What is Construction Management?
Construction job sites are comprised of many roles and personnel. Some may know more than others about the project specifically and construction in general. There are huge differences between the project owner, architect and builder. But what specifically is construction management?
Construction projects are made up of four primary parties, including: The construction manager who keeps the project on time, price, scope, quality and safety for the project owner; The project owner, who pays for the project and commissions it to the other parties; The architect or engineer who designs the building; And the general contractor who oversees the building and subcontractors.
The construction manager more specifically works with all parties and oversees the total project on behalf of the project owner. The construction manager is supposed to ensure the project is executed at or below budget, on time, and fully within the anticipated scope and quality. If having construction managers seems like an additional expense, in fact it has been shown that using construction managers on building projects saves cost, solves otherwise unchecked construction problems and overall achieves higher quality for the project.
Construction managers meet a combination of education and experience to rise to their positions, and are therefore qualified in dealing with the architect, engineer, project owner, general contractor and any other roles involved in the building project. They work with these personnel to identify the best project plan focusing on risk and safety. Focusing on these means utilizing project management information systems and planning, such as critical path method.
Workers in construction management roles may start their careers working as basic construction job site employees. Construction managers not only interact with other personnel roles, but have to know and focus on all other parts of the building process and site. Construction management typically applies to commercial building construction, as opposed to individual residential homes.
Construction managers are heavily focused on keeping construction projects at or under budget. This applies to costs such as materials and labor - for each phase of the total building project. Construction managers work sometimes in an office, however are often on the building job site itself as well. Among other things, construction managers must be intimately familiar with laws pertaining to the project, such as building codes and OSHA regulations. Large construction companies often hire construction managers directly.
Education can be instrumental to construction management. Education for this field includes focuses in design and construction, law, advanced mathematics, accounting/estimating/business, and architecture. As long as the building industry is in growth, so is construction management, and construction management jobs can exist both in government and privatized building roles.
So what is construction management? A critical role in the commercial building process which brings together and oversees other roles such as project owner, builder and architect to achieve the final building goal on time and at budget.
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