It may sound so cliche but having a good system in your construction company definitely produces consistent and great performance. Completing every construction project on-time and on-budget is one of the end results for having a systematized business. Other clear results that you will get out of running good systems for construction company standards are quality of workmanship, safe working environment, repeat clients, even more potential clients and last but not the least, making a good profit.
In this article you will learn how to formulate, organize and create your own systems for your construction company and then produce consistent results.
Start your system by finding out which areas in your construction business that needs to be changed. Keep a list of notable areas where you think you can improve by making amendments on the process.
Essentially, the systems for each area of your construction company are designed by the people who actually do the work for a certain division. For example, you have a different system for estimation, planning, bids, contracts, materials and equipment, manpower, etc. Now, each system created for a certain department or area of your construction firm will be drafted to create a Company Standard. Essentially, the people that should be responsible for drafting this are your project manager, head engineer, foreman, journeyman and other main people that will systemize a field standard.
The first thing that should be considered here is your “end in mind”. What do you envision? What do you wish to achieve? Create a checklist of your desired outcomes and include a way on how you can verify or test the standard.
4. Implement and Train
In your regular meetings, the created system should be presented to the entire company. Since the formulated system will now become a company standard, there will be no exceptions. Everyone should follow the system in order to find out if the new process improves the performance of your construction company or not.
5. Monitor and Track
Now that you have implemented your systems, you will need a tracking mechanism that will look into the work flow in different areas. The persons that are responsible for monitoring this are the ones that created the systems – project manager, head engineer, foreman, etc.
6. Evaluate and Improve
Make an assessment on how the system is working for your construction company. Take note of some situations that may occur as a problem while following the system. Try to make amends and formulate more systems to improve every aspect of your construction business.
For commercial and industrial structures, insulation solutions account for a big chunk of the total expenses from energy consumption. For a tropical country like the Philippines, insulation solutions are considered as an important part of any construction project, be it civil, commercial or industrial buildings. Building insulation is added in order to regulate certain weather elements that may affect the whole building.
In the case of buildings here in the Philippines, the most common insulation solutions that are being done by majority of construction companies is thermal insulation – due to the naturally hot climate. Using special insulation materials, this kind of solution helps protect a structure against external weather conditions such as excessive heat that may affect the temperature inside and maintain a cooler temperature. Since insulation materials have the capacity to regulate heat, energy consumption from air conditioning units will be relatively reduced. As a result it will effectively make the building more energy efficient. Without the proper insulation solutions, extreme weather conditions will greatly affect not only energy consumption but also the building’s life span.
Insulation solutions utilize a variety of insulating materials – spray foams, insulating concrete forms, Rigid panels, Structural insulated panels, Fiberglass, Natural Fiber, Reflective insulation and radiant barriers and more depending on the type of insulation. There are actuality different types of insulation solutions for buildings. It can be thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, fire insulation and impact insulation.
For other countries that have several seasons, insulation solutions do not only deal about extreme heat but also for resisting cold weather conditions. Acoustic insulation or soundproofing is also a requirement for some types of buildings – this simply eliminates or reduces external noises. Fire Insulation solutions utilizes various fire resistant materials for the purpose of fireproofing. This is common to commercial and industrial buildings. Impact insulation solution reduces vibrations – which are commonly seen on industrial buildings.
Insulation materials are usually installed during the construction of the building. However some insulation materials can be applied after the construction.
Almost every year, advances in construction and engineering technologies are emerging and it is has been quite a trend in the Philippine construction industry – embracing the new technology and utilizing it for their projects. For construction companies, they need stay in front of the construction business scene and become more competitive contractor by keeping their services up to date with the recent trends.
As projected by international business groups, the year of 2012 seen to be a great year for the construction industry in the Philippines as not only foreign investors are starting to put up buildings but also many parts of the local government are looking up to build infrastructures in their respective provinces and cities. Now for most of the investors, they want to as much as possible have a modern construction that is more energy efficient, greener, safer and much cost effective than before.
The key element that a construction company should focus on is to make sure to be updated with the industries best practices and current technologies – efficient tools and building materials. From the architectural aspect, there’s computer aided design and building information modeling. The use of special applications to create designs and other aspects of planning and engineering has been the best practice for many firms. Other architects are even using tablets in creating drafts, 3D modelling and architectural animation. Using these new technologies will surely save some time and money and even contribute to the success of any construction projects – and attract even more clients.
Another important tip for staying up with the latest architectural and construction trend is to follow the best practices in the industry when it comes to construction projects. Green building is a recent development in the field of architecture and engineering – the aim to build an environment friendly structure has led to a great innovation not only for developers but also for the clients as well. Green buildings are using various construction techniques that will not only save energy costs and money but also the environment. If you are looking to become more competitive and attract more clients, then it is worth investing on green technology for engineering and construction.
The ever growing advancement in technology has really brought up so many significant changes in the daily lives for common individuals. Modern technology has contributed a lot for many different industries, especially in the field of architecture. The recent advancement in technology in this field enabled architects to go further beyond their imagination and make a more detailed and even more efficient architectural designs.
The emergence of 3D rendering in the design process has definitely revolutionized the way architects work. 3D renderings allows people to have a detailed “preview” of what the actual structure will like when its built. With this advancement, it allowed many architecture and engineering firms to create a lot of successful projects. The technology also brought about several trends that are shaping the construction industry.
Here are some of the emerging trends in architectural designs of 2012:
Green Building (Biomimicry)
The desire to create a more energy efficient and environment friendly buildings of many Green Building Movement advocates has lead to the existence of a new strategy called Biomimicry. This type of architectural design uses patterns in nature to inspire an innovative yet more efficient and green designs.
Prefabrication is getting common for some structures today. Aside from a faster construction, modular designs are also greener and a much wiser way to cut building and operating costs for many construction companies. Features like stacked modules, aluminum and glass panels gives makes modular building a modern and eco friendly look.
Glass may have some inefficiency issues when it comes to energy consumption especially in the Philippines which is a tropical country. But the recent innovations in window designs answers this problem – such as the Electro-chromic glass which instantly dim or lighten windows and panels depending on the time of the day. There are also solar glass panels that can be used as the main source of energy. With these advancements in utilizing glasses for buildings, there is a significant amount that can be saved from cooling and lighting costs.
Here are few modern architectural designs from Izumo Contractors Inc.
Picture 1: Iligan Gymnasium – Lanao del Norte
Picture 2: IloIlo Convention Center – Iloilo
Picture 3: Mariveles Public Market – Bataan
How are construction costs being determined?
Calculating the cost of any construction project is arguably the hardest and the most crucial task to do for any construction company. There are a lot of factors that affects the costs of any construction in which a firm will have to carefully weigh in order to obtain their primary goal – to win the bid for construction project contracts. It is kind of tough since the state of any country’s economy is constantly changing every year, especially in the third-world countries such as the Philippines.
If we take a look at the contractor’s side, they needed to weigh four significant factors to determine their bid price for a building or engineering project. These are Materials, Labor, Equipment and Profit Margin. Now, if we take a look the client’s standpoint, they obviously are looking into the financing costs.
With respect to materials, the main element that will determine the costing is the current market situation for building and engineering which is based on the supply and demand. The materials will also depend on the type of building and its corresponding requirements. Some materials can be acquired locally but some might have to be imported from foreign suppliers. As contractors, construction firms has to adjusting the varied commodity prices to match their ideal profit margin before coming up with a proposed materials cost.
Labor costs also has a significant part in calculating overall construction costs. Labor costs are determined by the type of project, duration,tasks that requires various skills and most importantly, the current rates of minimum wages. Residential and Non-residential buildings requires a fair percentage of labor force but when talking about other parts of engineering such as industrial construction, it may require a huge number of labor force and also highly trained people to do such tasks related to industrial construction.
Some construction projects require a lot of heavy equipment and other machinery therefore, the costs needed to acquire and operate such things are also considered. The equipment costs varies depending on the type of project and the necessary equipment needed for construction.
Now, all considerations essentially boils down to this final element – the profit margin or mark-ups in bid prices by the contractors. Profit Margins will depend upon the actual situation of the local market and also on how other bidders are seriously going after the contract.