide necessary construction safety training and information to the workers. OSHA, on their official site have listed down common construction risks and their possible consequences along with precautionary measures to stay safe.
                                                                                                                                Listed below are a few precautionary measures that OSHA advises to follow:
                                                                                                                                • Head Protection
                                                                                                                                    Head protective gear is important in construction work because head injuries are common and can be caused due countless construction hazards. Architects, engineers, and safety professional design and construct buildings in a way that maximizes safety and efficiency. However, it is very unfortunate that most of the risks are present prior to completion of construction. Exposed wiring, falling objects, and tripping risks can lead to head injuries anytime throughout the construction process.
                                                                                                                                      Head injuries can lead to serious health issues such as memory loss, seizures, impaired motor function, and even death. To avoid these consequences, OSHA and private occupational safety professionals have advised that hard hats should be worn during construction work, especially in areas where there are high chances of head injury. Hard hats are an effective and very easy solution that protects workers from hidden or sudden risks during their work.
                                                                                                                                      • Crane Safety
                                                                                                                                          Cranes are large in size and power and therefore a necessary construction hazard. There are various safety risks associated with malfunctioning or misused cranes which should be identified by carrying out regular inspections. Moreover, in addition to these risks other risks are also present. Workers can be injured by crane’s load, and its boom and load line. It should be noted that if load line or boom contacts a powerline, electrocution can occur which can cause multiple fatalities.
                                                                                                                                            Due to all these reasons, it is extremely important to take precautionary measures before, during, and after operating cranes. The surrounding environment where the crane has to be operated should be thoroughly inspected, work orders should be re-evaluated, and the swing radius should be barricaded.  Also, the crane operators should be instructed not to swing loads over the public or workers. However, even after following these precautionary measures, accidents can still occur. Therefore, construction sites should be constantly monitored and supervisors should stay alert when the cranes are being operated.
                                                                                                                                            • Trenching Safety
                                                                                                                                                Trenches are basically routes dug into the ground. Their depths vary depending on the purpose. The soil can be very unstable at times and trenches can collapse before they’re secured. The construction workers who work in the trench face unsafe consequences like suffocation and burial.
                                                                                                                                                  There are various reasons that can lead to trenching accidents, from poorly built exits to unstable or disturbed soil. Safety professionals have developed various precautionary measures to prevent or minimize trenching injuries. Workers cannot work in an unprotected trench and the trenches which are 20-foot long should have a professionally designed protective system. Also, exits should be stable and clearly marked so that the workers can quickly move out in case of any unsafe incident.
                                                                                                                                                • Top Technological Advancements in Construction Industry
                                                                                                                                                  Top Technological Advancements in Construction Industry
                                                                                                                                                  New technologies are being constantly developed and changed in the construction industry. These technological advancements have made the construction process much easier than before. Drones have made site monitoring easier and more cost efficient. Similarly, smartphones have made communication a breeze. The project team is constantly in touch which makes it easier for them to pass on important information and updates related to the project. Today we have digital blueprint apps that help the companies map out a construction process like never before. All these technological advancements together have helped the construction industry grow at a higher pace. The industry which was once one of the slowest growing industries is now listed among one of the fastest growing industries. These new technologies continue to evolve and develop.
                                                                                                                                                    Here are a few top technological advancements that have shaped today’s construction industry and contributed significantly to its growth.
                                                                                                                                                      1. Safety Equipment
                                                                                                                                                        Various new technologies have been developed that significantly helped improve health and safety conditions on construction sites. These advancements include headsets, safety clothing, and improved materials and designs. Technologies like stationary cameras and drones have also helped in improving safety and security of the workers. This equipment not only helps in monitoring worksites but also help prevent security breaches and theft.
                                                                                                                                                          2. Task Management Software
                                                                                                                                                            Construction management software have been improved a lot over time, especially after the internet began growing and developing. New versions of the task management software have enabled the construction companies to not only increase their productivity but also organize the entire project team and track the progress of projects. Tracking through software also helps construction companies in meeting their budget and time deadlines.
                                                                                                                                                              Moreover, technologies such as Building Information Management (BIM) enables the engineers and contractor to create 3D project plans. These 3D plans can be integrated into the project schedule to increase the accuracy to time estimates.
                                                                                                                                                                New task management software also contributes to improve worksite safety and allows for many structures to be constructed offsite (pre-fabrication), which lessens the work that has to be done on site and thus reduces the possible dangerous conditions.
                                                                                                                                                                  3. Online Applications
                                                                                                                                                                    This new technology is often overlooked when we discuss specific technological advancements but it has a considerable influence on the construction industry. Internet has revolutionized the construction sector in various ways. GPS, construction management software, laser-based survey equipment, along with many other technologies have allowed for more efficiency and precision in construction projects. Internet has made many tasks that previously required manual labour automated. This has helped the companies save time, money, and resources.
                                                                                                                                                                      Contractors and engineers can also monitor safety and progress on the construction site using internet-enabled features. They can find risk areas and take appropriate measures to improve work conditions on site and reduce worker injury.
                                                                                                                                                                        On the work site, internet allows the workers to communicate in real time with the team members who are not present in the field.
                                                                                                                                                                          4. Drones and Cameras
                                                                                                                                                                            Drones are one of the most recent and successful technological advancements that have shaped the construction industry. It has changes the way of surveying and monitoring the construction sites and enabled the project monitors to view the site from various new angles which wasn’t possible before this development. By improving ways of site monitoring, drones and cameras have contributed considerably to improving worker safety on site and delivering projects on time.
                                                                                                                                                                              Project management teams can also use drone footages to create project blueprints.
                                                                                                                                                                                Drone technology is still improving and its footages are becoming even more detailed. This development will help the project teams to create more accurate project blueprints and increase overall project efficiency, which means that more time and money will be saved.
                                                                                                                                                                                FIVE PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                FIVE PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                When project owners decide to start their project, they share all the relevant information with several contractors, or subcontractors asking them to submit their bids. The process begins with a cost estimate of the design, materials, and labor work etc. Different companies give different cost estimates and demand money according to their estimates. Some project owners may go for low-bid selection while others go for quality-based or best-value selection.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Winning a construction project from the project owner is a very difficult task but if you have sufficient experience in the field and delivered successful projects in the past, you have good chances of getting the project.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Once the company has grabbed the project, the construction phase can begin. Although the process of construction projects is different from that of the traditional projects, they somewhat follow a similar pattern.
                                                                                                                                                                                      If the companies don’t already have enough information and understanding of the construction project process, all the project managers should learn about the five major phases of construction project management.
                                                                                                                                                                                        These five phases are:
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Initiation of the Project
                                                                                                                                                                                            Before the project begins, the management team must evaluate the project on the basis of its feasibility and if it’s worth undertaking. The stakeholders must be asked to thoroughly assess the projects strengths and weakness. When all the parties have agreed, the project management team should proceed with the project. The project manager then drafts a project initiation document which includes the details regarding the business case and business needs.
                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Planning of the Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                The next step is developing a project management plan. It is a formal, approved document which is drafted by the project manager to guide the workers. This documents includes details regarding execution and control, as well as the project milestones, budget, and schedule.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The main aspects of a project management plan include:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scope statement
                                                                                                                                                                                                        This basically defines the project’s requirements, objectives, benefits, deliverables, and major milestones.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          WBS basically breaks down the scope of project into manageable tasks and deliverables. Developing a work breakdown structure is, however, quite a very difficult task and requires a lot of time and effort as it is not easy to breakdown a complex project into deliverable-oriented chunks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Communication Plan
                                                                                                                                                                                                            This basically includes a proper communication channel to forward details regarding goals, objectives, tools & equipment, difficulties & potential issues, and overall progress of the project to the concerned parties. A good communication plan keeps everyone updated and helps avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Risk Management Plan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              This includes identifying the potential risks that may occur during development of the project like unmet deadlines, shifting requirements, shortage of resources, and budget cuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Execution of the Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Once you’re done with the planning phase of the project, the actual work begins. Usually before executing the project, all parties conduct a kickoff meeting and then the management team begins allocating tasks and resources, implementing the plans, setting up monitoring & tracking systems, completing deliverables, updating the schedule, and if needed, altering the project plan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Monitoring the Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This phase usually begins simultaneously with the execution phase. Constantly monitoring is necessary to check the progress and performance of the project and to ensure that there are no delays and everything is in line with the plan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Closing the Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This phase marks the conclusion of the project. Once the project is completed, the project management team may conduct a post-mortem meeting to analyze and discuss which parts of the project met the objectives and which didn’t. the team then lists downs the lingering tasks if any, evaluates the project against budget and time-span, and generate a final project report.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Four Steps to Successful Construction Project Management
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Four Steps to Successful Construction Project Management
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Construction project management includes several steps like planning, coordination between team members and stakeholders, and execution of the project. It usually includes complicated tasks that require strong communication skills, vast knowledge of the construction process, and good problem-solving skills.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Construction project management is quite a complex field and requires smart work along with hard work. Here are a few fundamental steps that you need to take to increase your odds of success in construction projects:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Detailed & Strategic Planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is the most important step towards successful construction project management. Without detailed and strategic planning, it is nearly impossible to deliver the project on time and within budget. The more complicated the project, the more planning will be needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Note that a well-planned construction project not only maximizes efficiency but also provides a step by step guide for completing and delivering the work on time and within the budget.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When you’re “planning” your project, you will define goals, develop deliverables, and create project milestones. Planning out a construction project includes determining the tools and equipment that will be needed, the number of workers that will be needed, coordinating with the subcontractors, detailed scheduling, and ensuring that all the required building materials are in place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Other aspects of construction project planning include risk assessment and developing a risk management strategy, and creating a proper communication plan. There are various reasons due to which the project can go off track. It is therefore extremely important to carefully craft a plan that can work a long way in resolving issues and mitigating risks before they arise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Constant Monitoring of the Project’s Progress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Once the construction project has begun, the goal of the management team is to ensure that everything progresses smoothly according to the plan. Usually the development of a project will get disrupted by various minor issues rather than on major problem. Therefore, it is extremely important to analyze daily progress reports in detail, and constantly keep an eye on the schedule and budget.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Identifying potential issues that can cause a delay in the project’s progress is the first step. The second step involves some detective work. If any activity or task is lagging behind the schedule, it is important to dig in the reasons and find the root cause. For example, if productivity level is low, it may be due to inefficient allocation of workforce for that particular task. Other reasons for low productivity may include insufficient tools and equipment on site or delay in the delivery of material.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once you’ve identified the root cause of the problem, you need to alter your plan and schedule, and resolve the problem to get the project development back on track.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Effective Communication
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The flow of communication has a great impact on your project’s well-being. Effective and consistent communication is vital for the success of any construction project. It helps improve teamwork and leads to better project understanding. Poor communication can be seriously hazardous for the project’s success as it can lead to delays, misunderstandings, and various other issues.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Communication channels for information sharing and specific tasks should be determined in the very beginning of the project and agreed upon by all team members and stakeholders. Establishing a proper communication channel would enable the key team members to forward the right information to the right people on the right time. When all the concerned parties are communicating efficiently and effectively, the project tends to develop more smoothly and be completed on the given time and within budget.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Collaboration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Collaboration basically means building a relationship, and cooperating and coordinating with all the stakeholders. This business relationship is based on trust and mutual respect to work together in order to complete the project successfully. It involves valuing the input of all the concerned parties and integrating them in the plan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Collaboration does not work without good communication, so it is important to have an effective communication plan in place. It is because good communication keeps everyone on the same page and keeps all the concerned people updated.