Joint Construction Projects – Preparing for Project Handover
Towards the end of last year we informed our readers about how important collaboration is likely to be for construction company owners and workers in the future. The infrastructure projects planned for the UK in the next few years means that we’re likely to see some fairly large construction projects being undertaken and this is the shape of things to come – large infrastructure projects that will require collaboration from a number of construction companies. These joint ventures are likely to demand skilled professionals and this type of project really is too large for a single company to take on. This means that we need to be ready to establish collaborative working relationships to share the risks. As an important online resource for readers in both the construction and safety fields, we’ve decided to gather together some advice that will make collaboration a little easier for construction company owners and managers so we began by covering the issue of shared ownership and control, followed by advice on the sharing of the risks involved and accountability issues. After that we covered the issues of BIM Level 2 compliance and offered some guidance on guaranteeing access and security when collaborating on large projects.
We’ve now come to the point where the project is finished and all that’s left to complete is the handover of the asset. The final phase of large infrastructure projects has always traditionally been the production of the handover material which is critical to the O&M (Operation and Maintenance) of infrastructure assets and is a legal requirement here in the UK as part of the Health and Safety documentation for the building. The O&M Manual will often include information on systems that require specialised knowledge and skills and for decades after a building is completed, the O&M contractor will need ready access to this handover material. Any delays in accessing the documents, drawings or manuals can significantly increase the time and cost of maintenance and repairs in future.
When the project is reaching its final phase and is being prepared for handover, the information is usually in a constant state of flux with design information being modified and equipment being exchanged. If the changes are not meticulously recorded and added to the handover material, the O&M team may be left with unreliable or useless information.
These larger projects typically require whole teams of engineers to compile data for the duration of the project and when the handover is looming, these teams work full time collating the information in binders, on CDs and DVDs, tracking down any missing information from the project’s subcontractors.
One of the most efficient methods of dealing with the changing nature of project information is to opt for a digital handover solution which will enable the engineers to capture, review and assemble the O&M documentation as the building is being constructed. When the O&M team needs information, instead of searching through binders or DVDs they can approach the building with a tablet, click on the tag associated with it and enjoy immediate access to all of the relevant information. This allows for instant troubleshooting and reduces maintenance response times significantly. The number of engineers necessary to prepare for project handover will be reduced, speeding up the process and saving a considerable sum of money on large projects.