Construction Schedule - Overview

7m 10s

In this ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PA exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to programming, site analysis, and zoning & code requirements.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam including project type analysis, the establishment of qualitative and quantitative project requirements, evaluation of project site and context, and assessment of economic issues.

Let's talk about construction schedules. So, construction schedules can be anywhere from, yeah, I'll get it done by April. That's a schedule. But it could also be many, many pages of very dense detailed information about when each contractor, each sub, each trade is gonna come in, what day they're coming, how many people they're bringing, where those people are coming from, all of that information can be built right into the schedule, and it could be literally many, many, a hundred pages of an Excel spreadsheet.

Going through all of that and keeping track of it all. So it could be anywhere from hardly anything, just kind of a general idea, to this very, very complicated, very detailed tracking tool, and not surprisingly, most construction schedules will fall somewhere in the middle, where they're pretty detailed, they have a fair amount of information in them, but the key thing is, they have the key pieces of information.

So, for example, the key parts of most construction schedules are going to be, first of all, start and end, obviously everybody wants to know those. But also, at special moments along the way, there are gonna be elements that have to get done first before something else can start. And if you're trying to keep track of when you should call the plumbers, you wanna really understand when they actually need to show up, and especially when they need to be done so that then maybe the concrete folks can come and do the slab over the top of the below slab plumbing.

You need to be able to understand how one affects the other. So it's partly about just kind of understanding the overall schedule, but it's also really about just giving enough information that you can actually make reasonable decisions about when you're calling the next trade, the next group of subcontractors, to come in and do the work. Is the work that had to be done previously done already? Or is it something that's still dragging on, at which point I need to tell them not to show up, because I don't want to pay for people standing around the job site.

So it's a tool for sort of doing that, and one of the things that you will find out very quickly if you haven't already figured this out in the field, is that they are never accurate on the first try. This is a working document, it is always changing. It will change all the way through until the very, very end. And that makes sense, things happen, weather happens, things change, clients decide they wanna walk through and check something out before something gets covered up, an inspector comes through and says, wait a minute, I don't like this, I want something to happen.

Or some decision that was given to the architect to figure out, but the architect doesn't have enough information, and so they're not able to make that decision in time, and so it delays one of the trades. These things happen, all sorts of things happen on a job site, and so keeping track of the schedule is actually a really full-time job, it's the main job of what the construction supervisor is actually doing on that job site.

Which brings us to sort of an important, kind of general statement about construction schedules. When we're talking about design-bid-build, which is the standard project delivery system, that's the one where you have a deal with the owner, you do schematic design, design development, get into contract documents, eventually you bid stuff out to a number of different bidders, one of those bidders is chosen and they then build it out.

So design, bid, build, that standard way of doing things, you actually don't really have much of anything to say about the construction schedule. One of your roles with it, though, is to help the owner understand the schedule and what impact this might have for them on how they're going to be doing their work, like when can they logically move in, does the schedule seem to make sense, is there anything about this process that they should be aware of.

So you're helping the owner understand what's going on, and you're also sort of foreseeing what some of the issues are along the way. You might be looking ahead and saying, well, let's see, the tile-setters are gonna be coming in on month 10, I better have my tile selections done by month eight. Something like that, so there's enough time to order the tile, get it there, so that you're not delaying those tile-setters.

So it impacts you, and you are there to help the owner understand it, but this is really the purview, the world of the contractor, the GC, is the one who is in control of the schedule. And, in fact, you wanna be very careful not to accidentally take control of the schedule. You can be helpful, you can be offering advice, you can be helping the conversation between the owner and the GC, but you never want to say, this must happen by X date, or something where you're claiming control of the schedule.

Because if you do that, and then things, for whatever reason, go into litigation or arbitration, where something has gone wrong and there's bad blood between all the different players, but you, at one point, had sort of claimed control of the schedule, and now the owner is saying, hey, I lost $500,000 'cause we're not getting rents because we're three months behind schedule.

And the contractor, instead of saying, yup, you're right, that's my fault, I'm the one in control of the schedule, has the opportunity to be able to say, well, you know, we're not in control of the schedule anymore, the architect claimed control of the schedule when they told us to stop, or to finish something by X time. And so you don't ever, as the architect, want to claim control of the schedule, 'cause that's part of their job, their liability, their process, and they need to have control over it.

For one, for like I said, litigation and all those kinds of issues, but also, it's just not your job. Like, your job is to be helpful in that process. You're not supposed to be getting in the way of that process. So they need to have some elbow room, figure out when things are likely to be able to work, maybe they have a really good game plan for how it's gonna go, but then the concrete folks that they, like, just aren't available in that time period.

So they have to reimagine the schedule and switch things around, and you just don't know all of that. That's theirs, that's for them to figure out. So, construction schedule, you wanna understand it, you wanna be able to explain it, you wanna be able to have questions about it and give advice about it, but it's their job to contain it, to understand it, to figure out what is important in that construction schedule and how that relates to all of their contracts.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Prep

Duration: 19h 11m

Author: Mike Newman