Design and construction administration are normally regarded as different roles in building projects. However, there are substantial benefits when the same engineering firm is in charge of both. The MEP engineers who design a project are the most qualified candidates to supervise its completion, since they are already familiarized with even the minor details.

When a third party is in charge of supervision, they must study the design documents in detail. Input from the design engineers will be needed anyway, for technical questions and clarifications. While a project can be completed successfully with third-party supervision, delegating design and construction administration to the same firm is generally the smartest approach.


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How the Design Process Impacts the Project Outcome

Engineering design is often viewed as one more item in the checklist to complete a building project. However, the design process is an excellent chance to achieve benefits that last for the entire service life of a building.

  • Smart design decisions can reduce the project budget without affecting performance. For example, the layout of MEP installations can be optimized to reduce the cost of air ducts, conduit and piping.
  • Building systems can be designed not only for high performance, but also for ease of maintenance. The best design engineers not only consider the function of building components, but also making them accessible for inspections and reparations.
  • When design documents are clear for the general contractor and specialist subcontractors, there is a reduced chance of errors during the construction process. Consider that errors not only waste funds, but also time.

A professional design also ensures a quick approval from local building authorities, which is a necessary step to proceed legally with the project. By working with experienced engineers, the project owner can get a construction permit with few or no design revisions.

However, the benefits of a high-quality design are only obtained if a building meets the technical specifications provided. For this reason, developers should make sure that the completed project matches the approved design.

How Construction Administration Services Ensure Project Success

When the engineering firm that designs a project is also in charge of construction administration, the chance of errors is reduced significantly. Since the supervision engineers are working with their own design, they can immediately clarify any doubts from contractors. If any part of the project does not meet specifications, they can correct the contractor right away and prevent expensive rework.

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Construction administration services from a neutral third party also minimize conflict between the project owner and the contractor. Many project conflicts emerge from different interpretations of design documents, but this is prevented when the designers themselves are providing supervision on site.

Depending on the building system affected, the cost of fixing errors can vary. Installations that are embedded in floors and walls are generally the most expensive to modify, since some construction elements must be demolished and rebuilt to access them. Preventing errors like these in the best interest of both the owner and the contractor, and construction administration services are of great help.

Even if a contractor is fully responsible for fixing construction errors, they still delay the project. For this reason, construction administration services are recommended even if the contract protects the owner from unplanned expenses.

 

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