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Incorporate Specialist Works In The Project

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Question:

Discuss about the Incorporate Specialist Works In The Project.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Construction projects typically involve a lot of stakeholders to ensure that such projects are successful. One of the most important element in construction projects is to ensure that the project itself and the workers offer value for money. Both public and private sectors employers in the construction industry have realized the need to perform an appraisal regarding the financial viability of specialists who tackle various aspects of a project (Clamp, 2012). In construction projects, a specialist is inevitable and tends to be the most significant for the success of a project. For this reason, public and private sector employers need to have thorough appraisal activities so as to make sure that they have a specialist in place who can help in realizing the goals and objectives of the project that is being worked on.

The fact that there is need to appraise various options available to the public and private sector employers for specialist work in construction projects, means that specialists value for money is the core of this activity. As per Blyth and Worthington, (2010) the need to define the relevant client requirements at an early stage has become extremely critical for every construction project. It is imperative that at the very beginning, the expectations of the employer need to be in tandem with the ones who are expected to partake in a construction specifically a specialist. One of the issues that might deter the appraisal of the various options available to public and private sector employers to incorporate specialist works in a project is poor communication. When there is poor communication within the project team and the client body, it will be difficult to reach viable appraisal options.  Another reason for factors that many influence an appraisal for a specialist is the inclusion of unnecessary high-quality standards. As much as every construction work requires a specialist who goes above and beyond to achieve the set standards, some of the appraisal options set by public and private employers cannot be met by any specialist. This paper focuses on the appraisal options that can be utilized by public and private sector employers in the construction industry to incorporate specialist work in a project.

The construction industry is one of the most serious industries in the world. Projects are usually expected to be of high quality so that a proprietor can get another opportunity to work on other projects. For this reason, construction employers in private and public sectors have ensured that they focus on the quality that specialists bring in the construction works. However, the construction industry has a history of delivering poor quality work over the past years thus having an appraisal for the options of specialist seems a misnomer. More than twenty percent of construction projects fail to meet the expectations of the employers. The concept of quality is depended on the understanding of each type of contractor. On the other hand, quality may mean various aspects which are intertwined in the initial design of a project. This implies the understanding of a contractor or a specialist to interpret a project design with military precision and carefully executing the requirement of the design. On the other hand, quality may also mean the speed that a contractor realizes a design of a project. It is believed that a quick understanding of a design of a project will depict a high-quality production.

 

Contracting

It should be noted that the issue of quality is usually not a subject of discussion during a contract when an employer is selecting a specialist. Quality is usually an off–the-book affair that is discussed between an employer and a specialist. As pointed out by International form of contract, (2007), the fact that a procedure for achieving desired results of a project is separated from the main contract, depicts a reason for low quality work in the construction sector. A handshake appraisal for quality work is detrimental to a success of a project. The parties in a contract, in this case, a specialist, will focus on the written agreement in a contract because one is deemed to be held accountable upon breaching a contract. Besides, a casual talk of expectations of high quality work cannot be taken seriously by any individual. A normal contract focuses on the work requirements and how work is expected to be conducted on site. A project being undertaken should be in tandem with required materials, number of workers and follows the procedure as directed in a design hence the issue of quality is depended on an individual specialist but not directed by a contract.

The fact that contracts do not deal with the quality but procedures for a project is detrimental to the quality and success of a project. For a normal specialist, quality will not be an issue of concern as long the procedures are followed whereby there is no deviation from the required standards and practices as stipulated in a contract. With this knowledge on contracts, contracting is one of the options to be appraised so as to include a specialist work in a project. It is not only fundamental that a specialist complies with the work requirement in a contract, but also ensure that quality should also be realized in the process of undertaking a project (Caplehorn, 2012). With a quality requirement in a contract, a specialist will come to know the significance of executing a project meticulously. Most contracts usually contain the RIAI and GDLA forms which require a contractor or a specialist to work on the project as per the requirements. These forms also contain some aspects of quality because they require a project to be satisfactory of an employer. When such aspects of quality are legalized, then the probability of producing work that is of high standards is high. However, for some reasons, most employers concentrate on the work requirements and the duration of completion of a project thus affecting the quality of a project (Fewings, 2013).

 

Nomination of specialists

Preparing for appraisal of a specialist’s work in the construction industry requires extensive site surveys and also site information. The appraisal work calls for advice of various departments in the construction industry such as the engineers, or other specialists depending on the complexity of a project. Specialist work is arranged differently as stipulated in the PWC and GDLA contracts. Currently, the PWC forms do not contain a provision where a contractor is allowed to be able to nominate a specialist of choice to perform a specific work (Chartered Institute of Building 2002). Failure to have this provision, the quality of any construction work is comprised. It is imperative that a contractor should be given an opportunity to choose a specialist of choice because contractors usually have long experience in the construction industry and are in a position to select a specialist who has an exemplary track record.  A new process of selecting a specialist is time-consuming and might affect the expected completion date of a project (Pickavance, 2016). Also, the employer will incur extra costs in a bid to find the right specialist even though a track record of a certain specialist is unknown or ambiguous. An architect is in a better position to bring in a specialist who is competent and able to deliver quality that is expected. Allowing an architect to nominate a preferred specialist using the PWC forms, will give a sneak pick to the employer on the competence of an architect. This is because a high performing architect is likely to nominate a high performing specialist while a low performing architect is likely to nominate an incompetent specialist.

Due to the absence of nomination provision in the PWC forms, specialists are required to go through the normal procedure of applying for tenders where the tenders will go to the employer who will in turn, select the best specialist. Depending on the employer, different contracts can allow the nomination of specialists. The terms of many PWC forms is determined by the employer. Some employers believe that the nomination process is an opportunity for contractors to give their friends work opportunity or to have the architect sneak in their sub-companies which offer specialist services. For this reason, an employer has the responsibility of critically examining nominated specialists. This will give an opportunity to know whether the specified specialists are up to the tasks or not. The examination of specialists should take place during the prequalification stage and also a tender stage. The prequalification stage will include looking at the background of a specialist. This is where a specialist’s track record is keenly observed to see whether the requirement of the set project can be met. At the tender stage, an interview will be conducted to see whether a specialist has what it takes to deal with various situations that many come up in an effort to try to perform a specific task. As much as nominations for specialists is important for easy recruitment, tender procedures should also be applied to nominated specialists so as to pluck out incompetent specialists and identify competent specialists who can deliver the expected quality standards.

 

Cost brought forth by specialists

The value of projects is important in determining the quality and success of a project (Kirkham et al., 2013). The overall cost of a project including the cost of a specialist can be determined by the employer giving out comprehensive details of a site investigation so as to give a contractor a view of how much the overall project is going to cost. Article four in the Articles of Agreement is coherent with most of legal expectations of all contracts where the cost of a project is not deemed for change unless there are specific occurrences which are out of the contract but consequential to the quality of a project. Such laws are in place to ensure that measures are taken to mitigate and oust extra costs in a project.

Another option of appraisal for the incorporation of the specialists is by the omission of the Prime Cost Sums. Prime cost sum is the amount of money that a specialist in a project uses for the purchase of materials. Initially, there was a practice where the Prime Cost Sums were carried out by specialists but has now been reverted to have employers take over Department of Finance (2007). Any work which includes Prime Cost Sums is paid by the employer. A specialist, on the other hand, is paid as per the contractors’ agreed cost as decided upon nomination or employment. Previously, a specialist was mandated to handle Prime Cost Sums. An employer had a difficult time in managing the funds as there were a lot of cost overruns (Wright, 2008). This is because specialists in cahoots with contractors could increase the cost of the materials without the knowledge of the employer.

Terms of a specialist’s employment with the contractors are a viable option for appraisal of incorporating specialists in construction work by employers. At present, in most construction works, the contractor enters into a contract with a specialist on a domestic basis. This type of agreement makes the contractor assume the pricing risk of a specialist. Meaning that there is no prior agreement on how much one is going to be paid for a work to be done. The use of tenders makes employers have a risk of handling a liability of the low quality exhibited by a specialist. Also, the employers have the opportunity to stay aware of the liability of the defective designs by the specialists thus being able to rectify at an early stage. With this design in a place where the contractors deal with the specialists on the Prime Cost Sums, the employers will be relinquished off the trouble of bearing the risk of having a specialist who is not up to the task. Such kind of measures are effective for those employers who are cautious on saving money rather than quality brought forth by specialists. With this kind of option, the contractor will be held responsible for any financial mishap that occurs during the working of a project.

 

Provision of completed design and sums

It is imperative that employers should ensure that the complete design should be provided during the advertisement of tenders. This is because it will ensure that they get a specialist who has what it takes to tackle a project. Also, it will deter specialists to add on extract cost which is unprecedented during the handling of a project. Without having the whole design of the project during the search of a specialist, it is also an avenue of having a specialist who is incompetent because the remaining design might be difficult for a selected specialist to handle.

Consequently, an employer can use the strategy of providing provisional sums to a specialist in the handling of a project. This is usually done when the work quality of a specialist is not known. Those specialists who are new to the industry must be provided with provisional sums so as to enable an employer see how work goes on. Provisional sums can also be used by the employers who are short of money but would like to see a project being started. Many financiers would expect to see a project that they intend to finance rather than just being told of an intended project. Employers who aim to get financed, can utilize this option of provisional sums so as to attract the good will of the financiers. The actual cost of a project is not known until the particular work is completed. In most cases, the sum of the whole project usually increases. Without a proper estimate of the sums of a project, provisional sum is a window of allowing additional and unnecessary cost into a project. In this case, an employer is the one who will bear all the additional costs that come as a result of provisional sums. In this regard, the omission of provisional designs and a provisional sum is profitable and significant to an employer. A wise employer will also check adequacy of the cost and also the materials during advertisement. When such measures are in place, it is possible to ensure that a specialist sticks to the budget provided since it will be clear that any additional budget will be on their hands.

Conclusion

In conclusion, appraising the viable options by the employers both in the private and public sector when incorporating a specialist into work is very important. This is because the delivery of a project will be based on quality and also ensures that there is value for money. One of the most important things in this type of appraisal is cost. As discussed in this paper, Prime cost sums is an issue that has been left for the employer to deal with. When specialists concentrate on Prime cost sums, they tend to increase the cost of the project which will be detrimental to an employer. Regarding the project quality, the employers need to ensure that there is provision for contractors nominating their specialists. When there are available nominated specialists, the employers through a tendering process will be in a position to pluck out the best specialist who will able to handle an intended project by providing the highest quality with minimum costs.

The omission of the partial project design and also omission of provisional costs have appeared to be momentous to the employers. This is because provisional cost is an avenue that will make specialists add additional costs to the project after the completion of a first phase.  On the other hand, omission of partial projects is also a good way of incorporating specialists into work. This is because when an employer relays the full project to a specialist one will be able to realize the quality of work that a specialist is likely to bring to a project.

Contracts are options that can be appraised by employers when incorporating specialist works into a project. Contracts contain important regulations that a specialist needs to agree to while undertaking a project.Employers should design the terms of a contract to ensure that quality is of great importance. This is because most contracts usually concentrate on the terms of work, requirement and the time of completion. Contracts should be formulated to make sure that the work done should conform to the satisfaction of an employer for one to be paid. With such requirement in the contract, a specialist will ensure that quality work is part and parcel of a service thus beneficial to an employer.

 

References

Blyth, A. and Worthington, J. (2010). Managing the Brief for Better Design. 1st ed. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, p.8.

Caplehorn, P. (2012). Whole life costing. 1st ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Spon Press, p.95.

Clamp, H. (2012). Which contract?. 1st ed. London: RIBA.

Chartered Institute of Building (2002). Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development. 3rd ed. Blackwell Publishing.

Department of Finance (2007) Public Works Contract for Building Works Designed by the Employer, Dublin

Fewings, P. (2013). Construction project management. 1st ed. New York, NY: Routledge.

International form of contract. (2007). 1st ed. Rugby, UK: Institution of Chemical Engineers, p.83.

Kirkham, R., Bataw, A., Greenhalgh, B., Waterman, A., Kirkham, R. and Heath, S. (2013). Ferry and Brandon's cost planning of buildings. 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons.

Pickavance, K. (2016). Construction law and management. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Crc Press.

Wright, D. (2008). International forms of contract. 1st ed. Rugby, UK: Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), p.95.

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