Any construction project can be broadly divided into following two stages.
At the inception of the project, various design consultants are appointed by the client, with the sole objective of getting construction drawings, so that contractor can develop the project from virtuality to reality, following the same drawings, resulting the project having desired usage and functionality. Additionally, client expects the project to be completed within the estimated time & cost.
A lot of emphasis is provided to construction timeline, in terms of what activity will follow what and it will take how much time and cost to complete. But, construction management people knowingly or unknowingly ignore the very important/necessary stage of the project that is design stage and its management. Which can actually put the whole construction planning in terms of cost and time for toss if not managed properly. Construction cannot proceed without the completion of design stage, yet construction timelines are developed in isolation, ignoring the design deliverables schedule, which does not only hinder the actual project progress but also brings inefficiency at both the stages of project ‘Design’ as well as ‘Construction’.
What is design management?
Primarily following consultants are involved in a project.
All the consultants have interdependency on each other in terms of pre-requisite, clash coordination, special requirement etc. Design management involves the monitoring of all the consultants of the project with an end objective of ensuring timely release of final deliverables for construction at site. Design management results into following two important information much before the start of the construction stage.
This provides complete clarity to construction management team in terms of what to expect from who and when. And, also they get to realize beforehand if desired deliverable for a construction activity is not mentioned in the deliverables list from a consultant or a particular deliverable is being received late which can hamper the project progress. Accordingly, corrective measures can be taken. Further, it also provides smooth tracking of design changes and implication of the same on project progress in terms of time and cost.
What are the prevalent practices?
Design deliverables are pushed from the consultants by the construction management team as per construction schedule and progress. This not only affects the quality of deliverables but also results in many inter discipline coordination related issues at site.
Who can do the design management?
Client can have in-house design people, who can take care of the design management. Or for the projects, where BIM consultant is on board from the early stage of the project (Concept Design Stage) can also play the role of design management team, if given the authority by client. As all the consultants input is received by them first for clash coordination, and then all the well-coordinated construction drawings are released to the site.