Join Jim Rogers for an in-depth discussion in this video The process: Hand off to the owner, part of Construction Management Foundations.
- Whether it's as simple as a single family home or as complex as a modern skyscraper, the facility or structure has to be commissioned to ensure it functions as intended. Now, this can involve enabling all types of systems, doing things like testing, load balancing, and monitoring to ensure that everything works and that it works together. So gone are the days where we simply finished construction, got the final inspection, and handed over the keys. These days, building automation systems probably have to be tested, heating, plumbing, and other mechanical systems have to be checked to ensure they function as intended.
Electrical and data systems have to deliver as promised. And when all of this is tested and approved, we have to hand over what amounts to a set of instructions to the facility's owner. So for example, when a builder hands over a house to a new home owner, they're expected to give that homeowner a set of instructions that tells the homeowner how everything in the house works. Likewise, when a general contractor turns over a building or a bridge or a water treatment plant, they have to give that new owner a set of instructions.
And these days, oftentimes, they're also going to have to provide some kind of training and they might even have spare parts and pieces that they need to deliver to the owner. The more complex the structure or facility, the more complex and involved the instructions become. Now today, these instructions can be anything from creating a binder full of instruction manuals to developing a dedicated website that shows the new owner how to use the facility and what's in it. So, let's go ahead and hear from another construction manager, who's going to describe some of these processes to us.
- So my name is Chandra Reilly. I work at Sundt Construction as a program director here in Tempe, Arizona. And Sundt Construction is a 125 year old general contractor. We focus our business primarily in three markets. We look at transportation, industrial, and building projects. I happen to sit on the building side of the world. So, as I work through my projects, those are typically commercial, hospitality, entertainment type projects is what I focus on.
So the commissioning of buildings and of systems and that turnover process from the time that we're done with the majority of the construction to the time when the client is going to take over the building has changed dramatically in just the 15 years that I've been in the industry. The systems are definitely more complex. We recently actually hired an individual whose sole focus is what we call the low voltage systems, so telephoning, security, surveillance, IT, all those sort of small wire systems that make up the guts and the brains of the building.
His job is just to manage and then commission those systems at the end, because they have gotten so complex. Additionally, we have a lot more energy conservation code requirements than we did 15 years ago or even 5 years ago. California really started that movement and now that energy conservation code has been adopted as part of the international building code. So that commissioning of the HVAC, the air conditioning system, and all of the air movement systems in the building, has a much stronger sustainability and efficiency focus than it used to.
So it does take some fairly specialized individuals, people who actually understand these systems. To go through and make sure they're working the way they're supposed to be working and work hand in hand with the engineer to say, okay, this is what you drew, this is what we installed, let's make sure it's operating correctly before we move on. So that's a huge part of our turnover process. So owner training has always been part of the general contractor's responsibility and to a large extent the sub contractor's responsibility at the end of the project.
I would say, we've gotten smarter about the way we handle this, especially as owner and operator facilities management teams have grown, and we know that they don't keep the same people in the same seats for years at a time anymore. So we do tend to videotape a lot of our in-person training, so that that's always available to them to go back to and use in their own in-house training courses. A lot of the building systems now do have online resources, online manuals, how tos, little videos, anything like a Youtube video now for how to program a lighting control system is available.
So we do tend to lean fairly heavily on those digital resources, particularly if we're trying to train remotely and give people strong leave-behinds. Cause I don't know about you, but you can sit through an eight hour course about how to program a climate control system and you're going to wake up the next day and say, what did that guy just say? Right, so it's really about leaving the documentation with them and making sure that it's organized in a way that they can navigate through it and turn them into their own trainers, so that that building can be maintained the way it was designed to be.
- So as our buildings and structures become more complex, so do the demands placed on today's construction professionals. And again there's a real growing need for construction managers who truly understand how a facility or structure functions and then can communicate this information back to the new owner in a manner that allows them to use and maintain this facility in the most efficient manner possible.
Whether you're a construction industry veteran looking to switch roles or a brand new construction manager trying to get your bearings, this course provides you with meaningful insights into this vital, evolving industry and your role in it. Instructor Jim Rogers explains how integrated project delivery methods work, how technology is shaking up old processes, and how lean productivity methods are being used at construction sites. Throughout the course, you'll get industry knowledge from Jim, as well as other experienced construction professionals.
- Modern construction industry overview
- The construction team
- Reviewing the many roles of the construction manager
- A day in the life of a construction manager
- Understanding how the industry is organized
- Working with alternative project delivery methods
- Understanding the role of technology in construction