construction management good practice

Ground floor, Milner Place 32 Princess of Wales Terrace Parktown, Johannesburg Postnet Suite 240 Private Bag X30500 Houghton, 2041 Tel. (011) 274-6200 Fax. (011) 642-2808 www.shf.org.za



When a social housing institution, co-operative or private property developer has to decide on an approach for the delivery of housing, it must ask itself which strategy fits best, given its own and the client’s developmental objectives and constraints. One can deliver housing through any of the following scenarios:

• Acting as building “client” or developer, but outsourcing the development
function on a design-and-build (“turn-key”) package basis to a professional external developer

• Acting as developer, retaining overall management of the development
function in-house, employing professionals for design and supervision, and using a main contractor for the actual construction work (“design by employer” method)

• Acting as “main contractor”, employing sub-contractors and/or
community-based labour to carry out the actual construction work; responsible for supervising and controlling the construction process and activities, including all the required resources The final choice of the approach will be determined by factors such as:

• The internal skills available and capacity to manage the respective options • The extent and cost of external expertise available to assist in managing
the various options

• Developmental objectives (often in conjunction with sponsor and other
stakeholder requirements) such as local economic empowerment and availability of local skills

• The risk “appetite” of the social housing institution, co-operative or
private property developer These guidelines focus on the scenario where a social housing institution, co-operative, private property developer or contractor acts as a “main contractor”, taking on all the attendant risks and responsibilities that normally accompany the main contracting function. A main contractor plans, organises, co-ordinates, controls and leads activities on site during


S H F BP5 2006

the actual construction process, including the management of resources, from the date of taking possession of the site until the final handover of completed units to the client. The guidelines take into account the decisions and actions that need to be taken during the construction planning and implementation phase, as these have an impact on the effectiveness of the hand-over of stock to the client, as well as the future management and maintenance of stock. The Social Housing Foundation is confident that this guide will be widely used and will assist the development and growth of those social housing institutions, co-operatives, private property developers and contractors acting as “main contractors”.

Brian Moholo
Managing Director, Social Housing Foundation


For the convenience of users of this manual. but these should be used in conjunction with the more comprehensive existing materials contained in other publications such as: • The SHF’s Social Housing Institutions Operations Manual (together with accompanying training materials) • SHF Best Practice Booklets • Manuals and guidelines produced under the Support Programme for Social Housing’s Capacity-Building Programme • Manuals and guidelines produced by NASHO 3 . brief introductory notes on important general aspects of the property development and construction processes are given.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT n Note: The topics of property development and property management are covered by extensive existing literature and guidelines developed by others.

shf. the following people and organisations: • The Social Housing Foundation (SHF) • The Support Programme for Social Housing (SPSH) • The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) • The Urban Sector Network (USN) and its affiliates. This publication was made possible through support provided by the Norwegian Embassy Copyright © Social Housing Foundation 2006 4 . Parts of the text are based on consultation with. or have been borrowed from the work of. and Afesis-corplan • CSIR BOUTEK • The Department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria • Social Housing Institutions across the country.S H F BP5 2006 Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this volume by others. The Social Housing Foundation does not assume responsibility for any error. or for as investment decisions based on this information. and Andrew Moore of Rooftops Canada • The General Motors SA Foundation (previously Delta Foundation) The authors nevertheless take full responsibility for any errors that may remain.org. 2041 Tel: +27 (11) 274-6200 Fax: +27 (11) 642-2808 www. and the information contained herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate and reliable.za Edited by Wordsmiths Design and Layout by MANIK Design Studio DISCLAIMER Great care has been taken in the preparation of this document. especially the eMalahleni Housing Institution • The Masisizane Women’s Co-operative. omission or opinion expressed. in particular Planact and the Development Action Group (DAG). Social Housing Foundation Postnet Suite 240 Private Bag X30500 Houghton.

cost estimating. temporary works and services. rates. detail cost estimates Estimating.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Contents What you will find in these Guidelines Housing Project Development Phases – where do these Guidelines fit in? c page 7 scope and purpose housing project development phase 8 Why is good construction-management practice important? How should the entity behave when acting as a “main” contractor? The construction process why? 9 how? 10 the construction process 11 11 11 11 14 15 19 20 What is construction? What are the main objectives of a construction project What does a main contractor do? Composition of a construction team Common risks that need to be managed by the main contractor Factors that determine success in construction How can the entity learn more about being a contractor? Decisions that the entity acting as contractor should be involved in before construction Choice of construction technology (structure and finishes) 21 21 Planning for execution of work Deciding on the implementation approach and the construction methodology Site establishment. general management requirements (preliminaries) Preliminary cost estimates vs. pricing and costing What is included in a main contracto’s price build-up? Building up rates and building price from first principles Estimating costs of material. labour and plant Planning and programming of the works 26 26 34 36 36 37 39 39 58 Executing the work Site layout and organisation Material supply and management Management of labour 70 70 74 90 5 .

S H F BP5 2006 page Management of plant. inspections. Midrand. Gauteng Introduction Organisation of the contruction 134 134 135 General Motors SA foundation – medium-density housing in the Eastern Cape Missionvale Community Housing Initiative and Sakhasonke Village. Port Elizabeth 138 138 Badiri House. Hillbrow (high-rise inner city refurbishment) 139 6 . tools and equipment Managing sub-contractors Required tests. approvals and certificates Health and safety Security Contract administration Construction cost management Cash-flow management (income and expenditure) Construction finance (operating or working capital) 92 94 101 105 107 107 110 113 114 Community-based construction Reasons for community involvement in development projects Community-based construction – the “development team” approach 116 116 116 Training Training objectives Planning and preparing for training Who should be trained? Pre-construction training “Hard” building skills training 121 121 121 121 122 123 The experiences of some entities acting as “main” contractors Wattville/Tamboville – low.to medium-density housing and community facilities project Construction of the houses Organisation of the contruction Construction of the community facilities experiences 124 125 125 126 132 Masisizane Women’s Housing Co-operative.

This guide is intended for use in the pre-construction and construction phases of housing development. technical advisors. by any of the following parties: • A social housing institution acting as a “main contractor” • A co-operative acting as a “main contractor” • A private property developer acting as a “main contractor” • A contractor acting as a “main contractor” • Service providers to any of the above (support organisations.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT w What you will find in these Guidelines The purpose of the guidelines is to assist users in employing good construction management practice in the construction of lowand medium-density housing projects. professional teams and subcontractors) 7 .

Project initiation and validation phase .Preliminary studies are conducted to determine if the idea is viable. and awarding and signing construction contracts 5. Pre-design feasibility or development appraisal phase . obtaining municipal approval to start building. conducting cost estimates and feasibility studies. preparing technical documentation. adjudicating tenders. Pre-contract detail design development and technical documentation phase . calling for proposals or tenders. 8 . and whether to proceed 3. and securing funding 4.Conceiving the development idea or concept and initiating the project. Implementation or post-contract construction phase . and closing out the process financially and administratively These guidelines deal with Phase 5 above. from the perspective of managing the physical process on site as a main contractor rather than managing it as part of the development function. Construction procurement or tender phase – Deciding on tender and contracting strategies and options.Extending the appointment of professionals for further work stages. including gaining control of a site that suits the idea 2. refining and finalising designs.S H F BP5 2006 h Housing Project Development phases – where do these Guidelines fit in? The housing project development process can be divided into the following broad phases: 1.Managing the actual construction process from site handover to the contractor(s) to taking on the completed units. initiating marketing (if applicable).

integrity. long-term financial viability.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT w Why is good construction management practice important? Good construction management practice is essential in maintaining efficiency. professionals. subcontractors. delays and disputes 9 . and support organisations. communities and funding agencies • Building trust and good relations with suppliers. costeffectiveness and control on projects. good reputation and good customer relations. This. is an essential tool in ensuring the sustainability of the construction entity. together with marketing and adequate capitalisation. materials and equipment in producing affordable housing to people with low income • Maintaining high standards of quality and workmanship to ensure that beneficiaries live in pleasant and well-functioning buildings. and managing entities enjoy low-maintenance requirements and expenses for the ultimate benefit of paying occupants • Maintaining high standards of health and safety on building sites • Setting an example and being a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and development organisations in the community • Building a reputation for dependable service (on time. Effective construction management. people’s time. in turn. which leads to smoother running of projects with fewer problems. Other reasons for practising good construction management include the following: • Ensuring the most efficient and effective use of scarce and costly resources such as money. and of good quality) with clients. therefore. within budget. helps to maintain and protect projected profits.

suppliers and labour) are managed by other members or employees of the entity responsible for managing the construction process. so that staff who fulfil dual or multiple roles can clearly differentiate between the actions required for management of the development process on the one hand. This could mean. design risk and accountability rest with the design team.S H F BP5 2006 h How should the entity behave when acting as a “main contractor”? Where an entity acts as developer only. and to organise its operational structure or project in such a way that accountability resides where it appropriately belongs. It is advisable to draw up function charts and organograms before starting a building project. Acting as a main contractor only requires an entity to focus on the management of construction process. 10 . and management of the construction process. in order to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each of the members or employees. while construction risk lies with the main contractor. it will normally employ professional consultants and a main contractor to do the design and construction work respectively. Acting as both developer and main contractor often places an entity in a position in which it is important to draw a clear line between the two responsibilities. and that construction-related activities and resources (subcontractors. for instance. Establishing and maintaining differentiated functions and accountabilities becomes difficult where some or all of the same people from the organisation are involved in both functions (as is often the case). on the other. This also requires an operational structure to be in place. In this case. that the external design team reports to those members or employees within the entity that are responsible for managing the development process.

budgeting and cost-control purposes) • determine and allocate resources to the different phases of the work • plan a functional site layout (placing of material stockpiles. according to design and specifications. and appropriate plant. storage. skills transfer. by means of a managed process. tender and contract documents. securing entrances and ensuring efficient movement of vehicles) • plan and schedule the execution of the work. and determine own working capital and cash-flow requirements for the work to be done 11 . with the most effective use of resources and control of risk. What are the main objectives of a construction project? The main objectives of each construction project (based on the principles of project management) are to erect the building or facility in accordance with the design and specifications. construction is the use by a contractor of supervised labour. More specifically. in order to fully understand the project requirements. and promoting job creation and local economic development. such as achieving buy-in through participation. risks. administration and service facilities. equipment and other constructional aids. What does a main contractor do? Acting as the main contractor on a building project involves the following: • Interpreting the project drawings. specifications. There are usually other “softer” objectives as well. to process and assemble materials and components on site (sometimes partly off site). into a completed functioning building.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT t The construction process What is construction? Construction can be seen as the conversion of “raw” resource inputs into defined functioning outputs. and legal and physical conditions under which it will have to be carried out • Using the above interpretation to: • estimate the likely cost (for tendering. establish quality control measures. and to complete it: • within the budget (allowable cost) • on time (within the specified and agreed contract period or legitimate extensions thereof) • to an acceptable and agreed standard of quality and workmanship The above are the “technical” objectives of a project. capacity building.

temporary works and installations are regularly inspected and serviced • Drawing up and executing environmental site management plan. reinforcing steel. security. where required • Ensuring compliance with employment legislation and procedures.S H F BP5 2006 • Deciding. including transporting to site. NHBRC or bank inspectors. dismantling and removing on completion • Calling for inspections by municipal building inspectors. for example. erecting. plant such as mixers or batching plants. equipment. worker ablutions. sub-contractors and plant-hire companies • Negotiating prices and contracts with these service providers • Where required. to ensure reimbursement of actual expenses incurred • Planning and programming the execution of the work on a daily. and what work to outsource to subcontractors • Calling for quotes and tenders from suppliers. delivery. and sewer lines before covering them up • Arranging for all required tests. and supplying the results to the engineer to prove compliance with specifications • Arranging for on-site re-measurement of all provisionally measured work before covering it up. weekly. water. at workshops and on other premises. and generally managing labour relations in the work place • Submitting all required statutory returns (taxes. such as storage huts. and tower cranes where required. and safe handling of materials • Co-ordinating the work of different sub-contractors (and managing any conflict between them) 12 . datum levels and boundary pegs pointed out by the employer or principal agent at the beginning of the contract • Arranging all temporary service connections required for effective execution of the work. of work such as foundation trenches. paying workers fairly and on time. what work to do in-house with own core personnel. for example. a site office. electricity. project engineers. storage. as part of work planning and resource allocation. and sewerage • Fencing the site and arrange necessary security • Providing (hired or owned) all temporary site facilities. receipt. monthly and overall contract-period basis • Planning and co-ordinating ordering. maintaining. including providing safety clothing to workers and visitors. obtaining completion guarantees in favour of the employer or client • Organising and paying the premiums for all the necessary insurances on a building project • Ensuring compliance with industrial health and safety regulations and requirements on site. UIF. and making sure plant. and protecting for the duration of the contract all benchmarks. protection. making and submitting to a laboratory concrete crushing strength cubes. local authority levies) • Taking custody of.

removing rubble regularly. and maintaining a clean. incidents. plant and equipment on site) • Submitting well-motivated claims for extras and requests for extension of the contract period • Hosting site meetings • Cleaning and protecting all completed or partly completed work. neat and safe building site • Generally maintaining efficient administration of the contract. and ensuring sub-contractors do the same • Practising continuous internal costing and cost control • Keeping a site book for instructions. both on and off site • Managing risks related to the construction process Costruction Management Triangle Quality Cost Time 13 .G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT • Calculating and submitting claims for interim progress payments from the employer and/or funders for own work completed. number and categories of personnel. as well as a drawing-receipt register to ensure that work is being carried out in accordance with the latest drawings and/or instructions • Assisting with pricing variations and site instructions with cost implications • Keeping a site diary and other records (covering rainfall.

pay for work done Supply & fit sub-contractors 14 provides Project Pay overheads Main contractor Participates in planning . pay for work done Labour-only sub-contractors Contract. supervise. Approved plans Permanent service connections Loan agreement Local authority Temporary Service connections Subsidy agreement Employer Professional services Draws paid via employee Building contract Inspecti ons ta s co to agen (no nt t co rol ntr ac t) Funder (s) Professional team Ac Orders Payments Head office in Adm por t p su Ad sup min por t Managers Site Supply Materials suppliers Su pp ly Site establishment Plant-hire companies provides Site admin and management pr ov ide s Community pay wages prov Recruit. co-ordinate supply materials. co-ordinate. Labour ides Contract.S H F BP5 2006 Composition of a construction team The diagram shows the composition of a typical construction team that needs to be managed by the main contractor (some of the team members are employed directly by the main contractor).

Below is a summary of the most common risks that face main contractors in the execution of construction contracts. however. both during the planning and the execution phase. and the contractor will have to rely on proper selection. to make sure the most common risks are being taken into account. in many cases not be possible. performance guarantees from sub-contractors issued by a bank or insurance company. conducting appraisals and providing counselling where appropriate • Having good contracts with performance clauses • Using a “stick” and “carrot” system (sanction and incentives) • Taking care with succession-planning Risk! Under-performance or non-performance of worker teams and sub-contractors with regard to: • Completion of the works • Sub-standard quality of workmanship and materials supplied • Delays and late completion How to counter: Non-completion of the works: • Obtain. especially controls and monitoring • Acquiring necessary competencies and skills How to counter: • Putting in place clear HR and personnel-management policies and procedures • Selecting competent staff • Providing training and support (identifying real training needs is very important here) • Monitoring progress. Risk! Under-performance of in-house staff with regard to: • Management of the process. This usually involves the main contractor providing back-to-back payment guarantees to the sub-contractor. and hands-on management to ensure sub-contractors perform Sub-standard quality of workmanship: • Evaluation and selection of sub-contractors with known reputation for good work (check references – do physical checks of work rather than just telephonic confirmations) 15 . With small and emerging sub-contractors this will. where possible. regular and fair payment.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Common risks that need to be managed by the main contractor The main contractor should at all times be aware of all the risks involved. This summary serves as a checklist for the construction manager.

as far as possible. it is good practice to wait until Risk! • • • • • Under-performance of suppliers with regard to: Late delivery of materials Unavailability of materials Quality of materials Price fluctuations Short deliveries How to counter: • Choose reliable suppliers • Ensure timeous ordering of materials • Have formal ordering procedures (negotiate. specifications. bricklayers must build small sample face-brick walls somewhere on site displaying an acceptable and agreed standard. to keep to the programme. for instance. Remember that retention is a reserve for fixing possible latent defects. however. site instructions) • Provide samples. as long as the plaster is then protected against drying too quickly (causing cracks) by spraying it with water or covering it with plastic sheeting • Re-schedule work when necessary.S H F BP5 2006 • Provide training and mentoring • Provide good supervision • Provide clear documentation (drawings. and not for covering the cost of visible patent (current) defective work Delays and late completion: • • • • • Perform evaluation and selection as before Levy penalties for late completion Insist on realistic and detailed programmes of work Monitor progress regularly Order materials timeously and ensure work is not delayed because of materials shortages on site roofs are up before plastering walls. check deliveries and delivery notes) with a proper follow-up system • • • • Negotiate. At the beginning of the contract. it may be necessary to plaster in the meantime. This will prevent arguments down the line about what constitutes an acceptable standard • Do not pay for defective work until it has been rectified. If the roof is delayed. quote. For example. fixed prices for the duration of the project Get bricks delivered in pallets rather than tipped Specify standard materials of known quality where possible Always try to obtain physical samples of materials and check their quality before ordering 16 . written order. These samples can then be used as references for all permanent face-brick work.

G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Risk! Damage to and/or loss of materials and equipment through: • • • • • Robbery Pilfering and fraud Negligence Neglect (no proper storage. obtain cessions of ownership and proof of insurance (preferably do not pay for materials off site) Risk! Unavailability of working capital at the right time (cash-flow problems) due to: • Delays in subsidy and loan draw-downs • Poor cash-flow management • Unexpected expenses not provided for in contingency allowances • Problems with overdraft and credit facilities How to counter: • Build up and keep some cash reserves • Secure overdraft facilities while things are going well. issuing and checking on the usage and wastage of materials on site of the works can be locked securely) • Do not bring valuable materials to site or instal them too early (before that section Waste and breakage: • • • • Training and supervision of staff to ensure careful and responsible handling Monitor consumption against allowances Issue just enough for specific tasks to site teams at a time Reduce handling to a minimum by judicious placing of stores facilities and planning of the work Responsibility for materials: • On site: Make sub-contractors responsible and accountable • Off site: Inspect. lack of maintenance) Incompetence or lack of training in proper use and handling How to counter: Theft on site: • • • • Take out insurance Provide safe storage Maintain site security Have proper control systems and procedures for receipt. not when you are already in crisis 17 .

Some specific advice is as follows: Latent defects: • • • • • Put in place a retention/construction guarantee Get NHBRC registration where applicable Make sure there is adequate supervision Insist on proper specifications and designs Be aware of the law and your legal rights 18 . damage. if any. cost and time required for the work • Disputes around materials lost through excessive wastage. etc). and make arrangements for obtaining payments or credit facilities in good time Risk! Industrial action and other disputes: How to counter: • Ensure compliance with legislation and agreements • Foster good human relations • Put in place fair practices and clear employment criteria General risks: • Inexperience of workers • Inadequate security on site • Vandalism • Dealing with latent defects • Bad weather • Breakdown of co-ordination between trades (and resulting disputes) • Underestimation of resources. and to put pressure on the people doing the processing • Monitor cash-flow requirements continuously. wrong setting out of works. coincides with your cash requirements (dates for paying wages.S H F BP5 2006 • Comply with funder requirements: Plan work so that achieving payment milestones. theft. ensure procedures are followed and that paper work is one correctly • Push for payment – it is usually necessary to follow-up on processing of payments personally. supplier accounts. call for inspections timeously. and replacement of defective work • Working with large amounts of cash on site and in transit (wages) – this is to be avoided as far as possible by opening bank accounts for all service providers and paying via electronic funds transfers (EFTs) • Conflict among sub-contractors or in the community regarding who should get the work and be part of the construction team • Interference by local politicians (or would-be politicians) and other vested interests and powers How to counter: Most of the above are dealt with in these Guidelines.

regular monitoring of progress. allow for work stoppages caused by the kind of weather conditions to be expected in accordance with the season • Plan a construction sequence to ensure.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Bad weather: • In your schedule. shortage of materials) • Meeting critical deadlines • Satisfying the local authority inspectors and the NHBRC • Support of the developer/employer and the professional team 19 .) when deviation occurs • Timely ordering of materials and labour • Ability to motivate the trades • Effective co-ordination of trades • Insistence on quality • Maintaining good labour relations • Coping with unforeseeable factors (for example. organisation and monitoring • Clear delineate areas of responsibility in contracts and works descriptions • Provide complete drawings for each trade Factors that determine success in construction Success in construction depends on: • The organising and leadership ability of those in charge (project manager. and corrective action (including re-programming. that roofs are up as soon as possible for phases completed during the rainy season • Protection – ensure. that storm water will not flood foundation trenches or other parts where work must proceed in order to stay on programme Inadequate co-ordination of trades: • Ensure planning. inclement weather. etc. additional resource allocation. for instance. construction manager. for instance. site agent) • The planning and allocation of adequate resources at the right times • The accuracy and timely availability of professional documentation and guidance • Field experience • Planning • Realistic programming of the work.

however. and other organisations in the industry. Spence Geddes. organising. the Mitchell’s Building Construction series.S H F BP5 2006 How can the entity learn more about being a contractor? Simplistically. Harris and McCaffer. This document provides starter guidelines only. Everett. or you can order them from the CSIR direct. Willis. with a team of workers. paint. commerce and human relations. and a very readable series of publications by the British Aqua Group. cement. MacKay. produces handy booklets on how to build simple structures. requires a combination of management skill (planning. and the Department of Public Works. subscribe to technical journals (check with Brooke Patrick Publications for available titles). Chudley. law. and acquire some good books on the subject. construction appears to be a matter of putting materials and components together according to a drawing. knowledge. tools and equipment. and on the use of concrete masonry building units (bricks and blocks). Locally. Building-materials supplier. published over the years many useful papers and booklets with good practice guides. These are often obtainable from the larger building supply stores. it should send staff members on training courses offered by private colleges. co-ordination. Langdon and Everest. universities and technical universities/technikons. Construction should not be underestimated because of unregulated entry into the construction market. leadership and control). the National Building Research Institute (NBRI). Proper construction. and the Urban Foundation published a booklet called Home Builder’s Handbook. If the entity is involved in large-scale and continuous construction as a contractor. Authors who deal with building construction as well as management aspects. Seeley. also developed a series of manuals for the Contracting Entrepreneurial Training Programme (CET). with support from Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency. Many materials manufacturers (of roof sheeting and tiles. finance. ceramic tiling and other materials) provide technical brochures to assist in the proper measurement and use of their materials. Davis. the Black Construction Council. and it may still be possible to obtain copies from one of the promoters. Gauteng. Cashbuild. The Concrete Masonry Association (CMA) based in Midrand. and experience in the fields of technology. include: Calvert. The Clay Brick Association does the same for the use of its member’s products. It may also be worthwhile (for a fee) to subscribe to a good product catalogue library such as Archi-text. Most university libraries keep copies of these. The International Labour Organisation (ILO). the CSIR’s BOUTEK division and its predecessor. Nunnally. 20 .

labour-intensive and community-based construction. in order to ensure: • Cost-effective construction and an affordable end-product • Low-maintenance facilities • Socio-economic and empowerment objectives are promoted through the choice of construction technologies to be employed. • Labour-intensive construction implies the use of as much labour as possible. In practice. Where the entity acts as contractor. with the secondary objectives of job creation.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT d Decisions that the entity acting as contractor should be involved in before construction Choice of construction technology (structure and finishes) Introduction Although design and specification is normally the domain of architects and engineers. aims at changing the technology employed in the construction methods. thereby providing employment and training opportunities for both unskilled and semi-skilled labour. Various products (with different specifications) are available on the market. it is usually implemented by substituting people for machines • Labour-based construction. contractors can play a useful part in giving practical advice. labour-intensive and community-based construction Labour-based construction is different to labour-intensive construction. and the practicality of the proposed technology to be used. labour-based rather than plant-based construction It is always a challenge for an institution developing any form of social housing to balance its primary objective of providing quality affordable accommodation. The contractor should be open to sharing information with regard to the quality of the product or the practicalities pertaining to the applications of such specifications. The labour-based approach to both the design and construction of engineering services enables the unskilled worker to instal the complete service with minimal reliance on 21 . Each institution must examine its priorities and set its own criteria in this regard. it is imperative that they are actively involved in design and specification decisions from the start. for example. and the contractor can guide the decision-making parties on how to achieve their objectives. Labour-based. however. empowerment and local economic development. by distinguishing between labour-based. The contractor should also share its experience with regard to technology required in various designs and specifications.

especially because of their effective performance in poor soil conditions and the speed at which they can be built. although quick to erect and the cheapest option. especially if not detailed correctly. The structural integrity of the walls can also be compromised if the blocks are not built with properly filled beds and joints. commercial and financial support and instruction. the community also participates in the administration and management of the project. Competent technical advice (and “market” feedback) should be obtained before purchasing any system or product. from so-called “drystacking” blocks (interlocking blocks with no mortar beds and joints required) to complete composite wall panels pre-fabricated on site or in a factory off site. These could also be dug by hand. could in due course. Engineers often specify integrated floor and foundation raft systems for stand-alone houses. and check its acceptability to the end-user public. are problematic with regard to water penetration. can also be problematic. and the most familiar method to bricklayers. However. Some foundation raft companies have initiatives where they rent out equipment and provide training and assistance to local teams or emerging sub-contractors to construct the rafts. Beware of products without Agrément or MANTAG or NHBRC approval. The emphasis in labour-based construction is on employment. discuss with an architect and/or engineer the suitability of such product for your purposes. with adequate technical. Specialised mechanical excavators are normally used for the narrow ribs or beams in the ground. become fully fledged contractors Technical considerations Foundations Conventional strip footings under walls. and reinforced pads or bases under columns in framed structures can be labour-intensive (excavations and concreting by hand. training and development. the activity becomes community-based • Community-based construction in a sensitive and non-imposing manner aims at the use of labour-based projects to promote the emergence of local entrepreneurs who. but this is not very practical. 22 . with or without the aid of mechanical excavators and concrete mixers). even with such approval.S H F BP5 2006 plant. while ensuring that cost and quality compare with those of plant-based construction. Singleskin block walls. If. Fixing of window and door frames and roof anchors. Construction plant and hi-tech tools are used only where appropriate • Labour-based construction benefits a community by creating employment and facilitating the acquisition of technical skills. Walls Conventional brick or block walling is labour-based (even more so if the bricks or blocks are manufactured on site). however. There are countless patented walling “systems” on the market.

but periodic re-painting will be required. use good quality externalpaint. Plaster and paint may offer more variety and scope for re-decoration. preferably thicker-textured or elastic types of coatings that will cover minor cracks. and colour of mortar in joints). should be durable and should have low maintenance requirements. Wall finishes should provide attractive facades. as with paint colours. Face bricks vary widely in cost and quality. and if bought from a reputable manufacturer. Usual practice is to re-paint every five or six years. and should be carefully selected and incorporated into designs that make aesthetically acceptable use of them – remember this cannot be changed later.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Wall finishes Internal wall finishes should provide good cover (plaster basis with paint) and the paint should be washable (although this is more expensive) in order to reduce the maintenance requirement of the house or unit once occupied. should provide adequate resistance to water penetration. This could become quite expensive in taller buildings because of the need for scaffolding. External finishes. Plaster and paint 23 . It is also more difficult to repair damage (matching later batches of bricks. If this option is selected. within the bounds of affordability. and is not much more expensive than a good plaster-and-paint finish. and to clean face-brick walls defaced by graffiti. face bricks offer adequate resistance to moisture absorption. When used in double-skin construction. Face brick is ideal from a maintenance point of view.

Cement-based paints with mixed-in pigments such as “Cemwash” or “Earthcote” provide attractive and durable options. For shapes that are more irregular. both inside the structure and in the atmosphere. This is covered with an in-situ concrete topping and is used for simple rectangular single-span structures.S H F BP5 2006 Some experts recommend. and if there is movement or moisture in the underlying structure. but these are expensive. say up to seven or even nine years. The composite slab consists of a pre-fabricated component placed to span from support to support. that the first re-painting be done within 3 years of completion. there could be expensive-to-fix problems such as discolouration. however. The composite slab is often the quickest and most cost-effective solution. Lightweight galvanised steel truss systems can also be considered. but this can be time-consuming. if required. erection as well. and are lighter than those made on site. This can time-consuming and labourintensive. 24 . Roof structures Conventional trusses can be made on site in a jig (which provides employment). “Gamma-Zenith”). and some suppliers provide equipment and training on site. solar radiation and moisture. and covered in in-situ concrete to form a ribbed structure. The other option is to buy engineered trusses from a specialist who provides the design. so the finishes can be applied by local labour. because production is limited by the number of carpenters. and then bolted tight once erected. and makes it possible to stretch subsequent re-paintings to longer intervals. This method also requires more cutting on site and increases the amount of material wastage. The blocks are light enough to be handled manually. and therefore provide employment. provided there is access for a mobile crane for off-loading and placing the heavy pre-cast beams or “planks”. Another type of composite slab makes use of concrete hollow blocks packed in narrowly spaced parallel rows on a flat steel deck. These trusses are of better quality. Certain patented wall coatings claim to last the life of the building (“Marmoran”. supply and. pending the effectiveness in certain applications. Building solid slabs is also a more labour-intensive method. This “consolidates” the painted surface after the initial reactions with oxygen. Truss components are first nailed together. Always get quotes for both options and discuss the options with your engineer before deciding on the type of slab. it is more practical to cast an in-situ solid slab. and smaller slabs. Structural floors (slabs) in multi-storey buildings There are two basic types of slabs: a solid in-situ concrete slab and a composite slab. cracks and spalling. jigs and amount of space available.

which is a tedious and costly exercise. Aluminium and PVC windows are attractive and durable. Flooring Carpeting and vinyl flooring wear out and are easily damaged by occupants. They will have to be patched and replaced several times during the lifetime of a building. 25 . metal sheeting is prone to rusting. or if there is poor workmanship during installation. cleaning and maintenance) are discounted to a present value and compared. and can span longer distances without support. The user public seems to prefer tiles. there is little difference between different roofs under normal circumstances. and in corrosive industrial or coastal atmospheres. easily damaged during construction. Ceramic tiling is more durable. but they are expensive. and could be prone to leaks if the pitch is too flat. are expensive. In areas with high winds. tiles may be damaged from time to time. periodic replacement. Wooden windows. ask a quantity surveyor to help. and more support in the form of trusses and battens spaced closer together.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Roof covering You will need to choose between concrete and clay tiles. They do. and require regular and expensive treatment against ultra-violet light (the sun) and moisture penetration.) Windows Steel window frames are most commonly used because they are strong. although pre-painted corrugated sheeting appears to have made a comeback. can make rooms very hot if there is not an insulated ceiling underneath. however. Life-cycle cost comparisons should be made. On the other hand. with virtually no maintenance requirements. durable. they require more edge treatment (fascias and bargeboards) to appear acceptable. or long-length profiled metal and fibre cement sheeting. (If you do not know how to do this. and are readily available at competitive prices. even if it is pre-painted. Maintenance-wise. although fashionable and attractive. With a bit of preparation and training. require good protection against rust by periodic re-painting. Tiles require steeper pitches (meaning more brickwork in gables). come in many standard sizes and shapes for every application. they can also be manufactured on site or in the local community. where the estimated escalated costs of each option over the lifetime of a building or occupancy period (initial. Profiled sheeting can be put on flatter pitches. but also costs more.

carrying out the social survey and market assessment. such as determining the nature and scope of the project. there are many issues to consider in addition to the normal development functions. where the professional team works for the entity. plastering. securing land and funding. as is dealt with by these Guidelines. In a situation where the entity acts as “main contractor”. It requires more resources (plant. which prevents the commencement of certain building work immediately after the casting of slabs. Programming the sequence of work is more complex. and initiating the marketing itself. Aspects to be decided on include the following: Which approach to physical implementation is best suited to the type and size of project? Should we use sub-contractors rather than directly employed labour. to avoid damaging or dirtying completed work on the lower floors. consider site location and conditions in order to work out the approach to implementation. and vertical transportation equipment such as hoists and cranes). Before construction starts. Unless the site is geologically suspect. Who does what? The entity acting as developer will assemble all the pre-construction parts of the project. plant and equipment and constructional aids needed). constructional aids such as scaffolding and form-work. or is there a need to employ local labour/community-based construction teams directly for the main part of the work such as brickwork. Higher levels of skills from the contractor and sub-contractors are also required. Allowance must be made for propping and back-propping of slabs. and a main contractor carries out the actual construction work without any responsibility for design. Acting as contractor on these projects requires fewer resources and less skilled labour. providing the roof construction is properly certified in terms of legislation pertaining to roof design. specifications and bills of quantities. or the “design by employer” method. and draw up lists of work to be done and resources that will be needed for each phase (labour and skills requirements. erection and inspection (notably for prefabricated timber trusses). roofs. only using sub-contractors for specialist work such as plumbing and electrical work and perhaps glazing? 26 . It may then engage contractors on either a “design and build package”. other carpentry work and tiling. Final finishing is done from the top floors down. Construction of multi-storey buildings significantly increases the complexity of operations. the entity as contractor will have to carefully study the drawings.S H F BP5 2006 p Planning for execution of work Deciding on the implementation approach and the construction methodology Introduction Construction of single-storey buildings is usually quite simple. only rudimentary structural design of foundation may be required. however.

good communication. or should we extend the brief of the normal professional team to include organising.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Guideline: If the entity acts as contractor only occasionally. The number and size of construction projects determines whether a full-time in-house construction manager is necessary. co-ordination and supervision of the various labour teams and/or sub-contractors on site. as main contractor. It is usually more costeffective to appoint such a person on a fixed-term contract basis. 27 . In this case. while we. should we engage the services of a professional construction manager. materials and working capital? Guideline: In the early stages of its existence. careful co-ordination between different trades. managed by a professional construction manager under contract. with outside help from stakeholders such as provinces. and are based on site) who report to the project manager or construction manager. for example under an extended stock-development programme. and the CEO or operations manager will take responsibility for managing the construction process. from the areas in which projects are carried out. If the entity is going to build continuously for a long time. it may be prudent to employ a small full-time core team of skilled people and general workers who can do basic work that sometimes falls into the gaps between different types of sub-contract work. and good monitoring and reporting systems and procedures are very important. for instance tackling one project at a time as the opportunity for new stock-development arises. it is best not to employ full-time staff. it may also become necessary to appoint site agents (who are responsible for hands-on management of construction work. but to do all the work with sub-contractors. with some support staff. the CEO’s attention tends to shift to dealing full-time with strategic management and internal office administration. Clear allocation of responsibilities. As the number of construction projects (and units under construction) grows. Examples would be excavating and concreting foundations before the brick-laying subcontractors arrive. the internal priorities of an entity are to have a competent CEO and financial officer or manager in place. the cost of a full-time inhouse construction manager or project manager is not justified. provide plant. the entity could also train and employ community-based labour teams to perform this kind of work. Although the entity can make do in this way for a while. the SHF. How will we manage the construction work? Should we employ our own full-time in-house contract manager and clerk of works. Instead of a full-time team. the NHFC and others. For projects of up to 200 units. it becomes imperative to appoint a full-time construction or project manager who will be responsible for the management of one or more projects simultaneously.

S H F BP5 2006

Should we opt for labour-intensive/labour-based construction as described earlier (possibly resulting in a longer construction period and some quality issues), or a more mechanised approach with greater use of plant (which is more cost- and time-efficient, and results in better quality of certain elements)?

The entity should aim for maximum employment without sacrificing production, quality and affordability. For example: compaction of filling under floors can be done by hand (if the areas are relatively small), however, it would be more economical and appropriate to compact larger areas such as parking areas with small petrol-driven compactors, which also make the level of quality of compaction much easier to achieve.

Plate-compactor for compaction of large areas

Bomag roller for compaction of large areas

Wacker for compaction of small areas and narrow widths

What is the most effective horizontal transportation method on site for different sites and different types of materials – wheelbarrows, dumper trucks?

Moving materials around by wheelbarrow is labour-intensive and works well on smaller sites. For larger sites, it slows down production, and increases the labour requirement beyond cost-effectiveness. It may be better to hire a dumper truck or two for bulk carting of materials from stockpiles to the area of work, and to use wheelbarrows only for the short distances to the final position. A very useful piece of plant to have on larger sites is a tractor loader backhoe (TLB), which is a modified tractor with a hydraulically operated front loader scoop and a rear excavating bucket. Its intended function (for which it is very versatile and cost-effective) is to excavate long trenches and holes for manholes, and to load excavated material and rubble onto trucks for carting away. However, many site agents use it as a generalpurpose carrier for moving cement, aggregates, mixed concrete and mortar, window frames and even workers in the front loader scoop. The machine is not designed for this purpose and its load-carrying capacity is too small to justify its running costs when used in this way.



Wheelbarrows for horizontal transportation

Dumper truck for horizontal transportation

What is the most effective method of vertical transportation on site – with mechanical hoist, tower or mobile crane, scaffold plank ramp, mechanical conveyor, bucket and rope?

For single-storey buildings, materials required higher up (at the top of walls or on the roof), can simply be passed by hand from the ground up onto scaffolding erected for bricklaying and plastering, and from there onto the required level. For double-storey buildings, scaffolding could still work. If there is space it is a good idea to build a ramp up the side of the building or over the steps of stairways to the first floor, made of scaffold frames and planks, so it can be used by people with wheelbarrows. For low-rise multi-storey buildings (three to four storeys), a small mechanical hoist is the best solution for a single large building. For a number of buildings spread over the site this becomes uneconomical, and it is better to go back to ramps built over the steps of stairways. If buildings are quite close to each other however, it may be possible to connect them by temporary bridges, and share one hoist between buildings by supplying the bridge (see sketch below). For medium-rise tower blocks (five- to 12-storey blocks of flats), a fixed tower crane (or one that moves along a short track), with a jib (the “arm” that lifts the load) long enough to reach all the buildings is the most effective solution. Cranes are expensive to erect, hire and operate, and should only be on site for the required period. There is no point in having a crane standing idle at thousands of rands per month while you are still excavating for foundations. Discuss your requirements with an advisor from the crane-hire company, and match its lifting capacity with your requirements to keep costs down. Mobile cranes are too expensive to have on site full-time, and are usually only hired for specific days (or even hours) for lifting heavy components in spaces that cannot be reached by other means, for example, lifting a 300 kg safe door over the roof into a second-storey office.


S H F BP5 2006

Mobile crane for vertical transportation

Tower crane for vertical transportation

What types of constructional aids are needed (for example, different types of scaffolding, support work and formwork)?

The general understanding in the industry is that the main contractor provides heavy-duty external scaffolding for use by sub-contractors such as bricklayers and plasterers, while the sub-contractors provide their own trestles and planks for internal work such as plastering, painting, and nailing up ceilings. The entity working with small or emerging sub-contractors may have to provide the internal support work as well – remember to check and cater for this in your cost estimates. Steel pipe frames and props for scaffolding, or support work for formwork are strong, durable and reasonably priced, and are still the most commonly used. If the entity is going to do a lot of building, it is a good idea to invest in a basic set of frames, props and planks. Scaffold planks must be proper saligna (gumtree) scaffold boards at least 50 mm thick. Old pine roof timbers will not do, and are dangerous, as they are usually full of weak spots caused by knots and other defects, and rot more easily when exposed to moisture. Scaffold planks are very expensive and should be well looked after. They must always be cleaned before being stored between jobs. Frames and props must also be cleaned, and working parts such as threads of telescopic props must be kept well oiled or greased. Regular painting will also extend their life. If the price of new equipment is too steep for your entity, keep an eye open for second-hand sales and auctions. Be careful though when buying used frames, especially

Steel props for support


Timber formwork for flat slabs 31 . and has limited re-use. and used only for elements where standard steel formwork will not do the job. Timber formwork. there are standard steel panels clipped together to form “boxes” for column formwork. as their insurance does not cover them for the latter. as the contractor must then provide the vertical formwork. The most common and economical type of formwork for flat concrete slabs is standard steel pans. and it is therefore more cost-effective to hire it when needed. or formwork made from shutter board is expensive and time-consuming to erect. This can be a nuisance. will only erect flat decks excluding edges or other vertical formwork. but they are costly and are not as strong as steel. Another alternative is to employ sub-contractors who supply and erect their own formwork. Some. The contractor must check the design and ensure that column sizes specified correspond with these standard panel sizes. It should be avoided as far as possible. Likewise. though. which can be re-used many times if properly cared for.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT when they have thick coats of shiny new paint on them – the paint may be all that holds a rusty old pipe underneath together. Formwork is only needed from time to time for short periods. There are versatile lightweight aluminium support systems on the market.

To have an excavator on site for a day is expensive. For longer runs of trench excavation (strip footings for long buildings. and then trim by hand. excavating by hand is generally best (and provides more employment). and do general lifting and carrying around the site (see illustration of TLB at work). Large quantities of solid rock may have to be blasted with explosives. Excavation by hand Excavation by tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) 32 .S H F BP5 2006 Illustration of conventional steel pan formwork for flat slabs Deck panels Box floor centre hanger bracket Box floor centre Flat Deck Formwork Fastrike props and box floor-centres can be used with either pressed or coined deck panels for quick and easy erection and dismantling of soffit formwork Scaffold tube lacing Fastrike prop 50x50 Band and plate coupler Steel column box Guideline: For small volumes. meaning you pay for transportation and idle time out of proportion to the value of the work to be done. This is specialised work. On small and medium-sized excavations. Small quantities of rock or old concrete encountered in foundations can be broken up and removed with picks and crowbars if there are seams to get into. For large volumes and deep excavations such as in cut and fillover site. it is best to get a multi-purpose machine such as a combination “tractor-loaderbackhoe” (TLB) that can be used to dig trenches and do bulk excavations. or sewer trenches). and the most appropriate machine for the job should be hired. and basements. load excavated material onto trucks. or by means of pneumatic hand-held breakers. using machines is more productive and economical. The machine may only be required for an hour or two. permits and extra safety precautions will be required in urban areas. There are many different types of specialised excavating and earthmoving equipment. it is most economical to take out the bulk of the material by machine.

Although the cost of hiring a concrete pump may seem prohibitive at first. Quality control is also more difficult with site mixing. They come in all shapes and sizes. it is often more economical in the long run because of he time saved. and cannot afford to stand around while concrete is laboriously transported by wheelbarrow from the point of off-loading to where it is needed on site. but it does provide more employment for manual labour. from small portable drums with electric motors to those operated by crank. Delivery trucks run on a schedule.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Concrete and mortar – to mix on site (by hand or by mechanical mixer) or to buy ready mix? Guideline: According to conventional wisdom it is more economical to mix on site. Batching is done by weight rather than volume. dispatched into hoppers from where it is fed into the mixing plan. concrete pours must be well planned and efficiently executed. For large projects. and aggregates are shovelled directly from stockpile into the mixer with dragline and bucket. Mechanical mixers provide better consistency and quality in the mixing of concrete. If ready mix is used. and contractors are notoriously unable to estimate properly for the true costs of site mixing once all the waste factors and breaks in productivity have been accounted for. Mix by hand Batch plant on site for bulk mixing requirements Ready mix for delivery to site Mix with concrete mixer 33 . This is sometimes a fallacy. to large petrol-driven machines that can yield up to a cubic metre per batch. it is most economical to set up concrete batching plants where cement is delivered and stored in bulk in metal silos. Mixing by hand is labour-intensive. but slow and not effective for larger quantities. and is more accurate.

supervised. draw up programmes and keep them updated. sheds for safe storage of materials and tools. insurances) even when the machine is not working and recovering those costs. Site establishment. maintenance and repairs are your responsibility. and for starters. you pay for the rental company’s overheads and profits. The construction process needs to be planned. If you hire on the other hand. and delivery and repairs during emergency breakdowns could be unreliable. There must be site offices for meetings. Owning plant means you carry the fixed annual cost (depreciation. and what is required on a specific project (for example. transporting around. finance charges/loss of interest on capital. keeping up to date with the latest models. maintenance and repairs. prepare reports and other documentation for site meetings. Owning also brings about a certain inflexibility and potential mismatch between what you have. certain fixed plant such as concrete batching plants and vertical hoists or tower cranes (sometimes also referred to as site establishment). and supported with temporary works and services. especially larger. plant and equipment.S H F BP5 2006 Plant and equipment – to own or to hire? Guideline: Careful calculations are required (see also pricing of plant in the section on Estimating and Pricing further along in this document) to determine which option is more economical. the mixer you own may be too large or too small for a particular project to be practical and cost-effective). assist the professional team in checking for correct setting out and levels. general management requirements (preliminaries) Contract preliminaries (prelims) or preliminary and general (P&G) Construction is about more than just labour and materials. The contractor must usually provide sureties that will make available funds for completion of the contract should the contractor 34 . name boards. power. traffic-diversion equipment and timbering (support) to carry out the work. temporary works and services. fencing and security. The contractor needs water. it is advisable to hire rather than purchase plant. ablutions for the workers on site. whereas if you hire you can get the right machine for the job. The rental company is responsible though for all the “hassle” of owning plant – insurance. temporary works such as scaffolding. and keep track of when progress payments are due. coordinated. hoardings. more expensive pieces that are only needed from time to time. The contractor must provide competent staff on site to manage and supervise the work. lighting.

protect the completed works against damage. and are collectively referred to as preliminaries or preliminary and general.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT fail to do so. and third-party liability. regularly clean the site. All of the above are usually priced separately from the direct labour and material costs. and cart away the rubble. access control and guarding). loss or injury to workers. Site offices Storage sheds Storage containers 35 . and take out insurance for damage or loss of the works. The contractor is also responsible for security of the site (fencing. He must provide samples of materials for approval by the employer or architect.

This is done so that the work can be properly planned and programmed. For the entity acting as main contractor. and financial viability studies can be done. whereas rates are the “prices” per unit of separate individual items of work. It is usually used as one of the considerations in the determination of a price at which the contractor is prepared to do the work. and cost estimating entails the valuation (apportioning costs to the different measured parts of the work) of the probable inputs (resources) that will be required to complete the work. Where the entity acts as contractor. and estimate the construction cost accurately. and on the other hand the over-and-above costs that will be incurred by the entity as main contractor. and finance charges. Pricing. This must be done so that the total funding requirement for the project can be determined. detail cost estimates Estimating for different purposes and at different phases As part of the development function. cost estimating. these distinctions help in estimating likely sub-contract prices (and estimating price negotiations with sub-contractors) on the one hand. material. escalated building costs. and more detailed working drawings have been prepared. as well as to provide the development side with more accurate budgets of construction costs to feed into refined total-development cost estimates. is a business decision: what amount (including some profit) does the contractor want to sell his/her labour. based on the preliminary estimates. We can further distinguish between price and rates. it becomes necessary for the contractor to measure the quantities. and methods are used that do not rely on detailed and accurate measurement off completed drawings. plan-scrutiny fees. Once the decision. material. rates. The estimated cost is the total estimated quantities (labour. rates. therefore. resources allocated. is quantity x rate. has been taken to proceed. Price. Estimating entails the quantification (measurement). therefore. pricing and costing It is important to distinguish between the terms estimating.S H F BP5 2006 Preliminary cost estimates vs. Price usually means the total amount at which the contractor will erect the building or erect a certain portion of the work. This detailed estimate is also used as a baseline or budget for cost monitoring and control by the contractor. pricing and costing. professional fees. service connections. it is necessary to estimate total development costs. cost estimating. the construction side needs detailed estimates for the same reasons as above. These estimates are usually done at an early stage when only preliminary concept designs or sketch plans are available. plant usage and other indirect costs) multiplied by estimated or known unit cost. which make up the total price. management skill and willingness to take risk to the employer/client for. Estimating. town planning and surveying. 36 . including land. and materials ordered.

It also provides the estimator with information for future estimating. It would be a big mistake to simply add up all the sub-contract sums. it will take on some of the functions that main contractors price for. but the main contractor must provide the taps and sanitary fittings. therefore. In addition. The quotes received from sub-contractors normally include: • Labour • Materials (if applicable). What is included in a main contractor’s price build-up? It is important to understand what is normally included in the main contractor’s price build-up. for instance the plumber’s quote may include the supply of all pipes and pipe fittings. and if additional resources need to be put in place. including allowances for wear and tear • Sub-contractor’s site overheads (usually low or non-existent) • Sub-contractor’s head office overheads (if applicable) • Sub-contractor’s profit Some sub-contractors will quote on a labour-only basis. the main contractor is also usually expected to do some of the work associated with that sub-contractor’s trade. The reason for this is that when the entity acts as main contractor. then these must be budgeted for on top of the estimates for the different sub-contract works. and. An example is where the plumber’s quote would include the supply of manhole covers.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Costing is the collating of cost information during and after the erection of a building. Sub-contract documentation must be clear on these issues. mainly to monitor the profitability of the project or contract. including allowances for wastage • The use of some tools and equipment. materials and sub-contracts. budget for the cost of materials involved. but exclude the building of the manholes. and think that is the total building cost. In plumbing. and the main contractor must ensure nothing is left to fall through the gaps when adding up total estimated costs of labour. the entity acting as main contractor would have to budget in some form or other for most of the following costs that would normally be included in the main contractor’s tender price: 37 . and the processing thereof into monetary terms. but the main contractor will have to supply some of the materials. and quotes from materials suppliers. meaning the main contractor must supply. and to make changes to improve it. Others may quote on a supply-and-fit (labour and materials) basis.

or head-office overheads (office rent. telephones. Certain of its head-office resources will be needed to manage the process. The entity must exercise care when estimating costs. Elements of a contractor’s price: • Cost of materials • Cost of labour • Directly attributable cost of plant Direct cost + Indirect cost • On-site (preliminaries and attendance on sub-contractors) • General (head office) overhead cost = TOTAL COST (ESTIMATED) OF ITEM OR PROJECT + • Profit = RATE AND/OR PRICE 38 . the entity may save at least a portion of main contractor’s off-site costs. water and storage. etc. office space. which can vary from 7. It is often difficult to quantify the above accurately. power. or in outsourced form. Indirect off-site costs (“general. each contract must contribute towards paying overheads – usually in the ratio of its value to the total turnover of the company).5% to 10% of the value of sub-contract work). office equipment.S H F BP5 2006 Indirect on-site costs (“site overhead”) Preliminaries All of the above are usually priced separately from the direct labour and material costs. and general insurances). or head office overhead”) In a building contractor’s business. but some allowances should be made in budgets and cash-flow forecasts. On the other hand. salaries of head office staff. Attendance on sub-contractors Providing sub-contractors with scaffolding. and are collectively referred to as preliminaries. equipment. and assisting them with off-loading and handling of materials and equipment (usually varies from 2. and this may mean buying-in additional capacity or specialised skills in the form of extra staff. Overheads can vary from 5% to 15% of annual turnover (total annual value of contracts of main contractor’s work).5% to more than 25% of the contract value.

labour and plant General aspects to be evaluated and decided on: • Plant . joints • Other factors . interest rate fluctuations. specials on alternatives • Allowance for waste . labour-intensive or a more mechanised working method • Materials . cash flow. loss through theft and pilfering (risk management . mixing and placing of a m3 of concrete of certain mix proportions and application) • Determine unit rates for each measured item of work (in the case of schedules or bills of quantities) by multiplying the quantities of constituent parts of an item of work by their unit costs (for example.insurance).00) adding the costs of the constituent parts together. discounts for early payment vs. materials and other resources) by using labour constants. m3 concrete. contingencies. return on investment elsewhere 39 .bulk or convenience buying. 5 pockets of cement x R48. mixing and installation.) Estimating costs of material.inflation/escalation. central yard or direct delivery.employ own full-time personnel and/or casual labour paid on a time basis. wastage on site due to handling. m3 of sand and stone. arriving at a unit rate of. hours of labour in handling.decide whether to hire or buy (weigh up cost and risk vs. and then adding allowances for overheads and profit. m2 plastering) • Break the quantities down into their individual constituent ingredients or inputs (labour.00 = R240. work out the number of pockets of cement. (For example. mixing tables. say. risk and utilisation) • Labour . overlaps. labour sub-contractors.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Building up rates and building price from first principles The steps in determining rates are as follows: • Quantify (measure) the amount of work that needs to be done (for example. etc.00 per m3 of 20 Mpa reinforced concrete in footings Further steps to take to arrive at the total building price: • Multiply the measured quantities of work by the unit rates to determine the “price” of individual items of work • Add all these together to arrive at the total price (taking into account other allowances such as provisional sums. R730. or per task (piece-work).breakage during transit (bricks) and short delivery. m2 walling. etc.

based on minimum delivery quantity and taking into account off-loading and storage • Allowance for waste as defined below • Less discount(s) (if any) as described below Price per unit This is the price quoted by the supplier in units such as R48. while a contractor who regularly buys large quantities may get as much as 50% to 60% off the list price. For items of larger bulk or weight.00 per pocket of cement. say. R8. prices are usually quoted ex yard. The total cost of this is taken as an overhead cost and added as a percentage to the price quoted for all materials. R950. only 10%. work from a standard price list. cement. sand. A small once-off sale to an unknown client may happen at a discount of. two 3-ton trucks will travel 30 000 km each on daily deliveries within the chosen radius. say. and additional charges are made for loading. stone. and on a rate per km or per area/zone for delivery. All steel window suppliers. etc. etc. Discount General discount to the trade Suppliers often provide materials at lower prices to contractors than to the public. Delivery cost The price per unit quoted for items of smaller bulk that are delivered from the retailer’s own yard often includes the cost of delivery up to a certain radius (say within 10 km or 20 km of the yard). While loss through theft is not provided for.00 per 1 000 bricks. The retailer estimates that in a certain year. The entity acting as contractor should vigorously negotiate for these kinds of discounts. It is helpful if the estimator knows what units and minimum quantities materials are usually sold in. Different discounts off the list prices are then offered to different categories of buyer. Deliberate and negligent wastage or damaging of materials is not regarded as waste. for instance. Delivery is also charged for smaller items that are delivered outside the normal radius.00 per kg of nails. this is insured against. such as bricks. Waste Waste is that portion of materials that is lost in handling and processing and cannot be re-used in the permanent structure (see also the section on materials management). 40 .S H F BP5 2006 Estimation of material costs The cost of material is made up of: • The price per unit paid to the dealer or supplier for the manufactured article • Delivery cost to the site. where the cost of delivery is significantly influenced by distance.

it would earn interest of R10 000 x 6/100 x 30/365 = R49.00 less (5/100 x 10 000) = R9 500.31.5% or 5% discount for payment within 30 days). Example: ± 60 Days JAN 25 FEB 25 MARCH 25 APRIL Contractor Buys Cement Contractor Pays Account Less 5% Supplier’s Accounts Close Supplier Sends Statement Cash discount These are attractive discounts to encourage contractors to pay cash. 41 .. Compare this with interest earned at a bank: Say the cost of a contract is R20 000. Bulk discount This is a discount for large quantities. and will only have to pay for it 30 days after that.00 was kept in a call-account for 30 days at 6% p. he or she will receive an invoice for that item after the 25th of the current month (around the end of month). Say the entity orders an item on the 26th of the previous month (that is after accounts for the previous month have closed).00 (Saving is R500) If the R10 000. the entity can get almost 60 days to pay.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Settlement discount This is offered by the supplier to the contractor as an incentive to pay accounts on time (usually 2.a.00 R20 000. to encourage contractors to buy in bulk. Accounts are usually made up on the 25th of a month for all orders delivered up to then. therefore: Material costs: R10 000.00 R10 000.00 If the material is paid for within 30 days. By judicious timing of purchase dates. there is a 5% discount. made up as follows: Labour Material Contract cost R10 000. without forfeiting any discount.

5 = 0.55 sk @ R36 (del. etc.033= 0.10 R 19.22x0.40 R 29.88 The completed estimate of material price for the item would be as follows: Description One-brick wall in 1:5 cement mortar Unit m 2 Quantity 120 Rate 110. Incl. as and when applicable The above costs are converted to an all-inclusive cost per hour and multiplied by the average time (labour constant) that it takes to produce the unit of work in the bill or schedule.0/(0.60 Estimation of labour costs The cost-to-company of labour is made up of: • Basic wage per hour • Compulsory contributions by the employer in terms of the Collective Agreement between employers and organised labour for the particular area.80 R 10.88 Price 13 305.08 R 110.09m3 @ R90/m3 (del.085)=53x2=106+4%(waste)=110/m2@ R650/1 000 Mortar (0. in accordance with the Labour Relations Act (medical aid.80 R 27. holiday fund. 42 .) • Other statutory contributions by the employer with regard to Skills Development Levies.072 x1. bonus.90 R 1.072m3/m2): Building sand: 5/6 x 0. and Regional Services Councils (soon to be replaced with a new business tax) • Agreed travel and/or accommodation and living-out allowances for out-of-town projects.) Sub-total Waste: 5% say Total cost of materials for above (per m2) Add profit of say 10% (per m2) Total Unit Rate R 8. accident insurance.072 x 1. rate and price of material Measured item in the bill of quantities: Description One-brick wall in 1:5 cement mortar Unit m 2 Quantity 120 Rate ? Price ? The cost and rate of materials for the above item could be calculated as follows: Estimating cost of materials for the above (per m2): Bricks (after discount to trade): Price of bricks ex yard: Loading and delivery cost Net cost of bricks delivered to site R 450/1 000 R 200/1 000 R 650/1 000 R 71. Incl.5/0.S H F BP5 2006 Example of estimating the cost.) Cement : 1/6 x 0.30 R 100.50 Net per m2: (1. Unemployment Insurance (UIF).

contributions and labour overhead of all the workers required to produce the unit of work. diligent tradesman or worker to do a certain unit of work under normal working conditions during average weather conditions • It is that factor which.5 x 8 x 2m = 8 m3 = 2. Overlapping and gaps must be avoided. for example: 43 .5 (labour constant) The labour constant is then multiplied by the hourly rate of a worker to arrive at the labour cost of a specific activity Compiling tables for labour constants The basic principles are: 1.5 or: Four workers take five hours to excavate 8m3. will give the labour cost for a particular operation or process • Labour constant = time required to perform the unit of work The labour constant is calculated by keeping record of the time it takes a group of workers to do a large amount of a certain type of work over a period (1 year) under all kinds of working and weather conditions. Examples: (i) One worker takes 2. worry-free. For 1 m3 we therefore have to divide 20 by 8: 20 hours/8 m3 = 2. for excavations the labour constant must be expressed in hours per m3. i. 2. is the net labour cost of that unit of work. wage.5/1 = 2.5 hours to dig a trench of 1 m3 Labour constant = 2. The quantity of work units or output is measured and the total time is divided by the total number of units of work. for example.5 (ii) It takes four workers five hours to dig a trench of 0.e. therefore.5m x 8m x 2m Calculate the labour constant: LC = t/unit: 4 x 5 = 20 h divided by 0. would have taken 20 hours to excavate 8 m3. The unit in which the labour constant is reflected must relate to the unit of measurement in accordance with the Standard System of Measurement used. if multiplied by the relevant rate. All operations which are common to similar but different end results must be kept separate. The labour constant multiplied by the total cost per hour. One worker.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT The Labour Constant (LC) Definition • The term given to the average time it takes a healthy.

5. for instance. Avoid division into too many operations.5 h. Example: From the tables. 6.g. The LC for placing concrete in columns therefore.5 h to transport 1 m3 of materials) • Mixing (by hand) (e.g.5 h to transport 1 m3 of materials) • Placing and levelling of concrete in foundation trenches (e. say 25 m per trip. Carting mixed concrete over a distance of not more than 25 m would. and allows for discretionary adjustment of basic LCs when it is clear to the estimator that a standard piece of work is going to be executed under non-standard conditions. it would take one worker 0. which is more difficult and takes longer. it would take one worker 3. etc.8 = 1.e.g. spreading and compaction for different building elements are different. Instead of giving separate tables for placing in columns. 5. LC = 0. is 0.75 h to place and level 1 m3 of mixed concrete) Although there are small theoretical differences. and transportation to place of pouring (e. LC = 3.5. Distinguish between operations only if there are measurable differences in the LC.e. a multiplier of say 1.5. the labour constants for transporting and mixing are the same for all strengths of concrete. therefore it would take one worker 0. 4.75. use multipliers where possible. The use of multipliers reduces the number of tables that need to be compiled for LCs. separate labour constants would be used for the following discrete activities: • The transportation of ingredients from stockpile to place of mixing (e. for practical purposes and within measurable margins. LC for transportation of materials on site must be based on average trip distances.e. i. i.75 x 1. 44 . i. 3.35. Placing in foundations is easier and quicker than placing in columns. The multiplier The multiplier is a factor that indicates how much longer a particular operation takes under circumstances different to the norm. have an LC of 0.S H F BP5 2006 In concrete work.8 is used.5. it would take one worker 0.g. an LC of 0. Carting up to 50 m would take twice as long and a multiplier of x2 would therefore be applied to the basic LC of 0.5 h to mix 1 m3 of concrete) • Loading into barrows. LC = 0. Thereafter the placing. LC = 0. Instead of additional tables.75 is given for the placing of concrete in foundation trenches.

Organisational factors (i) Materials shortages: Results in waiting time and demoralisation of workforce. (v) Overcast weather: Lack of light slows down or stops work. production rates are generally lower than in situations of oversupply of labour. Where the work is elsewhere. When a contractor is tendering for work within its normal area of activity. (iv) Demand for and supply of labour: in times of high demand. (iv) Wind and dust: Dust gets in workers’ eyes. inappropriate grouping of people with regard to skills. Personal problems (i) Illness of workers. Concrete plastering and masonry work cannot be carried out in freezing weather. etc. adjustments will have to be made for differences in the expected weather conditions. (iii) Exceptionally warm weather: Workers become exhausted and must break for fluid intake more often. (vi) Workers’ wages less than on other sites in the same area. (v) Inefficient and poorly maintained plant and equipment. (iii) Exhaustion due to poor nutrition or work not suited to person’s personal ability and strength. Materials stored untidily or far from the work area reduce efficiency. (ii) Domestic problems: financial problems or illness in the home. (ii) Exceptional cold: Workers constantly seek shelter to warm themselves. Trucks cannot get out of basement excavations. mistakes and accidents. (iv) Poor lighting: leads to sloppy work. 45 . Cranes cannot be used. (ii) Untidy site: Reduces efficiency and leads to accidents. the LCs should take into account expected average weather conditions for the area and time of year. Materials are difficult to handle.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Factors that influence production (to be taken into account when compiling and/or using LCs and multipliers): Weather conditions (i) Wet weather: Roads can become impassable. workers not properly informed and motivated. Workers cannot work in the rain unless cover is provided. (iii) Poor worker relations: Foreman shouting and swearing at workers.

51/m2 The completed estimate of labour price for the item would be as follows: Description One-brick wall in 1:5 cement mortar Unit m2 Quantity 120 Rate 48.5 bricks/h: Therefore at 110 bricks per m .98 (h per m2) Labour cost per m2: 0.00 Two assistants/h R 8.50 R 45.50 R 3.50 R 24.80 46 .) Total/Hour Bricklayer/h R 20. then: Description One-brick wall in 1:5 cement mortar Unit m2 Quantity 120 Rate ? Price ? Estimating labour cost for the above: For this type of work. rate and price If we use the same measured item that was used for estimating material price in the example above.00 R 1.00 R 5. (skills dev. a small team consisting of one bricklayer and two assistants will be considered as a unit working together.5 = 0.00 Total cost per hour of the unit/team R 36.00 R 2. etc. UIF.00 x 2 = R 16. Say the unit is able to lay 900 bricks in a day of 8 hours.10/m2 R 4.00 R 21. the LC for the unit is 900/8 = 112.39 (110.00 Add profit of 10% Total Unit Rate R 44.00 R 1. the LC = 110/112. and the team’s total cost to the company is made up as follows (no living-out or travel allowances): Description Basic wage Compulsory employer contributions (medical.00 2 At 900 bricks a day.S H F BP5 2006 Example 1: Estimating labour costs.88+48.98 x R45. transporting materials.20 The total price for the item (labour and material) would therefore be: Description One-brick wall in 1:5 cement mortar Unit m 2 Quantity 120 Rate 159. The assistants will be mixing mortar. etc..50 R 1. etc. so that the bricklayer is free to lay as many bricks as possible in a day.51) Price 19 126. bonus. helping with the erection of scaffolding.) Other statutory contr. RSC.50 x 2 = R 3.51 Price 5 821.00 x 2 = R 2.41/m2 R 48. holiday.

50 Semi-skilled worker/h R 12.00 = R 20.00 Estimating labour costs for the above: Note: The contractor has studied the drawings and visited the site and noticed that: • The columns are on the ground floor • His mixing platform will be about 40 m away from the stockpile of materials • The columns will be less than 25 m away from the mixing platform but the ground level will be about 5 m higher than the mixing platform.35h @ R 10.2 (steep slope multiplier)= Semi-skilled worker: Place and consolidate concrete: 0.5h 0.8 (multiplier for columns)= Estimated labour cost for the above Add profit of say 10% Total Unit Rate 1. etc.55 @ R 15. rate and price Measured item: Description Reinforced concrete 20 MPa in columns (ground floor) Unit m 3 Quantity 10 Rate ? Price ? Total cost to company of labour: Description Basic wage Compulsory employer contributions (medical.00 R 1.18 Price 811.18/m3 The completed estimate of labour price for the above item would be as follows: Description Reinforced concrete 20 MPa in columns (ground floor) Unit m3 Quantity 10 Rate 81.00 R 10.80/m3 R 7. UIF.38/m3 R81.) Other statutory contributions (skills development.5h x 1.00 R 1.5h x 2 (multiplier for distance 25-50m)= Mix concrete: 3. holiday.) Total/Hour General worker/h R 8.75h x 1.1h 1. meaning transportation of mixed concrete will take longer than allowed for in the standard LC for this activity General worker: Transport materials from stockpile: 0.50 = R 53. bonus.60 R 1.5h/m3= Transport concrete to position: 0.40 R 15.6h 5. etc. RSC.25 R 73.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Example 2: Estimating labour costs.80 47 .50 R 1.0h 3.

is used for many different things on a site. licensing. tools. equipment. for example. It would be impractical to try to apportion its costs to the hundreds of different items it transports daily. is used only to mix concrete and mortar. the money is not available for investment where it could potentially earn interest or other income. brickwork and plastering. There are various methods for calculating annual depreciation. If the plant is bought with own reserve funds. on the other hand. each with different implications for tax and the company’s financial reporting. the company’s own records. Annual cost of plant Annual depreciation From the moment you buy a piece of equipment. direct operational costs such as fuel. annual depreciation of the asset value (purchase price). Licensing Bigger plant often has its own road wheels for transportation and would have to be licensed with the traffic authorities.) can be priced in one of two places. If the cost of use of a particular piece of plant can be linked exclusively to a specific measured item of work. Plant has two types of costs. finance costs. etc. One is annual cost. there are annual interest costs. Maintenance and servicing Provisions for this cost would be based on manufacturer estimates or. An estimate is then made of the total cost of using the crane on the project. scaffolding. and it is priced as one lump sum in the preliminaries section of the bill of quantities under the item “plant and equipment”. i. In this example. regardless of its usage. Provision must be made for this in order to recover the cost of using the equipment over its working life. lubricants and operator wages. The other is hourly cost. This is because it will eventually be used up and will have to be replaced sometime in the future. Finance costs If the plant is bought with borrowed money (financed by a bank).S H F BP5 2006 Estimation of plant costs Plant (machines. it starts depreciating in value. The cost of its use can therefore be recovered through the rates for concrete. we will use the straight-line method where the value of the asset (purchase price less salvage value at the end of its life) is depreciated by equal amounts per year over the extent of its working life. for instance. This is made up of the costs incurred by owning the piece of plant. A tower crane. A concrete mixer. 48 . maintenance and servicing. if available. insurances. This loss of interest or income is a cost. Insurances Plant must be insured against loss of or damage to the asset.e. as well as for thirdparty liability. through income from contracts. then it is customary to price for its use in the rate of that item.

Information: 1. operator competence) can greatly influence these factors) Fuel/energy Manufacturers’ estimates or past records will indicate the hourly consumption of petrol. there are multipliers for work of a similar nature.11 Insurance 1. Again. Annual cost: 2.00 20% p. (A dedicated operator is one who works full-time on a particular piece of plant.00 p.5 2. etc. for instance.a 11 520 hours 6h 48 x 5 days/year straight-line 2.13 Yield 1.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Hourly cost of plant (Note: Remember (i) that manufacturer’s claims of production rates.3 Repair and maintenance: 10% x R 30 000 2.5 Purchase price Salvage value (2nd hand resale value at end of life) Interest rate for financing Anticipated working life Occupation factor hours/day (The other 2 hours used for cleaning.88/h 2. a concrete mixer can yield 12 batches of 250 litres each per hour. maintenance.00 3 000.a.1 Depreciation:(R30 000 – R6 000 )/8 2.14 Production/work rate (5 minute cycle) R 30 000. Lubricants Plant must be oiled and greased on a regular basis and this cost can be as much as 10% to 20% of energy cost. R 0.00/1440*= R 6.5 litre/hour 20% of fuel cost 10% of purchase price p. for example.00 9 900.4 Insurance: R0. etc.4 1.50/R10 x R 30 000 x 0.9 Lubricating oils. etc.10 Repair and maintenance 1.2 1.2 Interest: 20% x R30 000 x 0. and maintenance intervals are optimistic. 8 years 250 litre/batch 12 batches per hour R R R R R R 3 000.10/R 10. The cost of use of the concrete mixer in this example is to be priced into the item rates for each measured item of concrete work 250 Litre petrol-driven concrete mixer: 1.) 1. energy consumption.5 Licence fees * (11520/8=1440 working hours per year) 49 .00 150. and (ii) that operating conditions (altitude.5 m.00 3 000.7 Deprecation method 1. 1. extreme weather.8 Fuel consumption litres/h 1.12 Life in years: (11520/6=1920 days/5=384 weeks/48=8 years) 1.a. depending on operating conditions. Example 1: Estimating plant costs Plant has production rates (a concept similar to the labour constant). but with different degrees of difficulty.1 1. or an excavator can excavate 20 m3 of soft material to a depth of 1.00 750. Operator wages The total cost of dedicated operators is included here.00 R 6 000. diesoline and electricity.6 Production weeks (4-week builders’ holiday per year) 1. dust. a crane driver).3 1.5 2.

00/h Operator: 637. Notes: 1.00 + R 8 000.5 x 8/6 = 850h @ R15.00 3. interest is calculated on the full purchase price and at the end the balance is zero. on the assumption that at the beginning of the repayment period (first year). The total cost of the use of the crane is estimated as follows.1 Fuel: 2. an averaging factor of 0.00 Erection and dismantling: R 10 000.00 R 95 625. The cost of transporting the mixer to and from site is calculated separately (it will vary for each contract) and priced in the preliminaries section of the bill. it would have to maintain better.25 weeks x 5d x 6h = 637.63/m3. and because the stock would be subjected to more abuse or carelessness by hirers): 50 . and priced as a lump sum in the preliminaries section of the bill. (The plant-hire company would base its hire rate on the same calculations of annual cost plus an allowance for overhead and profit.00 =R 34.00 R 18 000. among other factors. This is because. Hourly cost: 3.00 If the crane in the above example was hired instead of being owned. except that it would be more conservative than the contractor owning his own plant. the calculation might be as follows.00 Hourly cost: Electricity: 5m x 4.00 R 12 750. Simple interest was used for finance costs above.00 R34.5 litre @ R4. This cost will be included in the unit rate for each measured item of concrete work in the bill.00 R139 750. and replace stock more often to stay in the market with up to date equipment. The mixer effectively works only 6 hours per day.00 R 6 000. His attributable cost to the working time of the mixer is therefore 8/6 times his hourly rate.5 was therefore applied to interest charges.00/h Total cost of owned crane priced in preliminaries R 6 375.00/48 x 4.2 Lubricants: 20% x R10. Estimation of total costs: tower crane (if owned): Annual cost (calculated as before) say R 216 00.25x5 Transportation to and from site: 2 x R 3 000.88/2 R28. For simplicity.00 R 16. 2.00 3. The operator is paid for a full 8 hours however (he spends the other two hours on cleaning and maintenance).3 Operator: 8/6 x R12.S H F BP5 2006 3. Example 2: Estimating plant costs It is estimated that a tower crane will be required on site from month 2 up to and including month 6 of a 7-month contract (= 5 months).00/h Total cost per hour Total cost per m3: 3m3/hour (12 x 250 litre/h) R 10.88 R 11 63/m3 The total cost of using the concrete mixer is R11. The interest is paid on a reducing balance (at the end of each year a certain amount of the loan has been paid off and interest is only payable on the outstanding balance).00 R 2.5h @ R 10.

Underutilisation. peri-urban. for example. compiling work programmes and cash flows. wheelbarrows. 4. Servicing and repairs are the hire company’s problem and just a phone call away 7.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Estimation of total cost of crane (if hired): Plant-hire company charges: Transportation: 2 x R3600. In certain remote or underdeveloped parts of the world. picks. but can vary considerably between projects.00 (R3 000. etc. storekeepers. etc. Hired plant is generally better maintained. thereby reducing downtime due to malfunction 6. Having to rent or own storage space 3. The restricting cash-flow factor of regular and long-term repayment commitments 5. such as: • • • • • • Personnel Accommodation Plant Salaries of works foremen. theft. etc. security guards. low-rise housing or inner-city tower block) • Size and phasing of project • Location (urban. cranes. sheds. insurance premiums. it may appear that it is always better to own plant.00 + 20% o/h and profit) Erection and dismantling: (R10 000 + R8 000)+20% Monthly rental: 5m x R23 760/m (R216 000x1.5% and 20% of contract value. Hire charges and/or capital redemption and interest. out of country). etc. meaning that capital is tied up uselessly instead of earning profits by being available as working capital on new contracts. Risk of damage. shovels.00 R 19 125. hoists.1+20%)/12 Contractor’s own costs: Electricity as before Operator as before Total cost of hired crane priced in preliminaries R 6 375. etc. Hire charges and/or capital redemption and interest.00 R 118 800. and provide expensive protection against the harsh climate 51 .00 R 12 750. suburban. Estimating costs of contract preliminaries These are costs connected with organising work on site. gatekeepers. maintenance and running costs Water and power for the works Cost of sureties. 2. maintenance. Obsolescence. preliminaries could be as high as the actual value of building work because contractors have to establish their own infrastructure. breakage. The “real” cost of owning plant must take the following into account: 1. crane and hoist operators Temporary site offices.00 From the above. erection and dismantling All plant on site that are not used exclusively for the production of a particular item of work. planning and co-ordinating the works Temporary services Contract requirements Contract management The cost of preliminaries on conventional building contracts usually range between 7. depending on: • Type of work (building or civil construction.00 R 7 200.00 R 166 725. toilets. deposits and fees to local authority Cost of meetings. rural. and the provision of aids and facilities for the economical execution thereof.00 R 21 600. transport to and from site. such as Siberia in Russia. but this is not necessarily so.

S H F BP5 2006

The major cost items under preliminaries are plant and salaries/wages of site staff. Both are directly related to the size and duration of the contract, with duration or time being the major factor
In estimating preliminaries costs (the most difficult part of cost estimating, and best left to an experienced estimator), the following activities are involved:

• After deciding what work will be done manually to increase employment,
assessing what types and numbers of plant and equipment will be needed; and by studying the work programme, estimating how long they will be needed on site

• Drawing up an organogram of site administrative staff needed (excluding labour
directly involved in actual construction activities), and how long they will be needed

• Studying the work force requirement, and contract stipulations to see what
temporary facilities and services are needed for the execution of the contract

• Studying the contract conditions and statutory requirements to see what
insurances are required, and what fees and deposits are payable to the local and other authorities

• Discussing with contracts managers and site staff what the security requirements

Estimation of general (head office) overhead costs to be attributed or apportioned to a specific project for recovery
Overheads are those costs that cannot readily be apportioned to specific work items on a project or projects, but which are necessary to execute the project(s). The cost of indirect or general office overheads, which can vary from 5% to 20% of contract value, must be spread over all the projects executed in a particular year, that is to say each project must make a “contribution” to overhead costs.

Project 2
(5% of contract value)

Project 1
(5% of contract value)

Project 3
(5% of contract value)

(say 5% of turnover)



Typical general overheads

Accommodation Office space for manager(s), clerks, typists, etc. Storage space for records, plant not in use, vehicles and materials. Total annual rent or an amount that would yield a certain return on investment in own property Depreciation of office furniture and equipment, maintenance and finance charges, stationery, postage, telephone/fax, lighting, heating and cooling, bookkeeping charges Salaries of contracts manager(s), contract surveyors, clerks, typists, other head office staff, time-keepers, security guards, including pension/provident fund and medical aid contributions Cars, bakkies, trucks. Capital redemption and interest on HP contracts, maintenance and repair, running costs, licences, insurance Interest on capital (loans or own capital), bank charges, in connection with financing the business Fire, theft and third-party insurances, municipal service charges (water, power, refuse removal, sanitary charges)

• • • • •

Office equipment and expenses



Finance costs Regular expenses

Estimating overhead contribution
Overhead contributions for each project are commonly estimated by: 1. Estimating the total turnover of all projects for a particular year, say R10 million (value of actual building work excluding preliminaries, provisional sums, overhead and profit). 2. Estimating the total overhead cost that will be needed to support the estimated turnover for that year, say R0.5 million. 3. Expressing the estimated overhead cost as a percentage of estimated turnover (R0.5 million/R10 million = 5% in this case) and adding that percentage to all bill rates for building work. In this way, the total amount of building work carried out during the year will contribute the full amount of overhead needed. This calculation must be reviewed constantly. This is because the estimates of turnover for the year will be adjusted as the real turnover figures start emerging. For example, if by mid-year it is evident that only 75% of estimated turnover is likely to be realised, the contractor will have to either adjust the percentage upward (if market conditions allow), or start cutting overhead costs.

Contingency allowances
This is one of the most misunderstood and abused aspects of estimating. Contractors, consultants (and their clients) see it as a simple case of “add 10% so we have a bit of fat in the estimate”. Contingencies should be divided into two distinct categories of uncertainty or risk, and each category should be considered rationally before deciding on an allowance (past experience is invaluable in this regard): 1. Design and detail development – to allow for lack of detail at sketch plan and estimating stage. This allowance should be high in the early preliminary stages,


S H F BP5 2006

and reduce with each subsequent estimate as more detail becomes available from the design team. Once tenders are in and construction is ready to start, this could be reduced to a very small allowance, unless parts of the design are still incomplete. 2. Building contract contingencies – to allow for real unforeseen expenditures. The circumstances of the project will determine the amount that should be allowed. It should also reduce up to a point, but an amount should remain in place until construction is well underway, or even until the end of construction. How much to allow will depend on the circumstances. It is usual to allow 2.5% to 5% of estimated final building cost for each category (5% to 10% total) in the preliminary estimates, reducing to 1.5% to 2.5% (3% to 5% total) at tender stage, and reduced even more from time to time in cost reports during the construction phase. (For refurbishment and conversion, the initial contingency should be bumped up to at least 15%).

Cost escalations – why an estimate of current construction cost is not good enough
Note: In the discussion below the general situation where an employer or client engages a main contractor for construction work, is described. In the case where the entity acts as the main contractor, it becomes – for purposes of this section – the employer, and contractor then refers to the sub-contractors it employs. Where it acts as main contractor under contract to another organisation, the term contractor below applies to it. The starting point for all construction cost estimates is the day on which the estimate is done. In other words, the rates used are those that apply on that day as if the project could be completed on the same day. This is usually called the “ESTIMATED CURRENT CONSTRUCTION COST”. This is logical because the rates known to us at this stage can only be from current or (recently) past tenders, and not from the future. To estimate only the current building cost is not realistic. Feasibility studies (of which the estimate of construction cost is an important part) first have to be carried out, tender documentation must be prepared, tenders called and adjudicated, plans submitted for scrutiny and permission to start building by the local authority, etc. This can take from four to 12 months, and even longer on large and complex projects. During this time, construction costs will fluctuate in response to both macroeconomic and local construction market factors. Recently, these fluctuations have usually been upwards because of continued inflation, and it is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. The anticipated future tender price for the work will invariably be higher than the estimated current construction cost, which must therefore be escalated in full for the estimated total planning period, at a projected rate based on construction market trends.


The effects of time on final building costs as outlined above must always be taken into account in building cost estimates. in order to be able to estimate preliminaries and escalation costs on a construction project. When the market is competitive (with many builders chasing little work).and post-tender construction cost escalations • Financing cost (interim interest) It is also of benefit to the client if a project can be completed in a shorter period so that it can generate an income stream sooner. one must be able to estimate the length of the construction period. the contractor allows in his tender for this risk. The project planning and construction periods (time) have an important effect on time-related cost aspects such as: • Preliminaries (especially salaries. 55 . on the other hand. Fixed-price contracts can be called for or arranged with a contractor during negotiations.e. The main advantage of fixed-price contracts for the employer. plant and other time-related items) • Pre. When the economy is booming and there is too much work around. is that the final cost is known with greater certainty from the beginning (making budgeting less risky). contractors tend to use the escalation risk as a competitive variable. The employer will not. therefore. as found in the competent professional quantity surveyor (QS). but the employer must bear in mind that if the building period is prolonged (i. This requires highly specialised knowledge and skill. There is no way of knowing how much. In plain language that means they will load their tenders with as little as possible. reimburse the contractor for any fluctuations in building costs after acceptance of a tender. longer than 12 months). the risks for the contractor are great. if any. and the contractor must allow in his tender for any expected fluctuations. Smaller contracts are often fixed-price contracts where the contractor accepts full responsibility for any fluctuation in the costs of labour and material.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Fixed-price contracts A fixed-price contract is one where the contractor accepts full risk for any fluctuation in the costs of labour and material. The time factor From the above it is clear that. and hope to put the screws on their suppliers and sub-contractors (who should be equally hungry for business) to keep their input prices fixed as well. the opposite will be the case. which can lead to the initial tender price being abnormally high.

and requires no further formal town planning procedures Activity Define project Identify land Acquire land Market surveys Feasibility Documentation Plan approval Tenders Time in months 1 (to 3?) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 56 . there is much to do before construction work starts. including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to clear obstacles to development – anything from an absolute minimum of six months for rezoning (more likely eight to nine months). and call for tenders so that municipal approval and go-ahead to contractor more or less coincide) It is important for the contractor to understand the lead times in the overall development process. registration of transfer in deeds office) – anything from two to six months (during this time preliminary designs and feasibility studies can be done) • If required. namely:– • Architect prepares site development plan. or other formal town planning/ legal procedure. A typical time-line for pre-construction project planning where the land is already proclaimed and correctly zoned. followed by other drawings for municipal submission (two to four months) • Await municipal approval and permission to build – anything from two to four months (during this time the professional team could proceed with preparation of technical and tender documentation. offer to purchase or Land Availability Agreement. All or most of the following processes and activities may still need to happen: • Acquire and secure the land (option periods. to nine to 24 months for township establishment • If the above is not required (and land is already zoned for the intended purpose) proceed to the next step. township establishment or rezoning.S H F BP5 2006 Estimating project planning and construction contract periods The pre-tender project-planning time-line At the time the first cost estimates are done. to enable him/her to provide for cost escalations in estimates.

The critical-element method for estimating a construction period The most accurate way of estimating construction periods is to measure rough quantities of the critical elements (bulk earthworks.) and then to draw up a bar chart or critical path programme by calculating the duration of each critical activity according to its quantity and typical production rates. concrete and steel structures. basements. professional fees for documentation. such as rezoning. Real times will be affected by the degree to which the developing institution is willing to take the risks involved in overlapping some activities. the availability of money to fund land acquisition.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT A typical time-line for pre-construction project planning where the land is already proclaimed. These periods vary considerably according to individual circumstances and the degree of overlapping the developing institution is willing to risk (for instance initiating land acquisition before preliminary studies are complete. 57 . say. etc. From the above it can be seen that the time between project initiation and having a builder on site is around 12 to 16 months in straightforward cases. rezoning costs. and administrative delays in getting Land Availability Agreements set up. a new estate is to be planned on previously un-proclaimed land. preparing full tender documentation before plans are approved). but requires rezoning: Activity Define project Identify land Acquire land Rezone land Market surveys Feasibility Documentation Plan approval Tenders Time in months 1(to 3?) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9-16 17 18 19 20 21 22 The above are indications only. or could add anything from 12 to 24 months to the normal process in cases where. This is because new land-use layouts have to be prepared and submitted to several government departments for input. proceeding with town planning procedures on risk before the property is transferred. and around 20 to 24 months where there are complications involved. Township establishment could take slightly longer than rezoning in simple cases (single piece of land owned by council).

and a quicker method is required. All the main activities are then scheduled in logical sequence on a building or works programme. This includes a close study of all the contract documents – such as drawings. Planning and programming of the works Work or production planning Production planning starts with analysis of the works. The purposes of a building programme include: • To provide a timetable for co-ordinating the following: • The issuing of drawings and other information needed for construction • The placing of orders and drawing up of delivery schedules for materials • The work of sub-contractors • Hiring and/or bringing onto site plant and equipment • To show the logical sequence of operations so that work can be planned on a daily. specifications. say. Purpose of the building programme The building programme reflects the agreed sequence and duration of construction activities on a particular project. A simplified version of the critical-element method is therefore the most appropriate estimating tool. where each lower level of branches represents more detailed breakdowns of clusters of activities. In project management. It is based on the observation that the concrete frame in the case of multi-storey buildings. slabs and roofs in the case of. bills of quantities. and the walls. The method is to first estimate the time needed for the structure.S H F BP5 2006 This would be far too time-consuming at the time of estimating. conditions of contract – so that all activities and important conditions and prescriptions that influence the method of execution can be noted. and the smallest parts of its components. Each activity or job is then planned while taking into account the materials required. walk-ups are usually the main critical elements. and the resources of labour and plant required and available. weekly and monthly basis • To show the times available for activities so that output rates for labour and plant can be determined and resources allocated • To provide a measuring tool for monitoring progress • To provide a tool for estimating cash-flow projections and financing requirements 58 . the term Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is used. where activities are set out on an inverted “tree”. and then to add time for start-up and finishing off respectively.

59 . Site clearance and levelling 2. from clearing of site and site establishment to final inspections and hand-overs. with activities listed in sequence on the vertical axis.3 Brickwork On larger projects. For the main or master programme. for example: 1. Site establishment 3.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Programming techniques and tools Programming tools vary from simple charts where activities are listed in sequence from top to bottom along the vertical axis. and the time bars for each activity correctly positioned in accordance with the horizontal time scale (including overlap of activities where appropriate) Example Prepare a list of activities: The list should include all activities. Programming requires a good understanding of the construction process. with the length of the bar representing the time on the scale in days or weeks • Plot the bars for all the activities on a chart.1 Excavations • 4. Setting out the works 4. such as structural concrete. Bar charts or Gantt charts The usual procedure for preparing a bar chart is to: • Prepare a list of discrete activities in the most logical sequence • Estimate the time and resources needed for each activity • Draw a horizontal bar on a time-scale for each activity. and the time an activity takes and where it belongs in the sequence are depicted graphically by lines or bars on the horizontal axis time-scale (bar chart or Gantt chart). and how changes in the duration and/or sequence of activities in the process impact on each other and the completion date. a more detailed sub-programme for each major activity. to complex computerised network techniques. will be prepared for internal use. Foundations: • 4. activities are reflected in broad categories.2 Concrete • 4.

excluding weekends & holidays.S H F BP5 2006 Activity lists are drawn up as follows: Number each activity in batches of 10’s if the order of activities is not perfect it can be corrected later. Put a brief description of each activity here Put the time it will take to complete each activity here. while the unshaded ones represent actions the contractor undertakes in the “background” as part of internal management of the contract: 60 . Note who is resposible for the activity in this column Activity No Description Duration (days) Responsibility To assist you. Work only on working days to start with. The activities in the shaded blocks are normally included in the building programme. the following list of typical activities on a residential building project is given.

including: • pointing out boundary pegs and benchmarks and encase them in concrete • providing sets of documentation (drawings. bills of quantities. taps. but before starting construction Programmable construction activities Formal handing-over of site to contractor. building • manholes • Chasing for pipes. major plant and materials stockpiles • Order items with long delivery lead times.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT List of typical actions involved in the erection of a residential building After signing of contract. inspection. such as: • Excavating for sewer and water pipes • Electrical cables. and monitoring for proper execution Demolitions: • Demolition of old structures that will not be re-used • Obtain demolition permits from local authority Existing services: • Disconnection/sealing off/removal of existing drains. etc. coordinating their work. shrubs) and rubble • Tree felling Site establishment. etc. in walls • Building in water pipes and electrical conducting • Final connections.) and provide them with plans and work programme • Get kitchen layout from owner/architect and place provisional order • Arrange compaction tests for fill and layer work Cut and fill to levels (oversite excavation or bulk earthworks) Set out foundations Excavate foundations to correct levels • Order steel reinforcing if required • Arrange inspection of excavations by municipal. for example: • Bricks • Door and window frames • Master keyed locks • Sign contracts with sub-contractors (plumber. and architect or engineer as applicable • Arrange delivery of concrete Place reinforcement in strip footings and structural column bases where applicable Concrete foundations Erect first lift (ground to 1st floor) of structural concrete columns and walls as applicable. electrician. including: • Fix reinforcing steel cages • Erect shutters • Pour concrete • Arrange inspection of steel by inspectors and engineer as applicable • Arrange inspection of steel by engineer 61 . including: • Fencing of the site • Arrange with local authority for temporary water and power connections and pay deposits • Arrange with plumber and electrician for installing temporary pipes. tests and inspections • Ordering materials timeously • Ensuring that sub-contractors and specialists are provided with information. including: • Clearing site of vegetation (grass. contract) • agreeing format and schedule of site meetings “Background” planning and management activities Contractor’s construction planning • Allocate resources • Prepare building programme and cash flow Construction phase Ongoing activities by contractor during construction: • Coordinating services with building work. weeds. distribution boards for the above • Placing of site facilities. backfilling and impaction of trenches. NHBRC and bank inspectors. water pipes. cables that will not be re-used Site clearance and levelling.

purlins/tiling battens. or underside of first slab for multi-storey. and do glazing and hanging of doors only after plastering and ceilings to avoid risk of damage 62 . wall plates. catches. including plastic underlay as required Instal window sills (remember DPC) Plaster walls and screed floors Instal ceilings Glaze windows Fit window handles.S H F BP5 2006 Surface beds/ground floor slabs. or making on site and erecting roof trusses. etc. or • Placing bearing surface joint material for slabs (malthoid and polystyrene) • Arrange inspection of DPC as applicable (If multi-storey framed structure with infill brickwork) – Erect first floor slab. lintels. lintels. roof ties. including: • Erecting support work for decking (formwork) • Decking • Fixing steel reinforcing • Arranging plumber and electrician to lay pipes. including: • Laying damp course under walls and setting up door frames • Working out the brickwork gauge (heights of courses. cills. including: • Ordering. built-in cupboards. compaction tests if required If load-bearing brick structure with slabs resting on walls) – Build ground floor superstructure walls to wall plate height for single-storey. as the work proceeds • Treating and bedding wall plates.) and setting up profiles • Setting up and building in windows. (Remember bracing) Build gables and beamfilling Lay roof covering and bed on walls. wall ties. and service Hang doors and fit locks (UNIT CAN NOW BE LOCKED) • After plastering. • Pouring concrete Formwork can usually be stripped after 10-14 days with some props staying in place a little longer to allow building work to continue under the slab • Arrange delivery of steel reinforcing • Arrange delivery of concrete • Arrange inspection of steel by engineer Ground floor infill brickwork (Followed by subsequent slabs and infill brickwork at the different levels as applicable) Roof structure. etc. conduits and fit sleeves. arrange for specialists to measure for kitchen units. etc. etc. conduits. including: • Filling under floors • Soil poisoning • Laying damp course membrane under floors • Arranging plumber and electrician to lay pipes and conduits under floors • Arranging and casting concrete in surface beds • Striking and curing of surface beds • Arrange inspection of filling. etc. pipes. glazing • Instal ceilings only after plastering. brick reinforcing.

etc. how many suitably skilled workers are available to the contractor. There are many practical aspects to consider – what is the optimum size of a team doing excavations that will facilitate adequate supervision and control over productivity and quality. etc. say. and to transport the mixed concrete to the works. or will the contractor have to retrench workers). etc. and it takes one worker 0. etc. it would be pointless having more than two such workers on site while concrete work is being done. rubble removal. If the contractor owns one concrete mixer with a maximum daily yield or output of. snagging. it remains to apply that information in a sensible manner. paving.5 hours to place and level a cubic metre of concrete (maximum output of 16m3 in an eight-hour day). More workers will be required to transport raw materials from the stockpiles to the place of mixing.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Start paint undercoats Finishing. vinyl flooring. Although the science of work study provides us with typical or average output rates for labour (labour constants or time it takes for one worker to complete a certain task) and plant (cubic metres of soil that can be excavated by an excavator in an hour or a day).Hanging light fittings. what to do with surplus workers once a certain task is completed (can they be absorbed into other subsequent activities. Final paint coats Lay carpets. to operate and clean the mixer. how many teams can practically be working on a limited site at any one time. towel rails. and are usually programmed as a long bar starting at the earliest practical date and ending with completion of the project Estimating duration and resources needed for each activity This can be quite difficult on large or complex projects such as multi-storey buildings. gardening. • Practical completion inspection and snag list by architect • Final inspections and issuing of occupation certificate by municipality NOTE: External works like driveways and walkways. fittings. 32m3. 63 . If one worker takes three hours to excavate by hand one cubic metre of soil.) Fix wall and floor tiles Plumbing final fix of fittings. skirtings. it does not necessarily mean that 30 cubic metres can be done in the same time if 30 workers are simultaneously excavating soil. taps. etc. etc. Are carried out continuously as and when possible. and testing power Snagging inspection Cleaning. kitchen. toilet paper holders. Plumbing 2nd fix (installing fittings) Electrical 2nd fix (wiring. curtain rails. including: • Installing cupboards. Electrical final fix .

size and shape – it takes longer to transport materials by barrow on steeper sites. each project and each site is different. It is quite a complicated process. to ensure that everyone is kept busy for optimum productivity on the day. Confined sites limit the number of plant and workers that can work simultaneously on a task or on different tasks • Nature of the work – it takes longer to place concrete in slender elements such as columns. This is commonly referred to as Resource levelling. Although work study (based on scientific and published research and/or our own observations and records) provides us with average output rates. and should not be attempted the first time without help from an experienced construction manager or works foreman. Consultation with specialists such as formwork erectors should also form part of this process.S H F BP5 2006 The calculation of resources for the whole operation would find the right balance between the potential output of the machine and the amount and different categories of workers required. Economic periods for each activity or operation are calculated to fit within the overall time allowed for the project. or in the heat of noon at mid-summer. In certain parts of the country strong winds can have a real impact on resources at certain times of the year (requiring for instance more workers than normal to safely carry items such as roof sheets or ceiling boards) The completed list could look as follows: Activity No 010 020 030 040 050 060 070 080 090 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 Description Setting out Excavate foundations Foundations Plinth Brick/Block work Plumbing -1st Fit Electrical .1 Fit st Duration (days) 1 1 2 2 1 1 9 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 4 7(split) 1 1 Responsibility Site foreman Specialist sub-contractors Specialist sub-contractors Brick layer Plumber Electrician Brick layer Brick layer Brick layer Carpenter Roofer Plasterer Plumber Electrician Plasterer/Painter Carpenter Various Various Various Site foreman Brick/Block work Fitting of frames Fixing of ties Roof timbers Roofing Beam fill Plumbing 2nd Fix Electrical 2nd Fix Wall finishing Fitting doors & glass Finishing Inspectionss Connections Hand over 64 . we often have to apply adjustment factors or multipliers to the averages to account for specific circumstances such as: • Site gradient. as compared with bases or slabs • Climatic conditions – work is more sluggish early on cold Highveld winter mornings. and as in cost estimating.

overlapping where appropriate: ID Task Name Start Finish Duration 8 Jan 15 Jan 22 Jan 29 Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5 Feb 8 9 12 Feb 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Setting out Excavate foundations Foundations Plinth Brick/ Block work Plumbing -1st Fit Electrical .1st Fit Brick/Block work Fitting of frames Fixing of ties Roof timbers Roofing Beam fill Plumbing 2nd Fix Electrical 2nd Fix Wall finishing Fitting doors & glass Finishing Inspectionss Occupation certificate Hand over 12 Jan 12 Jan 12 Jan 16 Jan 18 Jan 18 Jan 19 Jan 25 Jan 26 Jan 30 Jan 1 Feb 3 Feb 7 Feb 8 Feb 8 Feb 13 Feb 12 Jan 12 Jan 13 Jan 17 Jan 18 Jan 18 Jan 27 Jan 26 Jan 26 Jan 31 Jan 2 Feb 4 Feb 8 Feb 9 Feb 13 Feb 14 Feb 1d 1d 2d 2d 1d 1d 1w 2d 2d 1d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 4d 2d 17 18 19 20 13 Feb 12 Jan 17 Feb 20 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 18 Feb 20 Feb 4d 5w 2d 1d 1d 65 .G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Bars that represent the duration of activities or tasks are now drawn to scale on a chart: ID Task Name Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4 Task 5 Start Finish Duration 22 23 20 Nov 24 25 26 27 28 27 Nov 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 Dec 7 8 9 10 11 12 11 Dec 13 14 15 16 1 2 3 4 5 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 22 Nov 1d 1d 1d 1d 1d Next. the bars are plotted in their correct positions on the horizontal time-scale.

This information can be used to plan materials delivery and labour take-on. If an LOB calculation shows. it is better. This gives the rate at which units must be completed and handed over. If. in particular. Network programming Network programming includes methods such as Critical Path method (CPM). Visio. Fast tracking has been the cause of much unsatisfactory work on some projects. a subsequent phase is sometimes begun before the deliverables of the previous phase are approved. The basic principle underlying all of these is recognising the interdependence between activities. say. Project managers. for instance. a bricklaying team (bricklayer and two helpers) can do all the brickwork on a unit in two weeks. 12 houses are ready. to push ahead on the completed shells until. and then to bring in six glaziers to finish all 12 in two days. This leaves 40 weeks. are required. Some expertise and training in the use of the software. However. rather than continuously glazing. Without the appropriate computer software programmes (for example Microsoft Project. 66 . inserting unrealisable lead times in construction programmes in the interest of fast tracking has caused several disasters in recent years. However. This practice of overlapping phases is called fast tracking. and Project Evaluation Review Technique (PERT). network programming is a tedious and complex exercise. or Primavera). for instance. Example: Eighty units must be completed in one year (48 working weeks). tend to use this term to impress developers with what can be achieved by fast tracking. then it can be calculated that four such teams will be needed on site for the bulk of the time to meet the required hand-over rate. Speed is seldom a worthwhile substitute for quality. and the effects of delays in one activity on linked activities and the overall completion date immediately show up. and in planning the work production rates for different trades may be staggered to produce orderly completion and hand-over in batches or phases. and that divided into 80 units is 2 hand-overs per week. A note on “fast tracking” the construction process Deliverables from a phase are usually approved before work starts on the next phase. Eight weeks is subtracted for one complete unit. that two glaziers are required all the time to produce two houses a week. The above is an average production rate.S H F BP5 2006 Line of balance (LOB) programming LOB programming can be a useful tool for repetitive production processes such as multiple-unit house building. The principle is simple: subtract the time it takes to complete one unit from the total time available and divide the remaining time into the total number of units. which cannot be imparted through a manual of this nature. which adds to the risk.

however. concrete still needs a certain minimum number of days to achieve the desired design strengths. and screeds need to dry out before floor finishes can be laid. allowing the individual lead times of building materials to be achieved without delays in overall programming. higher towards the middle. Props supporting formwork to slabs overhead cannot be summarily removed early because other trades wish to work on unencumbered floors. Ceramic cladding tends to come adrift if applied too early or under unfavourable conditions. On projects where several separate buildings are undertaken simultaneously. while the ability of stakeholders to influence the final outcome of the project decreases. built in hard up against the soffits of slabs before they have properly settled. and if windows are. and this should be factored into any programme. The figure below shows a generic project life cycle (there is also the so-called S-curve for expenditure on a project): Cost and staffing level Initial phase Intermediate phases Final phase Start Time Finish Cost and staffing levels are low at the start. At the start of the project: • the probability of successfully completing the project is the lowest • the risk and uncertainty is the highest • the ability of stakeholders to influence the final characteristics of the project product is the highest The probability of success generally increases. Shrinkages in exposed brickwork tend to vary seasonally.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Despite several advances in the chemical composition of a number of wet materials. 67 . Structures move and change shape (shrink and settle) while drying out. plaster needs to dry before painting. fast tracking is actually no more than common sense work planning as certain processes can be rotated on site. the ongoing sagging may buckle frames and crack glass. for instance. and drop rapidly as the project draws to a conclusion. as the project progresses.

The latter must be on site at all times for reference by inspecting authorities. fire and the like • Workmen’s compensation or death or injury of the contractor’s workers • Third party or public liability cover for death or injury to the person of. This includes: • Insurance of the “works”. but there will be serious insurance implications for the owner should anything happen to either the building or the occupants. so the architect and engineers can always check that the latest revisions of drawings are on site. It is then illegal to occupy the building. and a drawing register must list all drawings received on site by date and number or revision number. Permits are also required for demolition of old structures on the site. Permission to close off parts of streets and use pavements may sometimes have to be obtained on tight inner city sites (and deposits are then payable to cover any possible damage to paving and kerbs. and not only will fines be incurred. From site hand-over. The basic insurances required are normally covered by a so-called Contractor’s All Risk (CAR) policy.S H F BP5 2006 Ensuring the essentials are in place Check that all local authority approvals are in place Before any construction commences. Drawings must be stamped “For construction purposes”. if plans have still not been approved. the municipality will not issue an occupation certificate. accidents. or damage to the property of visitors to the site. serious fines and other legal problems and delays could be encountered. or the finished building has not been “passed” by the municipal inspectors. the entity must ensure that all town planning and building approvals have been complied with to the satisfaction of the Local Municipality. stating that the site is vermin-free. If this has not been done. vandalism. storms and floods. the contractor is in control of the site. and no one should be allowed to set foot on site if all the insurances are not in place. weather. finishing schedules and other contract documents are formally handed to the contractor. covering loss or damage to materials on site and the permanent structures due to theft. At completion. passers-by and the general public 68 . must be obtained. The builder also receives a copy of the signed originals and of the approved building plans. Check that insurances are in place This is vital. usually at the site hand-over meeting. and responsible for everything that happens on it. and after demolition clearance certificates. A master set is held in safekeeping as part of the contract documents. parking meters and the like). Check that you are working off latest drawings Sets of construction drawings.

where deep excavations close to site boundaries are required (for example. In such cases it is also prudent to inspect adjacent buildings together with their owners. or cutting down levels on steep sites). In some instances. and there is a potential danger of destabilising existing buildings on adjacent sites. and note and take photographs of all existing cracks and subsidence to avoid arguments later. it is necessary to take out Removal of Lateral Support insurance. basements.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Problems caused by political unrest are covered by policies issued by the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA). In addition the contractor must ensure that all his plant and equipment are adequately insured. 69 .

and material stockpiles 2. machines and vehicles • Position of temporary service connections (water. electricity) • Position of permanent structures (buildings to be erected). keeping in mind: • Minimising disturbing occupants of completed phases – no-one likes living on a construction site • Risk of damage to roads. tower cranes and batching plants). for example. or construct temporary earth berms or retaining walls out of sand bags • Check for steep banks and unstable slopes that could collapse in heavy rain. Plan where to start with the work and the physical sequence of completion. offices. The planning of site access and circulation should: • Ensure ease of delivery of materials and avoid multiple handling • Consider probable size. ablutions.S H F BP5 2006 e Executing the work Site layout and organisation There is no standard site lay-out – each site is different and should be planned differently. while sheds for lighter materials are further “inland” 70 . accessibility and co-ordination. The aim is to ensure optimum efficiency. services or buildings. Go to another building site where such people are employed and ask them to help you. grade portions of the site affected. for example: • Check low areas and impediments to run-off that could cause stormwater ponding and possible flooding. or when heavy vehicles and plant move nearby • Check for weak points from a site security point of view. If the entity is not going to employ a professional site agent or construction manager (both of whom should know how to do this planning). and/or dig channels for run-off. Draw up a plan or map of the site showing: • Access and exit points for people and vehicles • Circulation of people. sleeping accommodation. fixed plant (for example. economy and safety by looking at the implications of tidiness. The following can be used as a checklist: General guidelines 1. drainage. In practice. materials. this often means that bulk materials stockpiles are close to the entrance to avoid heavy trucks damaging internal roads. and temporary facilities such as stores. services and buildings completed or partly completed 3. it should at least obtain advice on this aspect. mass and manoeuvrability of delivery trucks. hidden corners or places of easy access from adjoining properties 4. Identify potential problem areas and plan how to deal with them.

Windows. taps. Ablutions must not be too distant from the works otherwise productivity is compromised • Fixed-position plant must be placed for optimum utility and minimum wastage and re-positioning. sanitary fittings. light fittings and the like must always be in locked stores 71 . and fixed-position plant: • Temporary service connections will usually be provided on the site boundary in positions determined by the municipality. and hoarding for the safety of people passing by 5. The temporary works linking up to the connections (pipes. grading for drainage and even hard-surfacing permanent roads early on (consider cost implications though. choice between cranes. and keep in mind possible damage due to overloading beyond designed carrying capacity) • Co-ordinate with traffic authorities with regard to temporary closing of streets and/or pavements where necessary. needs to be stored in waterproof sheds with good ventilation. and makes loss control (keeping track of the materials) very difficult • Storage method depends on: • Durability – level of protection required against the elements (cement for instance. whereas bricks can lie outside • Protection required against damage. Decisions must be made about central bulk concrete batching plants against smaller mobile mixers (economy and practicability). ramps or conveyors for vertical movement of materials 6. distribution boards close to offices and temporary workshops) • The supervisor’s (site agent’s or contracts manager’s) office should have an optimum balance between best possible views of the whole site and isolation from dust. Positioning temporary site services and facilities. must ensure safe and healthy living conditions. Materials storage and handling: • Multiple handling of materials wastes time and money. hoists. complicate site security) • Make access and circulation routes as permanent and maintenance-free as possible by proper compaction. doors. and positioning these must be co-ordinated for proximity to where they are needed most (for example. taps close to mixing platforms. for example. two gates to enable one-way flow of traffic (this does however. deformation of window frames when stacked incorrectly or white rust developing on roof sheets stacked tightly together out in the open • Protection required against loss and theft – certain materials are more valuable and easier to steal than others.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT • Ensure that heavy loads are not trucked over pipelines • Provide. distribution boards) are provided by the contractor. ironmongery and fittings. increases the risk of breakage or damage. should be out of the way so as not to interfere with the works. or unnecessarily expose visitors and their cars to injury or damage • Site accommodation for staff where required (not common in urban areas). cables. if possible. noise and disturbance • Office for site meetings (and parking for attendees) if possible.

S H F BP5 2006 Site boundary Permanent structure (flats) Temporary steel bridge for moving materials once ver tically hoisted Mechanical hoist Permanent structure (flats) Materials stores & tool sheds (close to entrance & works) brick stockpile sand & stone stockpile Mixing & working area One-way flow Site agent’s office Parking Guard hut Permanent structure Permanent structure (flats) Ablutions Site Boundary In Office site meetings Temporary service connections Street Out Pavement Illustration of site lay-out and establishment 72 .

can be finished quite quickly and used for stores without disturbance • Consider the following factors when placing stores and establishing a materials handling system: • Optimum balance between ease of access for delivery and closeness to point of use • Proper control procedures for receipt and issue of materials and tools • Security – make sure stores cannot be breached unnoticed from the street or from adjoining open spaces. mix concrete Site pre-assembly at ground level Store Handle Site boundary Cement ineffectively stored. Keep this in mind when programming the construction sequence. should be stored in waterproofed sheds Bricks delivered in pallets.) • Design a flow diagram of stock movement and a delivery schedule to ensure enough materials on site at all times and to avoid bottlenecks and delays • Keep site tidy and regularly remove rubble to keep working and movement space clean • Establish gravity feeds whenever possible for bulk aggregates. placed close to its end use 73 Handle . A few lock-up garages. (In one case on a major Eastern Cape project a store was located on the boundary with its back wall forming part of the fence. cement (silos) and rubbish removal chutes in multi-storey buildings Materials and equipment delivered to site Receipt of Handle Offload Final location in structure Handle Handle Combine materials e. for instance.g.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT • Remember completed parts of buildings can be used for stores. The stores clerk duly cut a hatch in the wall and ran a profitable “sideline” from there.

Take cognisance of special prescriptions and specific brand names or product codes specified. and ensuring that nothing is forgotten which causes delays. Excessive breakage and waste due to crumbly bricks often costs more than paying slightly more for a harder brick and reliable supply • Aggregates (sand and stone) – Again. or excessively flaky stone can later result in extra costs because of repairs to cracking concrete and plaster. Familiarise yourself with the content and meaning of specifications – especially generic or standard “preambles” which are not usually bound in with the tender or contract documents. check with the specifier (usually the architect or engineer). the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors in Midrand. and estimating is done on the basis of past prices. however. and available from. Where the type of material is not specified. and only included by reference.S H F BP5 2006 Materials supply and management Before buying … Select and draw up a list of materials that need to be purchased A list is drawn up at estimating stage for the purpose of obtaining quotes. The document in general use for building works in South Africa is the Standard Preambles for Building Works produced by. Where materials are not specifically named. and to get your nearest concrete laboratory to do mix designs that will give you the most cost-efficient proportions of cement and aggregates. or there is a discrepancy between any of the above documents. Gauteng. poorly graded sand. therefore. on the drawings and finishing schedules. but also quality. Where large quantities of structural concrete are required (walk-ups and high-rises). and in the bills of quantities – in that order of precedence. Remember cheap is not always bad. A comprehensive list should. and expensive is not always good. it is prudent to collect samples of aggregates from different sources in the area. high cement demand in mixes etc. that list is often. and do not substitute these of your own accord. be compiled again as soon as practically possible. Always keep a copy of the latest edition of such standard preambles in the office. poor quality in the form of dirty aggregates. incomplete. try to select the best quality brand compatible with budget constraints. and ensure all staff involved in construction are familiar with it. Most of the major consulting engineering firms have such laboratories in the larger centres 74 . Some main items where the make and source of supply are usually left to the discretion of the contractor include: • Plaster bricks – Check not only price. The types of materials and components that will be required are indicated in the specifications. Because of time constraints. This serves as a checklist for planning the purchasing of materials.

Off-the-shelf sheeting is often only 0. In other instances. made of very thin material. but not of a high enough standard for quality housing. Pressed steel door frames are often of the so-called “knock-down” type. the standard stock carried by suppliers is perfectly good for its intended purpose. and with very flimsily assembled corners. light fittings and paint products. The furniture on steel windows (handles and stays) is usually of poor quality unless a better quality is specifically called for.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT • Steel windows and door frames – This is a cut-throat business.5 mm “Fullhard” for our purposes • Cement – Making cement is a capital-intensive business. Many of these cheap brands do not comply with the specifications of formal building projects. taps and mixers. and the quality of hinges (brass pins preferred to mild steel) and fittings will determine the level of problems during installation and glazing.6 mm or 0. steel door frames and windows. the grade stamp may be lost. The only problem is price monopolies Read item descriptions and the standard preambles that apply to that particular type of item very carefully. Ensure that you buy the correct thickness or gauge. usually stock the cheapest (and sometimes the “nastiest”) brands – often the result of import dumping. the soundness of their welds. Suppliers. When lengths are cut shorter in the shop. Also ensure your supplier stores timber under a roof or otherwise protected against rain and sun • Roof sheeting – Rolling profiled roof sheeting from coil (flat sheet produced by the national producer of steel) is fairly straightforward and there should be no real problems with quality. but it is not advisable to go less than 0. with many players entering and leaving all the time. but the trueness of their jigs.45 mm or even 0. especially those that cater for the general public on a cash and carry basis. and consequently there are no fly-by-nights in this industry. Deal with suppliers who have a good reputation – there are enough of them around in all urban areas to ensure competitive pricing • Roof and other timber – Timber sold commercially has its grade stamped on the end of each length. including potential future maintenance problems. and although it may seem like a small thing.35 mm thick these days (used on RDP housing). An example is where a project specification calls for 6 mm thick panels on the back of flush-back wooden doors (more resistant to puncturing by children or vandals). roof sheeting. experience shows that one of the most common complaints from occupants of low-cost houses is that windows won’t close properly because of poor quality fittings. door locks and general ironmongery. This is especially true of items such as external batten doors. Visual checking for defects at delivery is very important. whereas the standard product on most shelves only has a 3 mm or maybe a 4 mm-thick panel. 75 . Anyone with a shed and a welder can make windows.

Also remember that when quantity surveyors compile bills of quantities. There could have been changes on the drawings between the time the quantity surveyor measured for the bills. Where the concrete surface bed or floor slab is simply going to be floated smooth. Check numbers given on window schedules against the layout plans and clear up any discrepancies before ordering. Ensure where windows have opening sections on one side only. opening sash hinges fixed sash opening sash opening to right fixed sash • plan • right-hand opening • elevation facing window from outside Remember door frames are left or right “hand”. but final orders to purchase should never be based on such bills of quantities. The contractor should always do his own count and measure off the most up-to-date drawings issued for construction purposes before ordering. a special “no-screed” frame which is shorter must be ordered otherwise there will be a large gap between the bottom of the door and the floor surface. Also check the windows as pictured on the schedules and/or elevations against the product codes and sizes in standard window catalogues available from most suppliers. When facing the frame standing on the side towards which the door will open. that the correct “hand” is stipulated. they measure off the net sizes as shown on the drawings. the quantities are used to ask suppliers to reserve approximate quantities of bulk items such as bricks. the hand is indicated by the side of the frame the hinges are on. as the hinges will be different. and it is up to the contractor to make allowances for waste and other causes of shrinkage as set out below.S H F BP5 2006 Determine the quantities of materials needed A warning about bills of quantities On projects where an external quantity surveyor has provided bills of quantities. and the issuing of construction drawings. cement and aggregates. without any further screed. This is to allow for the bottom of the frame to be embedded in the floor screed or topping. Pressed steel door frames are made 50mm longer than final door size. Quantifying by counting Some components such as windows have an exact number and are easily quantifiable by means of simple counting. 76 . For so-called “French doors” you must also indicate whether the door is opening out or in.

The amount of concrete in foundations for instance. and hinges and striking plates must be purchased separately. calculated as follows: • Cement – 1/6th of total volume • Sand – 5/6ths of total volume 77 . as indicated by the specified mix proportions. This quantity of finished concrete must be broken down into its constituent parts (cement. however. this measured quantity (in cubic metres) plus an appropriate allowance for waste can then be used for ordering the concrete. The relative quantities for the above mix will therefore. sand. Quantifying by measuring and calculating Some materials cannot be quantified by simple counting. measured by volume. stone and water) in the correct ratios. A specified mix proportion of 1:4:5 for concrete means that. four parts fine aggregate (sand or crusher run) and five parts coarse aggregate (broken stone or gravel). Timber door frames come bare. a mortar mix of 1:5 means one part by volume cement and five parts sand. It does not mean – as many small builders mistakenly believe – one bag of cement to four wheelbarrows of sand and five wheelbarrows of stone. If readymixed concrete is going to be used. the concrete should consist of one part cement. the number of cubic metres of concrete as measured off the drawings will be the “net” (without allowance for waste) minimum quantity of finished product required in accordance with the design (drawings).G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT hinges hinges hinges • Left hand door ood d rframe nah thgiR • emarf • Right hand door frame • Left-hand hinges • Right-hand • Plan • Elevations facing doors on side where hinges are Pressed steel door frames have hinges welded on and are supplied with lock striking plates. be calculated as follows: • Cement – 1/10th of total volume • Sand – 4/10ths of total volume • Stone – 5/10ths of total volume Likewise. must be measured off the drawings first. If concrete is going to be mixed on site.

one would have to order (and mix) the following actual quantities: • Cement – 100 litres x 1.75m3 78 . and forces them slightly apart. i. the above quantities would yield less than a cubic metre of mixed concrete. and we have to make some extra allowances first.5 = 600 litres or 0. but in reality.54 bags • Sand – 400 litres x 1. causing the total mixed volume to be less than the sum of the volumes of the separate materials brought to the mix. if one cubic metre of 1:4:5 concrete is required. one would have to order up to 50% more cement.S H F BP5 2006 It is convenient to remember that a concrete wheelbarrow carries a volume of 67 litres (0. Allowing for bulking. This means the sand will have a loose “fluffed-out” structure with lots of air between the grains. sand and stone are mixed together.5 wheelbarrows (500/67) However.8m3 of actual sand.6m3 • Stone – 500 litres x 1.067m3).5 = 150 litres or 4.5 = 750 litres or 0. Two bags of cement. The delivered quantity of sand will have an apparent volume as measured by the capacity of the delivery truck (say 6 m3). those allowances must be converted into actual quantities so that enough materials can be ordered to complete the work. When ordering materials. therefore.e. When water is added in the mixing process this structure collapses as air is forced out. and the moisture that came with the sand joins the mixing water.033m3). sand and stone than the theoretical quantities. then the quantities would be as follows: • Cement – 1/10th of 1m3 = 100 litres or 3 bags of cement (100/33) • Sand – 4/10ths of 1m3 = 400 litres or 6 wheelbarrows (400/67) • Stone – 5/10ths of 1m3 = 500 litres or 7. for 1 m3 of 1:4:5 concrete as in the example above. meaning that effectively there is only 6 x 100/125 = 4. lapping and waste In estimating and pricing we make percentage allowances in our rates for bulking. lapping and wastage of materials. This information can be used for simplified gauging and mixing instructions on site. and 15 wheelbarrows make a cubic metre. Bulking and void filling by aggregates (Shrinkage in volume from dry materials to wet mixes) Materials such as sand used as aggregate in concrete and mortar will always arrive on site in “bulked” form. the smaller particles (cement and sand) fill the voids between the larger ones (stone). To make up for the combined effect of bulking and void filling. So. fill a wheelbarrow. This is caused by moisture in the sand that creates surface tension on the individual grains. When the cement. up to 25% of that is air. and that a 50 kg bag of cement has a volume of 33 litres (0.

tiles.5% should be enough. methods of storage. for instance. There will be more spillage of concrete and mortar. It would be prudent to work on a thickness of 25 mm. Waste is sometimes inherent in the process (unavoidable but manageable) and not always obvious. brick reinforcement. such as floor screeds on concrete surface beds (allow 40 mm thickness for a specified 22 mm to 25mm screed). Many items of work have specified nominal or net minimum dimensions. and any other material that needs to be sealed for waterproofing purposes. for example roof sheets. but with the prescribed side lap the effective cover width would only be 686 mm or 838 mm. and the nature of the works and the site. and we have to make allowance for certain tolerances in the finished product. To convert the measured square metres of plaster surface area to the amount of mortar required in cubic metres. 79 .012. for instance. processing and fixing in the building. but in stony soil. although with bricks most commonly being delivered in pallets. Lapping also applies to damp proofing membranes in walls and under floors. In clean.025 rather than by 0. stiff soil (free of pebbles. that allowance may have to be increased to 5% or even 10%. and off-cuts from standard purchased lengths when cutting timber to design lengths. we would multiply the area by 0. The percentage to allow for waste on different types of materials depends on many factors such as the quality of supervision and waste management in the organisation. one must allow for the extra material needed to maintain the minimum specified thickness across unevenness in the rough built surface of the wall. an allowance of around 2. concrete roof tiles. training and discipline of site personnel. roof sheets and ceiling boards to fit. Waste is caused by spilling of materials such as during the transportation and placing of concrete. transportation on site and handling. and how unevenly shaped the bricks were. A standard profiled galvanised roof sheet such as IBR or “S-rib” (corrugated sheeting) is 762 mm or 914 mm wide. during transportation by wheelbarrow on steeper slopes than on flat ones. roots and boulders). During the excavation of foundations in earth. the application and subsequent smoothing of plaster. resulting in the need to pour an extra amount of concrete to fill the voids. cutting bricks. The average thickness of plaster could be well in excess of the specified minimum 12 mm – as much as double that depending on how rough the bricklayers were. so-called “overbreak” (due to removal of loose stones and soft soil) and partial collapse of sides always occurs. mortar droppings during bricklaying. Waste “Waste” is the loss of material that cannot be re-used. and concrete against excavated or backfilled earth.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Lapping of materials For certain materials there are prescribed laps at end or side joints. In the plastering of a wall. this problem has been reduced considerably. A certain unavoidable amount of breakage also occurs during delivery and off-loading of bricks. handling. Waste usually taking place during delivery. The above would apply wherever material of a certain specified thickness is applied to a potentially uneven base.

roof purlins.5% 5% large areas.S H F BP5 2006 The following list of waste factors can be viewed as a guide: Material item/component Concrete in foundations Concrete surface beds Concrete slabs. and are not shown on any contract documents. but not usually found in descriptions or shown on drawings. roofing screws. are the many types of fasteners used in assembling a building – nails. hoop iron. 10% small areas 3.5–5% (5-10% in loose or stony soil) Add 10-15 mm to specified thickness to allow for uneven base and add 2. wire. tile battens and trusses made on site Roof sheeting Skirtings Ceiling boards Wall tiling Floor tiling Vinyl flooring and carpet tiles Waste factor 2. Certain “materials” however.5% 12% for large areas. columns and beams Reinforcing mesh in floors and slabs Brick reinforcement DPC in floors DPC in walls Quarry tile or cement cills Fibre-cement cills Timber in brandering for ceilings.5-5% 10-15% 5-10% 5-10% Materials not shown on the drawings Part of the finished product. adhesives. cloth and detergents used for general cleaning of the works 80 . plugs. cement slurry or patent products used to provide key or grip between concrete and plaster. angle grinder cutting discs and saw blades used up on the project • Plastic spacers for wall and floor tiling • Cleaning materials such as “Mortalift” used for cleaning mortar splashes off face-brick work and tiling. The contractor still must estimate their quantities for inclusion in the estimate or budget. brushes that are used up in painting operations • Drill bits. bolts. and because they have to be purchased as well. tile grout. Some examples are: • Sanding paper. etc. Consumables Materials meant for permanent inclusion in the finished product are shown on the drawings or are described in the specifications and bills of quantities. thinners. 20% for small areas 3. nail plugs and anchor bolts. brackets and connector plates. are classed as consumables.5% for spillage 2.5% 10% 5% Compile actual cutting lists and add 5-10% Calculate the number of different actual lengths required and then add 5% for cutting and waste 5-10% Compile actual cutting list and add 2. screws.

533 mm. or by cubic metre for smaller quantities. carpenters and others who do the work to get an idea. or in multiples of standard pallet sizes for smaller quantities (again more expensive) Different widths (110 mm. To convert divide the m3 of cement calculated by 0. nails. (The rate per m3 for smaller than standard tipper truck loads is quite high because of proportionately higher loading and transport costs) 50 kg bags for smaller projects or projects done in phases. Count exact number of components such as doors. 16m/kg. but can be cut to exact quantity required. 5.033 to give number of bags. Tonnes for larger projects where the cement is delivered to site and stored in bulk in metal silos. Break composite items down into their constituent parts according to prescribed mix proportions. plastering. 3 m. 220 mm. roofs Brick reinforcement Pre-cast concrete lintels Galvanised steel wire (for roof ties) Fibre cement window cills 81 . baths. windows. for example. Standard roll is 50 kg.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Experience will teach what allowances to make for these – in the meantime speak to painters. tiling. roof sheeting and ceiling boards 5. Measure quantities of items of “wet” work in normal units of measurement (m2 for brick walls. and replaced out of own funds or insurance payouts when lost or damaged) 7. concrete into cement. and mortar into cement and sand (remember bulking and void filling) 4. Materials list or schedule of materials The above can be used to draw up basic guidelines for determining quantities of materials. we will have a schedule of materials. Convert the measured quantity of work into an appropriate format for further processing. and in which they should be furnished in a list of materials.6 m in increments of 300 mm In kg. and then divide by 20 to give tonnes (Remember 50 kg of cement is 33 litres or 0.022 mm. 4 m and 6 m. are as follows: Item Sand and stone Unit Truck loads of 5 m3.033m3 by volume) In loads of multiples of 1 000 (usually 3 000. i.511 mm) Cement Bricks DPC for walls DPC membrane for under floors. 6 m3 or 10 m3 for larger quantities.5 m3. taps and the like (you cannot allow waste for these – every single one purchased must be accounted for. Convert quantities into units of purchasing where necessary. locks. The units in which materials are purchased. including cutting lists which can be used for pricing and ordering purposes. 1. 340 mm) in rolls of 40 m In 20 m rolls in widths of 1 m. wire and bolts from number or m into kg At the end of the quantifying process described above. 4 mm = 10m/kg In lengths corresponding to standard steel window sizes (for example. plaster from m2 of surface area into m3 of mortar that needs to be mixed (Remember the allowances for tolerances) 3. Make allowances for waste and lapping 6. sand and stone. (Remember allowing for side laps and jointing tape in 40 m rolls) In 20 m rolls or strips of 3 m length in widths of 75 mm and 150 mm (strips usually more expensive) In standard lengths from 900 mm to 6. 3 mm Wire = approx. 1. 2 m. m3 for concrete) 2. namely: 1. cement from m3 into 50 kg bags or tonnes when bought in bulk.e. 5 000 or 10 000). Draw up actual cutting lists for materials such as roof timber. for instance.

Jointing strips and cornices in various lengths. Remember consumables such as hemp. 4m2/pocket cover rate). or rolls 2.8 m up to 13 m in increments of 300 mm (Remember effective cover width . grassing (m2) usually done by supply-and-fit specialists. cornices. Most hardware and DIY stores sell pre-packed packets of 10.4 m or 3m in 300 mm increments up to 6. anchoring lugs and wood primer for the back Gypsum board in 6.8 m to 4. usually starting from 2. towel rails.) Best to get hold of manufacturer’s catalogue and technical guide – these have useful information on calculating quantities. Uneven floors need to be made level and smooth first with a self-levelling screed such as “Pavelite” There are a myriad fittings and bits and pieces to buy. bathrooms and outside) in 4 mm and 6 mm thickness. (planed all round) timber. rails. according to standard catalogue reference. Fibre cement (for kitchens.S H F BP5 2006 Quarry tiles or cement cill tiles Reinforcing steel Roof timber Timber is bought “sawn” (no planning). tile grout in packets of 1. and lengths from 1. cover strips) Nails Bolts. three or all sides. paving (m2).8 m in increments of 300 mm.8m in 300 mm increments. plugs for fixing Glass for windows Ironmongery and finishing (door locks. truss hangers. nuts and washers Galvanised steel plate connectors. and aluminium paint for above ground Plumbing and drainage Electrical installation External work 82 . Most economical is boxes of 25 kg. and it is best to sit down with the plumber or the sales/ technical person at the specialist shop to work out quantities. and the burglar proofing. and “serviced” just before glazing commences when the supplier comes out to site and fits and adjusts the furniture to the frames Windows Pressed steel door frames Wooden door frames Ceiling boards In number by size of door and width of frame (for half-brick or one-brick wall). Boards in 900 mm and 1. two. or wrought/wrot (planed) on one. pre-cast walling (m). Remember to order separately hinges. and that this option allows very little tolerance for buildings not being built exactly to designed sizes on site In lengths usually from around 1.8 m up to 4. and end laps where not in single length) Boxes of 100 and 200 In number. but this is usually more expensive In kg or in number In number Usually charged per m. and comes in standard lengths from around 1. and holder bats for fixing pipes to walls As plumbing above Fencing (m). Remember adhesive. lock striking plates. the windows are delivered to site without furniture (to avoid damage and theft). 50 or 100 nails counted off. toilet paper holders.R.5 m2 or 2m2. Remember “hands”. stays). thread tape. thickness and type according to the window schedule.A.4 mm thickness. but 3 m is most common In number stating size of pane. and the more the potential for waste due to warping and other defects Or Cut to exact lengths from standard lengths in shop according to cutting list (timber merchants will often draw up the cutting list for you from the drawings as a service).5 to 11 tiles per m2 depending on slope or pitch. The longer the length the higher the price per m. Remember to specify the “hands” for opening sections. for roofs Roof sheeting Roofing screws Concrete roof tiles In number In lengths for different types and diameters usually cut and bent in the shop according to engineer’s bending schedule 1. putty. Wrought and/or splay cut ends of truss rafters can be done in the shop (at a fee) or on site Timber for finishing and joinery (skirtings. type and quality of window furniture (handles. Remember steel cut nails or plugs and screws for fixing. bitumen paint for underground portions of steel fence posts. as well as laying instructions In number by type. In standard lengths (cut to required actual length on site). but smaller quantities can be bought. skirtings.6 m (finger jointed for longer lengths and more expensive). Remember SABS codes that require safety glass in glass panel doors and window panes over a certain size In number. “hurricane” clips. 20. otherwise same principles as above apply.75 m wide fixed with tack strips (usually on supply and fit basis by specialist sub-contractors) Vinyl flooring: Tiles in boxes of 1 m2 or rolls 1 m wide. PVC glue. edge strips.200 mm widths. or by providing supplier with a copy of the architect’s window schedule for purpose-made windows. solder.allowing for side laps. river sand for bedding of sewer pipes. Remember concrete for fence-post bases. Remember spacers. When planed on all sides we talk of P . stair nosings. curtain rails) Ceramic wall and floor tiles Flooring Usually in boxes of 1 m2.5 kg or 20 kg Carpeting: Tiles of 500x500 mm in boxes of 2 m2 fixed with adhesive. Check what comes with screws. “no-screed” frames In number. tile adhesive in 20 kg pockets (approx. etc. and panel pins for laying on quarter round beads and the like In kg. Remember that you pay for off-cuts anyway. If windows are ordered from a specialist window manufacturer (recommended). 1. (Standard roof tile including allowance for waste is approximately 10.

or whether to negotiate fixed prices for certain basic and regularly used materials with one or more suppliers valid for a period of. it is more practical to agree fixed prices for generic items such as cement. because one does not take the time to shop around and keep an eye on the market. service and quality. Orders are then automatically priced at the agreed price until new prices are negotiated in bulk. Always keep them on their toes by keeping an eye on the market and letting them know when they are slipping or taking a chance with you. the first option is the right one. discounts and payment terms • Prompt and efficient service • Ability to deliver on time • The ability to source material from elsewhere (in the event of running out of stock) at the same price quoted • After-sales service and technical resources for proper advice and servicing The procedure for buying. If you are collecting the materials yourself. brick reinforcement. and then managing the materials supply chain Orders are placed on the basis of the prepared schedule of materials described above. Remember off-the-shelf prices usually include a general cost allowance for delivery within a certain radius. Choose reliable suppliers You will find that certain suppliers consistently beat the others on price. damp course. The latter approach usually requires big buying power and sharp negotiating skills to be successful. There is also the risk of losing out on special offers and discounts on selected products that come along from time to time. on the basis of properly motivated requisitions. but never let them think they have you safely “in the bag”.5% to 5%. Always shop around and negotiate wherever possible. standard sanitary fittings and ironmongery and roof sheeting. regardless of which project they are meant for. Regardless of the approach. lintels. or in the case of additional materials required due to underestimating or shrinkage. It is good to build relationships with such suppliers. approved at the appropriate level within the company. never accept the first price that comes along. 83 . three to six months. say. Suppliers are chosen on the following criteria: • Price.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Getting the right price – shopping around The first decision to be made is whether to always price all materials on each new project from scratch. If one is constantly busy with many small projects such as individual dwellings. see if you can negotiate a further discount of around 2. If one builds one project at a time.

quantity and price of the items purchased • applicable discounts (especially settlement discounts) • delivery address and schedule of deliveries (quantities and dates). The original is sent to the supplier (even if first faxed). unless approved by a senior person with the necessary powers of authorisation. and that they cover all aspects of the deal. therefore. Write out by hand or produce computer-generated orders to the selected suppliers for the supply of the materials Remember that a purchase order is an offer to purchase and when accepted by the supplier (usually tacitly by means of actual delivery) constitutes a legally binding contract.S H F BP5 2006 The procedure is as follows: 1. but should at least include a copy to: • file (admin office) • send to the site (usually with prices blanked out because that is confidential information) • send to the contract quantity surveyor if not based at head office 84 . with an indication of the first expected release • payment terms Many contractors make use of computer software packages that link the generation of purchase orders to the original estimates. Copies depend on the organisation’s internal administration system. important that orders are correctly written out in all respects. or where quantities and dates are still uncertain. It is. a note stating that the supplier must await instructions for release. Such a programme will not allow the generation of orders that exceed the estimated or budgeted quantities and/or prices. Purchase orders should: • be written or typed on pre-printed company stationery (in the form of computer printouts or a bound book with carbonised tear-out copies) • have sequential serial numbers to avoid fraud and duplication and clearly state the: • description.

Any variation to materials described and ordered to be authorised prior to delivery. All costs include delivery and VAT. Requested by : Print name Authorised by : Print name Signature Signature 85 .G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Put the name of your entity here Purchase Order Supplier: Order no: Please supply in good condition the following items: Qty Description Cost (Rand) Deliver to Delivery date Stand no: Date: All materials to be supplied to specification.

3. 10 000 bricks every third day starting on a particular date. and the delivery note should only be signed once this person is satisfied that no further damage occurred during off-loading. Storage. Do not get materials delivered to site too soon. but advise the supplier to deliver only. Receive and control (check physical goods vs. Short deliveries are noted on both contractor and supplier copies of the delivery note • There is no damage to the goods (and contamination of aggregates by excessive organic material). but is especially important on tight inner city sites where space is limited. and do not accept the broken bricks if there are too many (say more than 2% of total load) – remember you will have to cart it off site as rubble at your own cost later if you do not force the supplier to take it back at the time of delivery The off-loading process must be supervised.S H F BP5 2006 2. delivery note) It is important that a competent person takes receipt of deliveries to site. to ensure: • The correct quantity as stated on the note is delivered. steel reinforcing. issuing and handling of materials on site Storage facilities must be: • be of a nature that ensures materials are safe and protected • be planned for minimum handling • have easy access • If materials are delivered to the central yard first. multiple handling due to limited storage space. say. Damaged goods are sent back and a note to that effect is made on both the contractor and supplier copies of the delivery note. An example is where one places the order for the total number of bricks required (to get best price and ensure your requirement is reserved by the supplier). the supplier must provide you with the following paperwork: • Written quotation (before ordering) • Delivery note 86 . Also check for excessive breakage of bricks. 4. the following aspects should receive special attention: • Issue and control • Safe moving of material 5. Risks of this include increased likelihood of damage. Before paying For all materials supplied. for example. and white rust on galvanised roof sheets stacked on top of each other. Plan release of orders (delivery schedules) with production team This is done in all cases. Signed delivery notes must be carefully looked after on site and sent to the office for filing and further processing on a daily basis. rusting. windows. and that he or she is trained to thoroughly check the physical goods against what is contained in the delivery note. and distributed from there to individual sites.

: Date: Stand no: Our order No.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Put the name of your entity here Receipt of materials Supplier: Supplier invoice No.: Time: The following items have been received in good condition and order: Qty on order Qty supplied Description of items and remarks Under/over supply  Materials stored in yard/store room on site. Materials stored at stand no. receipt of which is signed for by the owner (By signing for the receipt of these materials the owner accepts the responsibility of safe guarding the materials against theft or damage) Materials inspected by: Print name Materials inspected by: Print name Signature Signature 87 .

or adjustment made to invoices and statements before paying. the goods are returned. and not. 6. A more qualified or senior person may only later notice that the wrong or damaged materials were delivered. and pick up any notes on damaged and returned goods. Materials progressing record Material: Plaster bricks Supplier: Very good bricks Deliveries due according to release schedule: 15 Jan – 10 000 18 Jan – 20 000 25 Jan – 10 000 Total due 40 000 Enquiry date Results First 10 000: 10 000 Promised 17 Jan 4 000 Promised 18 Jan Deliveries Date 17 Jan 19 Jan Qty 6 000 4 000 Left 4 000 0 Order no. but before paying. Ensure credit notes are claimed and payment received. and if not. and short deliveries. and the written purchase orders. the following steps must be taken: • Reconcile all invoices with original quote. make adjustments as necessary and check that all agreed settlement and other discounts have been allowed Sometimes a problem with materials delivered is not picked up during delivery. and at the right price are being charged for as quoted and ordered • Reconcile all invoices with delivery notes to ensure that the materials charged have actually been delivered. noted on the delivery slip. Check further delivery notes to see if the shortfalls were rectified. a credit note must be issued.S H F BP5 2006 • Priced invoice for each load or batch of loads • Consolidated statement summarising all invoices for the month (usually for all supplies up to the 25th day of the month) Payment is made according to the statement. and action taken if they have not been received by the afternoon. adjust the invoices accordingly • Reconcile the statement with the invoices in the batch. Re-file in revised order of promises and keep monitoring. therefore. P3/016 Quote ref: P3/BKS/VGB Date: 27 Nov Date: 18 Nov 16 Jan 17 Jan 88 . and if not immediately replaced. Follow-up Progressing File outstanding requisitions or release orders in delivery date sequence so that each morning deliveries due can be noted. The supplier is then notified. to check that materials of the correct type and quantity.

A first rough check should be to look around the site to see if there are unusually large piles of broken bricks and rubble lying around. stocks and usage of basic bulk materials such as aggregates. then you should keep a closer watch on delivered quantities through periodic spot counts. However. Drivers (and transport sub-contractors) often run side operations where some of the materials intended for your side end up being sold along the way. so check the whole site – not only the stockpile). for instance.1% Month 2: Monthly reconciliation of materials stocks: Date: 25 April Material Plaster bricks Cement Building sand m3 Quantity used per measurement 20 000 120 14 Opening stock 14 000 20 15 Deliveries during month 10 000 200 18 Closing stock 2 000 90 18 Actual quantity used 22 000 130 15 % Waste 10% 8. reliable suppliers these days often keep track of the movements of their delivery vehicles through tight control of driver logs or even satellite tracking. bricks and cement should be reconciled regularly so that production is not affected. A total of 3 000 bricks are unaccounted for and the cause of this should be investigated. • In the tables below. the brickwork is measured as being 60% complete.1% 89 .5% 7.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Monthly reconciliation of deliveries. 60 000 bricks should have been used. and the shrinkage is the difference between the actual quantity used. The reconciliation shows an actual shrinkage of 6 000 bricks or 10%.3% 7. therefore. Fortunately. The reconciliation also serves as a check on losses and waste. and the theoretical quantity that should have been used as per the measurement (there is already some cement on site when brickwork starts – left over from concrete work). provision was made for 5% waste on brickwork. a stock count reveals only 14 000 bricks on site (remember that some bricks may be at different parts of the works already ready for the bricklayers. meaning that a maximum of 63 000 bricks (60 000 plus 5%) should have been used. so there should be 20 000 bricks in stock. say. stocks and usage Deliveries. Month 1: Monthly reconciliation of materials stocks: Date: 25 March Material Plaster bricks (number) Cement (number) Building sand m3 Quantity used per measurement 60 000 360 42 Opening stock 0 200 0 Deliveries during month 80 000 200 60 Closing stock 14 000 20 15 Actual quantity used 66 000 380 45 % Waste 10% 5. If observation and checking reveal no obvious signs of excessive breakage during off-loading. In the tender. At a certain stage. the actual quantity used is the total of the opening stock and deliveries for the month minus the closing stock. A check on deliveries shows that 80 000 bricks have been delivered during the month. or wastage on site.

excavate the foundations for one house) for an agreed and set amount of pay 4.S H F BP5 2006 Month 3: Monthly reconciliation of materials stocks: Date: 25 May Material Plaster bricks Cement Building sand m3 Quantity used per Measurement 20 000 120 14 Opening stock 2 000 90 18 Deliveries uring month 20 000 200 0 Closing stock 1 000 160 3 Actual quantity used 21 000 130 15 % Waste 5% 8. Task-based (“piece work”) workers who are employed to perform a certain piece of work (for example. and the fact that there are people desperate for employment. as well as upon completion of brickwork at the end of Month 3. UIF registration. It may wish. Building sand m3 Quantity used per Measurement 100 000 600 70 Opening stock 0 200 0 Total Deliveries to date 110 000 600 78 Closing stock 1 000 160 3 Actual quantity used 109 000 640 75 % Waste Total 9. Contract workers who are employed for a specific period of time. for example: Cumulative table at end of Month 3: Monthly reconciliation of materials stocks: Date: 25 June Material Plaster bricks Cement no.7% 7. insurances. however.1% A running tally of the above would show the total cumulative usage and waste figures at the end of each month. it is up to the conscience of the individual entity acting as employer of such labour to treat workers as fairly as possible Not being an ongoing contracting business in the conventional sense. or for the duration of a contract 3. to assist its sub-contractors in good labour management.1% Management of labour There are basically four types of labour on a construction site: 1. and setting contract conditions for the treatment of workers. This is due to the fluctuating demand for labour on construction projects. training. “Casual” workers who are hired on a daily or weekly basis. and usually receive no other benefits than their agreed daily wage. Permanently employed registered workers who receive a regular wage or salary.0% 6. and will have very few if any individual workers in its employ. If employing casual labour is unavoidable. bonuses and trade union membership 2. medical aid. or by driving to spots in the city where they are known to congregate in the hope of getting picked up (usually near large building supply stores in areas where a lot of new development and construction is taking place) The issue of casual labour is a contentious one because exploitation and insecurity are rife in the construction industry.3% 7. the entity will work almost exclusively with sub-contractors and temporary construction teams. Casuals are recruited by putting up signs advertising work at the site. and a range of benefits such as leave. 90 . through advice.

and inspirational leadership at all levels of supervision and management • Promoting health and safety for workers on site • Clear agreements on targets and outputs. and giving them authority equal to their responsibility • Allocating a manageable number of workers per supervisor • Establishing reporting systems • Organising the workforce at all levels into effective and manageable units. and monitor that these are carried out correctly • Ensure acceptable and agreed standards of quality and workmanship • Ensure that health and safety measures are adhered to • Maintain a sense of urgency. incentive schemes. and ensuring that everyone knows where they fit in Some of the functions of supervision on site are to: • Motivate workers to work efficiently • Give workers clear instructions. including appropriate disciplinary procedures. and follow people to site or to a convenient place for an ambush. Allow time for transfers to go through. or lodge complaints and grievances to Supervision can take place at different levels: • Gang leaders supervise teams of workers • Foremen or section foremen supervise gang leaders • Site agents/managers supervise foremen • Contracts managers supervise site agents Note: Payment of wages or salaries Having cash in transit or on site should be avoided. or before going home to areas where there may not be ATMs. The risk of being robbed is very high. and remuneration and benefits • Efficient wage administration – correct processing of wages due. but fair) • Assigning clear responsibilities to supervisors. clear procedures and rules for activities and conduct on site. Criminals hang around branches of banks where they know large cash withdrawals are made for wage payments. All workers should be assisted to open a bank account. in line with their experience and ability. and high activity levels on site • Measure and record outputs (productivity) • Provide someone on site that workers can report to. and payments should be made electronically by funds transfer. discipline and productivity – this implies the provision of training and mentoring.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Managing labour on site involves the following aspects: • Fair and equitable treatment and management of labour relations within the framework of the law and the principles contained in the Constitution • Fair pay for the job • Cultivating and maintaining loyalty. and on payday give workers enough time to make cash withdrawals before close of business. regular and timeous payment • Providing good supervision (firm. 91 .

insurance premiums. If the entity has its own core team of workers doing basic jobs such as digging and concreting foundations. and the many types of power tools such as drills. tools and equipment Equipment used on building sites is usually divided into two distinct categories: • Tools – small hand-held equipment such as trowels. and service logs. angle grinders. it will need its own equipment. mechanical hoists and tower cranes. such as: • Picks and shovels • Wheelbarrows • Straight-edges. and the consumption of lubricants) • Dusty conditions on site that increase abrasion of moving parts 92 . mechanical excavators and loaders. screw-drivers. belt sanders and planes • Plant – larger items (usually with an “operator”) such as concrete mixers. Expensive pieces of large plant on a site need to be kept busy continuously with minimum idle time to justify the high rental charges or high annual costs. picks and shovels. if owned (depreciation. dump trucks. In addition. The working life of equipment depends on factors such as: • Temperatures in which they operate (cold starts of machines with internal combustion engines on winter mornings increase wear and tear of engine parts. All tools and equipment owned by the entity must be listed on a register. tilecutters. and spanners and wrenches • Trowels and floats • A power drill and angle grinder • Profiles and gauging rods. saws. and constructional aids such as formwork and scaffolding The distinction between these types of equipment is important as it affects the contractor’s bookkeeping and accounting. and is used in pricing for tenders. spirit levels.S H F BP5 2006 Management of plant. hammers. resource allocation and planning for execution. finance charges. building lines • A surveying tool such as a “dumpy level” • A good quality water hose (say 20 mm x 30 m) Some of the above can be sold off to workers or sub-contractors and/or used by maintenance departments after completion of construction activities. A separate daily register of tools booked out and received back must be held for each site. hammers. The registers must also note the condition of equipment when booked out. maintenance and servicing plans and schedules. should be kept for larger pieces of equipment and all tools and plant that are operated mechanically. and licensing fees). and a stock count held regularly (especially after completion of each contract). and when booked back in again. levelling pegs and spirit levels (for levelling concrete) • Pliers.

specifically on loan for a limited time period. Goods received by the: sub-contractor Print name Signature For the entity: Print name Signature 93 . in good condition and working order. who hereby agrees that the cost of repair/replacement will be deducted from any payment due to him by the entity. Ownership of these goods remains that of the entity: Qty Description Condition Due return date Any damage (excluding fair ware and tear) or non return of these goods will be for the account of the contractor.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Put the name of your entity here Issue of tools/equipment on loan Sub-contractor: Date: Stand no: Time: The following items have been received by the sub-contractor.

or through the appropriate local community structures. plasterers. During this process it is decided which work will be carried out by sub-contractors. Give them a small part of the work to start with. and to make sure the others comply. if not. labour-only or supply-and-fit). carpenters. lubrication and servicing • The care with which they are used – avoiding overheating of power tools and engine-driven plant Workers must be trained to feel responsible for equipment. or between sites on the back of a bakkie • Hand-held pneumatic compactors (for example. try out new sub-contractors on a probation system. Unless the entity is going to be building continuously for some time.S H F BP5 2006 • Regular cleaning. and maintain and oil equipment regularly. a resource allocation is done in conjunction with a complete list of activities or operations on the project. 94 . if you are going to do a lot of building it is practical to invest in items such as: • A small concrete mixer that can be easily moved around on site. They might struggle with small aspects of the work that can easily be rectified on the spot with guidance and training from the site supervisor. including planning of the requirements (numbers and skills levels. billboards at the site. Sub-contractors can be identified and invited to tender (or negotiate) through word of mouth. you will have to let them go. training and/or mentoring. Sometimes the sub-contractors may show potential and willingness to learn. Unless you have checked their track record and references (including physical visits to projects completed by them). it is usually more cost-effective and less troublesome to hire larger items of plant as and when needed. Skilled workers and artisans such as bricklayers. a Bomag) • A basic set of scaffolding frames and boards. newspaper advertising. to clean equipment straight after use. It is a good idea to appoint one person to take overall responsibility for accounting for all equipment used by a team every day. This will ensure they will look after these expensive pieces of equipment. rather than to own them. You will be able to see if they have potential. and props • A brick cutter • Control sheet for issuing tools and equipment on loan to sub-contractors Managing sub-contractors General When planning the execution of the works. and monitor their performance and capability from the start. tilers and plumbers (including sub-contractors) should have their own personal tools. but will require more guidance. a Wacker) or a small mechanical roller or plate compactor (for example. However.

The work in this category includes: • Plumbing • Electrical work • Glazing • Ceilings • Fencing • Paving • Formwork • Reinforcing steel • Kitchen cupboards and built-in cupboards or wardrobes • Curtain tracks • Access control and security systems • Lifts for multi-storey tower blocks Depending on the entity’s technical expertise. make sure the following is included: • Agreement on price and performance outputs (basis for payment) • Payment frequency and methods (bank accounts and type of payment preferred (e. Many of these sub-contractors carry small stocks of the most commonly used fittings. Labour-only sub-contractors are used for: • Foundations and general non-structural concrete work • Bricklaying • Plastering and screeds • Painting • Tiling • Roofing • Finishing carpentry (fixing skirtings and ironmongery. and the availability and skill of local labour-only subcontractors. such as mediation Labour-only or supply-and-fit sub-contractors Most of the less specialised types of work or trades that make up the shell and basic finishes of the building(s) is done by labour-only sub-contractors. 95 . and to provide it – this is done by supply-and-fit sub-contractors.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT When signing sub-contract agreements.g. fasteners and consumables used in their trade. most of the above could also be done on a labour-only basis. electronic funds transfers)) • Dispute-resolution procedures that allow for inexpensive alternatives to litigation and arbitration. and requires a high level of capacity and skills (in-house and/or outsourced). hanging doors) With more specialised types of work. its willingness to take on the supply of more specialised materials. This places a heavy burden of risk and co-ordination on the entity as contractor. it is more practical to allow the sub-contractor to work out the types and quantities of materials required. with the main contractor providing materials. and larger types of plant.

tile cutters. they can often not afford to replace materials that are wasted in the process. but to make the sub-contractor responsible for any excesses payable on materials lost while in their direct care • Agreeing on how to deal with defective work. saws. chisels and bolsters. spirit levels. The problem is that while they may be able to re-do the work without extra compensation. are: • Agreeing who provides what tools and equipment – it is customary for the subcontractor to provide the personal tools used by artisans such as trowels and floats. and then sells it to the workers on the basis that the cost is recovered through instalments deducted from each progress payment to the worker/s. with community-based labour teams that intend setting themselves up as sub-contractors). and some kind of compromise is usually negotiated An agreement can be made with labour-only sub-contractors (or for that matter. and to make the sub-contractor responsible for consumption and waste in excess of the agreed figures • Agreeing on how to deal with loss through theft – it is usual to insure against this. Sub-contractors must be held liable for the cost of repairing defective work.S H F BP5 2006 Some of the issues that need decisions and management in labour-only sub-contracting. hammers. and damage in handling of materials supplied by the main contractor – it is a good idea to agree on reasonable figures for consumption and waste beforehand. paint brushes and rollers • Agreeing on how to deal with excessive waste. so that by the end of the project they own the equipment. where the entity purchases tools and equipment at the beginning of a project. 96 . building lines.

who hereby agrees that cost of repair/replacement will be deducted from any payment due to him by the entity.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT A Pro Forma agreement is given below. The entity has the skills to undertake this construction work. • once all payments are made as described in the payment schedule below. The entity and the sub-contractor have entered into a separate agreement in which the contractor will undertake the construction work. maintenance and protection of the equipment from the time of taking possession of it • the sub-contractor will make payment to the entity as described in the payment schedule below. ownership of the tools /equipment will remain with the entity Schedule of tools/equipment: Qty Description of tools/equipment Rand value Schedule of payment: Payment No Due date Amount Any damage (excluding fair wear and tear) or non-return of these goods will be for the account of the contractor. ownership of the tools/equipment will rest with the sub-contractor • until all payments are received. It is agreed between the sub-contractor and the entity that: • the entity will purchase the required tools /equipment (as described in the schedule below) • the sub-contractor will have use of the tools /equipment as from signature of this agreement • the sub-contractor will be responsible for care. The entity does not have the tools & equipment required to undertake this construction work. Goods received by the sub-contractor: Who agrees to the payment schedule For the entity: Print name Signature Print name Signature 97 . Agreement of Purchase and Sale of Equipment Sub-contractor/team no: Date: Understanding and agreement: The entity requires certain construction work to be undertaken.

S H F BP5 2006 Quality control Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) is a “science” in its own right. Regular testing of compaction of filling. site supervisors must observe the following precautions during the execution of the work: • Compaction of filling under floors Common practice when excavating trenches is to dump the excavated material on the inside of the future room. including: 1. The following persons.w.o. and roughly level and compact the total depth in one operation once the foundation walls are built up to surface bed level. Maintaining quality on site is the responsibility of the contractor doing the work. detailing and specification. dampening and compacting each layer thoroughly before the next layer is placed. local municipality. and subsidence and cracking of floors can occur later. The proper method is to place the filling in layers not exceeding 150 mm to 200mm thick. Quality construction starts with correct design. 98 . Proper selection. followed by diligent monitoring and supervision. if needed) the right contractor or sub-contractors. selecting (and training. through a combination of training. The contractor should strive to establish. standards and codes of practice laid down by the SABS and the NHBRC • Agrément and MANTAG certification of non-conventional building products and systems by Agrément SA For the entity acting as part-time contractor. Getting bricklayers and plasterers to build samples of work to set an agreed and acceptable standard before the main work starts In addition. the NHBRC and financial institutions • The clerk of works (c. consulting engineers • Inspectors from the Provincial Housing Department. and contamination of aggregates 2. spoiling of cement and timber products by water. and many large manufacturing and construction companies have instituted comprehensive Total Quality Management (TQM) systems in their enterprises. a “culture” of quality where everyone is part of the QA team (as occurs in Japanese factories). institutions and legal and other guidelines assist in what should be a total team effort to ensure acceptable quality: • The professional team – project manager. This means only the top portion is properly consolidated.) and/or resident engineer (RE) if one is employed • The National Building Regulations (NBR) authority • Guidelines. incentives and discipline. quality on site can be promoted by following a set of simple steps. handling and storage of materials on site to avoid damage to components and articles. and concrete crushing strength. architect. by making and submitting concrete test cubes to the nearest laboratories 4. Calling for samples of materials from suppliers and inspecting them for quality before ordering 3.

undercoats and finishing coats). knotting. sooner on dry. • Instal lintels over windows and openings correctly Lintels on their own. do not function properly as “beams”. by wetting with a fine spray or covering with plastic sheeting or wet sacking as soon as the concrete has set (within one to two hours). • Proper curing of concrete and plastering Large exposed concrete surfaces such as surface beds and slabs must be cured for at least seven days after placing to avoid cracking. or with only a few courses of brick or block work over them. • Proper surface preparations to receive subsequent work Excavated surfaces of foundation trenches and filling under floors must be compacted and dampened before concrete is placed against it to avoid rapid absorption of water from. and subsequent loss of strength of the concrete. Surfaces to be painted or waterproofed must be cleaned and prepared according to manufacturers’ instructions before painting. primer. or if showing signs of moisture or hardening in the pockets) • Use mixed concrete or mortar before setting is complete (within two hours of mixing. hot or windy days) • Do not re-use mortar or concrete that has lost its plasticity by mixing in water again 99 . give it positive camber (slight upward bending) with a temporary support in the centre. and end up straight rather than slightly sagging. dry and free of loose bits or dust before applying plastering or screeds. or by applying a cement slurry coat or patent plaster key before plastering. When the brick work over the lintel has dried and settled after a few days. Do not paint concrete or plastered surfaces too soon after they have been put in place. and the correct paint systems used (bonding liquid. When a lintel is placed over an opening. • Mixing and using concrete and mortar on site • Use clean and well-graded aggregates • Use clean water • Do not be tempted to add too much water to get better workability • Use “fresh” cement (discard if older than six weeks. Smooth concrete surfaces must be roughened by chipping (and then cleaning again). Brick and concrete surfaces must be thoroughly clean. windy days. plastering should be cured by dampening with a fine spray. to allow for the structure to complete its drying shrinkage and settlement processes. and especially concrete. Lintels must have adequate bearing surfaces supporting them on either side of the opening. as for concrete. Give brickwork. some time before plastering. Plastering of walls should be done when the building has been roofed.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT • Remember to allow mortar in foundation brickwork to set for at least three days before using mechanical compactors. There should be at least five or six courses of brickwork (preferably reinforced with “brickforce”) over lintels to bond with the lintel into a deep beam. and then keeping it covered or wetting with a hose three or four times a day. the support can be removed and the lintel will sag slightly as it takes the full load. but even then. Special care must be taken on very hot and very dry. and will sag. as the vibrations may crack the joints and loosen bricks.

weakening the concrete below. Drill holes first • Protect completed works or partly completed works against damage during further building operations • Keep the site neat and tidy at all times.5 m) • Do not overdo striking off. wet cement-rich layer at the surface that will crack or crumble later) • A few general tips • Check that the setting-out of the works is square and as per the dimensions indicated on the drawings • Constantly check if brickwork and plasterwork is still level and plumb • Keep wet mortar off aluminium frames • Protect wooden frames against bumps and scuffing • Ensure door and window frame lugs. quality. It causes “bleeding” (congregation of lighter cement and mix water on the surface. and that roof structures are adequately braced • Do not hammer roofing screws through corrugated or profiled sheeting. health and safety Check plasterwork to be plumb with spirit-level 100 . and that roof anchors are securely built in • Fill solidly with mortar behind steel door frames as the work proceeds • Ensure that roof trusses are installed level. It is part of general discipline that also promotes pride in the work.S H F BP5 2006 • Be careful of segregation of concrete constituents during transportation (after a very bumpy ride) or placing (pouring from heights of more than 0. and creating a thin. trowelling and floating of surface beds and screeds. plumb and at the right centres.

and when to have them crushed (usually three sets of three from every pour. There are various methods these days (old fashioned “mirror” test. is always specified by the design engineer to have a specific crushing strength. The PCI booklets mentioned above contain instructions on how to make the test cubes. paving and roads is stipulated in the specifications by the engineer. on the other hand. Alternatively. 101 . however. the concrete should have sufficient strength for its intended purpose (there is a substantial safety factor built in to allow for tolerances on site). or by drilling out cores and having them crushed in the laboratory. or bottom layers of built-up bases under roads and paving • 95% MOD AASHTO for layer work under light. for example.to medium-duty roadworks such as in residential projects. and the contractor is required to have samples from every major pour tested by a laboratory. 90% or 93% MOD AASHTO” for light-duty applications.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Required tests. or by penitrometer (knocking a sharp peg into the filling. meaning if the cement. with three cubes crushed after seven days. and measuring the resistance or refusal level). sand and stone are mixed in those proportions by volume. and for middle layers in built-up road bases • 98% MOD AASHTO for heavy-duty applications such as the final layers under roadworks. • Concrete strength testing Non-structural concrete such as in domestic strip-foundations and conventional surface beds is usually specified in terms of mix proportions. • Drains and water pipes Drain pipes are tested for correct falls. tests will have to be carried out by a specialist laboratory to determine whether or not the specified densities have been reached. and factory floors carrying heavy loads Tests are carried out by sonar (sending light dosage radiation into the filling). for instance: “Reinforced concrete 25 MPa in columns”. 21 days and 28 days. Structural concrete. respectively). A concrete laboratory is able to design mix proportions that give the required strength for aggregates from a particular source. MPa stands for Mega Pascal. approvals and certificates Compulsory tests • Filling compaction tests When the density of compaction of filling over site or under floors. The strength of hardened concrete that appears suspect can be reasonably accurately tested on site by the “Schmidt Hammer”. No tests are required. Your plumber should know about these test requirements. Both these devices are small enough to be transported on the back of a pick-up truck. 1:3:6 concrete. the engineer cannot take chances. and drain and water pipes for leaks under pressure. a commonly used SI unit of pressure. In this case. or more modern laser-based methods). a device that measures resistance to penetration. inspections. the Portland Cement Institute (PCI) publishes booklets that contain the nominal mix proportions for a range of concrete crushing strengths. Densities are usually designated as follows: • 88%. as for under domestic floors.

brick\ blockwork plumb) 5. or instructions are issued to sub-contractors to rectify mistakes. regular inspections are held by various parties. Internal inspections by the main contractor to check on sub-contractors’ work 2. Inspections As the work proceeds. paintwork etc. Hand-over These internal inspections are done before the inspections by external parties such as the engineer or municipal inspectors. include: 1. for example. the provincial and local governments. roof ties. Setting out of the works 2. tiling. Foundations (before inspections by external parties) 3.) 7.S H F BP5 2006 • Tests on the electrical installation Tests on electrical installations are a legal requirement. Typical aspects that are inspected. There are basically three types of inspections: 1. secure 6. The work done at certain critical stages is either approved. plumbing. Walls and wall ties (building in of windows and door frames. Filling and services under surface beds 4. municipality and financial institutions Contractor’s own internal inspections The contractor’s site agent and construction/project manager carries out regular inspections to ensure that sub-contractors and labour are doing their work properly. Inspections by the professional team employed on the contract 3. plumb. and are prescribed by the SABS codes of practice. Inspections by third parties who have an interest. Quality checks on finishing (plasterwork. Roofing – level. 102 . carpentry.

: The setting out of unit and foundation on the site. (name). and was found to be: Date:  the contractor has been instrucdted to continue Important remarks Inspection carried out by: Print name Signature For the sub-contractor: Print name Signature 103 .G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT A pro-forma inspection sheet is given below.Setting Out Stand no. Set out correctly to the site plan. according to the site plan. and the site instruction number has been issued to the sub-contractor t ocorrect the error Set out in a manner that is not squre and true. was inspected on (date) by Tick the appropriate box:. Set out square and true Set out incorrectly to the site plan. however due to the following reasons.: Sub-contractor/team no. and the site instruction number has been issued to the sub-contractor t ocorrect the error Set out incorrectly to the site plan. Inspection report .

many municipalities will forego some of the inspections above. and plumbing and drainage before the work is covered up. approvals and certificates The National Building Regulations oblige municipal building offices to carry out building control. Building control – inspections. as well as issuing of electrical compliance and occupation certificates. and are habitable. structural/civil and electrical engineer to monitor quality and ensure that the building is being built in accordance with the drawings and specifications. Municipal inspectors usually need to be called out for the following inspections: • To approve excavations and that the building is correctly set out not to encroach on building lines (and to check if reinforcing steel is in place for areas where it is prescribed because of soil conditions) before concreting • To approve compacted filling before surface beds are poured • To check that Damp Proof Courses (DPC) are in place under walls and window sills • To check that drain pipes are laid properly before they are covered up • At completion. 104 . beams and slabs • The range of inspections at completion and hand-over as described more fully in the section on contract administration The quantity surveyor should also be called to measure up on site the actual quantities of provisionally measured work such as foundation depths.S H F BP5 2006 Inspections by the professional team Inspections of the work are carried out regularly (usually just before progress meetings on site) by the professional consultants such as the architect. or by placing an inspection request slip in a designated box at the municipal building office. to check that electrical installations are safely wired. before issuing compliance and occupation certificates It is usual to call out the inspector the day before an inspection is due. either by telephone. and rely on his professional responsibility of ensuring the building complies with safety requirements. and that buildings have been completed in accordance with the approved plans. inspections of certain aspects of the work. If there is an engineer working on the project. Consultants must also be called out to inspect certain specific aspects such as: • Foundation excavations (and reinforcing steel where required) before concreting – by architect and/or engineer • Filling under floors before pouring surface beds • Formwork and reinforcing steel before concreting columns. including scrutiny of building plans.

and private financial institutions will send out their own inspectors to approve the work done before paying out subsidy tranches or loan draw-downs. among other things: • Direct duties owed by employers to workers such as: • Training • Taking adequate precautionary measures to prevent accidents and to promote safety • Co-operative duties. In addition. When applications are made for payments. dust masks • Maintaining adequate first aid kits. Health and safety Introduction Maintaining health and safety on a building site requires common sense and carefulness. In addition. Anyone acting as a building contractor should obtain and study a copy of OHSA and its regulations. and committees where more than one representative is appointed • Employer/employee co-operation and self-regulation • Obligation of the employer to comply with procedures that form part of independent policing function of the Department of Labour Safety and accident prevention – general measures • Issue workers with correct protective clothing – boots and overalls generally. checking wiring and plugs on power tools) • Keeping sites tidy – not having dangerous obstacles (sharp pieces or piles of rubble. gloves and goggles for working with power tools such as angle grinders. planks with protruding nails) lying around over which workers can trip and fall 105 . Act 85 of 1993 and its amendments. there are statutory requirements in this regard contained mainly in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). the institutions will automatically send out their inspectors. that organisation will also send out inspectors at regular intervals to monitor the quality and correctness of work.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Other external inspections (funders) Funders such as the Provincial Housing Department (subsidy). however. where a project is registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC). for example. such as: • Worker representation with regard to health and safety matters – written appointment of a democratically elected safety representative where more than 20 persons are employed. The Act lays down guidelines and prescriptions for. and training workers in basic first aid • Regular inspection and servicing of tools and plant (including.

and steep embankments – especially after heavy rains • Collapse/overturning/falling of ladders and scaffolding • Falling bricks and tools from higher floors • Materials dropped from cranes or other lifting devices due to inadequate fastening • Workers falling off roofs. on steep roof slopes) • Burns and scalds • Electrical shocks • Careless or incorrect use of tools and power tools (for example. scaffolding and ladders – use proper harnesses when necessary. for example. Scaffolding next to multi-storey structures must be securely tied back to the permanent structure • Storage and handling of toxic and hazardous substances – providing training in how to handle them. are secure and not overloaded. hazardous substances etc. sides of trenches. such as scaffolding and props. Common accidents on building sites • Collapse of walls.S H F BP5 2006 General signage Signage requirement for protective clothing and accessories • Ensure temporary support works. and providing responsible supervision • Placement of signage to alert all to possible danger. shattering of grinding discs and breaking off of drill bits when forced) Unsafe scaffolding Workers have proper safety harnesses 106 .

This is done formally through a site hand-over meeting. Remember that the private security industry is regulated • Placing of materials stores. It can be quite a costly item. 107 . boundary pegs and datum level benchmarks are pointed out to the contractor (after which he takes responsibility for their maintenance and protection). This service can be provided by a professional outfit (which is expensive). quality. contractor’s queries and information needs. which can be a simple gate pass system. or a more sophisticated electronic swipe-card system. fortnightly or monthly) site meetings where progress. Security is required to prevent theft and vandalism. for instance). There are also procedures for claims from the contractor.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Security Site security is an important aspect of risk management on building sites. In the latter case. the HC must Fenced site ensure the members are properly trained and equipped (with uniforms for recognisability. and are well-lit at night • Armed response service . are asked for to set acceptable standards. etc. are monitored and discussed in order to facilitate the smooth running of the project. Visitor logs should be kept • Hired guards on site (including perimeter patrols at night). The usual measures are a combination of the following (minimum requirements are highlighted in bold): • Fencing and access control.optional • Regular liaison and good relations with local police • Regular liaison and good relations with local community structures Contract administration The process After the signing of the building contract. and to keep unauthorised persons off the site. and samples of brickwork. etc. the contractor takes possession of the site for the duration of the contract. Standard procedures for contract administration include holding regular (weekly. and measures must be constantly monitored for both functional effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. At this meeting times and agendas for future meetings are usually agreed on. or by members of the local community as part of job creation. and for practical and final completion of the contract. and that all legalities and issues around liability and insurance are dealt with. interim progress payments to be made to the contractor. variations required by the employer. and parking of plant and equipment where they are visible from site offices and guard huts.

project cash flow forecasting • Providing information required for monitoring progress • Maintaining drawing registers and site instruction books. etc. handovers. variations) • Contractor’s claims (extras and delays) • Interim. the entity acting as main contractor will take on much of the contract administration. In summary.) • Documentation management Particular attention should be paid to the following areas of contract administration. and perhaps limited supervision. sub-contractors and suppliers • Co-ordinating sub-contract works In some cases. with the contractor responsible for: • Hosting site meetings • Providing assistance to the professional team in monitoring. Practical. pricing of variations. Most of the guidelines and prescriptions referring to the architect below will apply to the contractor. measurement. a defects list. and relaying information from the employer and his agents to site staff. Works and Final Completion procedures (inspections. the following aspects are managed: • Site hand-over to contractor • Regular progress and other project meetings • Regular monitoring of: • Quality • Progress • Contractor’s resources on site (personnel and plant) • Daily activities and incidents (site diary kept by contractor) • Record of rainfall and bad weather conditions • Management of: • Instructions (especially site instructions vs. or are not well understood: • Delays and extension of time • Retentions/performance guarantees • Breach of contract/non-performance • Insolvency • Ownership of materials paid for • Practical completion/beneficial occupation • Patent/latent defects • Contractors’ claims 108 . In such cases. the role of the professional team is limited to design only. the principal agent or project manager working as its agent runs the contract administration.S H F BP5 2006 In cases where the entity acts as client/employer/developer. which often present problems. and references to the contractor will apply mainly to sub-contractors working for the entity.

he or she issues a final completion certificate. the architect will issue a certificate of practical completion. • All material and component warranties and guarantees obtained from suppliers and sub-contractors by the main contractor are ceded and handed to the employer Defects liability/maintenance periods The period between the first and second hand-overs (practical completion and final completion. during which retention monies are held back or construction guarantees remain in force) • The contractor rectifies the items on the final completion list. respectively. etc. and 12 months for certain (mechanical) services and civil contracts. as well as any new latent defects that may appear during this period. or between works completion and final completion in the case of JBCC contracts) is called the maintenance. and a works completion list • The building is occupied • The contractor attends to the items on the works completion list and calls for another inspection • If the architect is satisfied that only insubstantial defects remain.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Contract completion and hand-over Standard building contracts are based on the following procedure: • The contractor notifies the architect that the work is ready for occupation • The architect carries out an inspection and draws up a list of incomplete and/or unacceptable work (“snag list”) • The contractor rectifies the items and calls for another inspection • If he is satisfied that the building is fit for occupation. or retention. and all outstanding monies are paid out to the contractor and guarantees released • The contractor remains liable for latent defects for five years (10 years on government contracts) Project close-out Apart from the contract procedures above. and calls for a final inspection at the end of the period • If the architect is satisfied. (The defects maintenance or retention period of 90 days now starts. 109 . the following should happen at the end of a building project: • The contractor and/or architect obtains certificates of electrical compliance and occupation. he issues a works completion certificate and a final completion list. or latent defects liability period. from the municipality and hands them to the employer • The design consultants prepare and hand to the employer “as built” drawings for future use in maintenance. It usually is from one to three months for building work. The length of this period can vary according to the type of contract.

i. Without these. (in terms of the contractual prescriptions and specifications) which become apparent during this period must be repaired/replaced by the contractor(s) at the contractor’s cost. controlling and reporting right through to project completion or phase-out. Contractor(s) are. difficult to estimate and require special skill and discipline to manage or control. defects which could not be detected by a reasonable inspection by a reasonable person at the time. only responsible for latent (hidden) defects.e. when moving in furniture or equipment or operations) does not qualify for free repair by the contractors. to ensure smooth continuous operations by the client. services. and projecting the expenditure over time • Cost control: Monitoring and ensuring adherence to. the project budget or cost base line 110 . no project will be completed successfully. and thereafter depends on regular and diligent monitoring. workmanship. This responsibility is extended to a period of five years after final completion by contracts such as the JBCC. and involves many parties and uncertainties in its execution. and NHBRC enrolment. Construction-cost management starts with proper estimating and budgeting. equipment. Conclusion The above is only a brief summary of the activities during the execution/construction phase of a project. materials. Construction costs are. even when the most sophisticated techniques are used. co-operation and trust between persons and parties. etc. The key factors for project success remain leadership. and controlling changes to. therefore. systems. after this period. Cost management involves the following major processes • Resource planning: Determining what resources (people. Clients should be made aware that damage they cause during this period (for example. Noncritical items are noted for repair/replacement at the end of this period. Critical systems must be repaired as break-downs occur. It is important that all visual or reasonably detectable items (by an averagely qualified person in that field) are identified during this period. materials) and what quantities of each should be used to perform project activities • Cost estimating: Developing and approximation (estimation) of the monetary costs of the resources needed to complete project activities • Cost budgeting: Allocating the overall cost estimate to individual work items.S H F BP5 2006 The purpose of this period is to “test” the facilities and services under operational conditions and to afford the client and consultants the opportunity to detect further patent or visual deficiencies. Any deficiencies in supplied equipment. Construction cost management Cost-management processes The construction process happens over relatively drawn-out periods.

Cost performance baseline (Source: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) Cost control Cost control is concerned with (a) influencing the factors that create changes to the cost baseline to ensure that changes are beneficial.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT The major cost-management activities as they relate to the stages of a construction project can be summed up as follows: Project stage Project identification and initiation (Briefing stage) Pre-design planning (Conceptual design stage) Pre-contract planning (Preliminary and final sketch plans) Construction stage (Working drawings) Project completion or phase-out Cost management activity Setting upfront unit cost norms or square metre estimates based on broad accommodation or functional parameters (cost planning) Preliminary unit cost/square metre/elemental estimates based on conceptual drawings.). 111 . inappropriate responses to cost variances can cause quality or schedule problems. Cost control includes: • monitoring cost performance to detect variances from plan • ensuring that all appropriate changes are recorded accurately in the cost baseline • preventing incorrect. or produce an unacceptable level of risk later in the project. and (c) managing the actual changes when and as they occur. in order to establish a cost baseline for measuring project cost performance. Cost estimating tools and techniques Outputs 1. (b) determining that the cost baseline reflects changes. etc. For example. Adjust briefs and/or budgets Refined (elemental) estimates based on sketch plans. Cost budgeting usually includes cash-flow projections to enable the planning and monitoring of expenditures over time. Proper documentation and procurement leading to signed contracts that form the basis for cost control throughout the contract Monitoring. controlling and reporting of cost changes. quality control. Cost budgeting process Inputs 1. inappropriate. Cost estimates 2. or unauthorised changes from being included in the cost baseline • informing appropriate stakeholders of authorised changes Cost control includes searching out the reasons for both positive and negative variances. It must be thoroughly integrated with the other control processes (schedule control. and advising client on steps to take to avoid cost overruns Skilled and fair final accounting Cost budgeting Cost budgeting involves allocating the overall cost estimates to individual work items. Project schedule Tools & Techniques 1.

Estimate at completion 5. Performance measurement 3. he/she must be compensated fairly for such additional costs or expenses. Notes to tenderers 2. and for general indirect or site overhead costs.S H F BP5 2006 Cost control process Inputs 1.1 Conditions of contract (clauses listed) 3. temporary services and facilities. including allowances for contingencies.2 Item for contractor’s profit 5. material. Model Preambles of ASAQS) 2.) of executing the work To allow employer (through his agents) to insert allowances for the cost of work (usually specialist sub-contract work) for which designs have not yet been finalised To arrive at tender price or contract price Purpose To provide administrative information and general instructions to the tenderer 112 . Cost baseline 2. Additional planning 4. or without quantities. Budget update 3. Computerised tools Outputs 1. Change request (variations) 4. Trade bills consisting of measured items of work with quantities.2 Standard/model preliminaries items 3. Final summary. in the latter case. Provisional sums 5. Corrective action 4. Preambles (specification) 2.1 Provisional sums 5. VAT. Performance report 3. Cost change control system 2. or PC amounts as the case may be 5. Section of Document 1. for example. type of contract. and by the client or his quantity surveyor in the case of a quantities-type contract. etc.1 General preambles (bound in or referred to as separate document. Lessons learned (Source: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) The initial contract price of a building project is hardly ever the final cost to the employer. supervision. To provide tenderer with standards and codes of practice for execution of the work. Preliminaries (“P & G”) 3. All building contracts are based on the principle that if the execution of the contract involves the contractor incurring additional costs or expenses which could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time of tender.2 Particular or works specification or Supplementary Preambles 3. To allow tenderers to price for the direct costs (labour. provisional quantities. Cost management plan (including cash-flow projections) Tools & Techniques 1. These quantities form part of a tender document which. The initial tender or contract price is based on the pricing of quantities of work taken off the drawings by the contractor himself in the case of a lump sum. and to assist in pricing adequately to meet these requirements To allow tenderer to price for contract clauses with cost implication. would be a bill of quantities.3 Special items 4.3 Item for contractor’s attendance on specialist sub-contractors 6. for example. etc. etc. Revised cost estimates 2.

tender and contract documents (including bills of quantities where available). The entity acting as main contractor would have the same requirements. which reflects all the cost changes that occurred on a building project. cost reports and final accounts. that a minimum of 10% to 20% of turnover (contract value) is usually needed as an overall reserve in the form of cash and/or overdraft facility. to avoid the circumstances that gave rise to the additional costs and expenses? On a building project. etc. and internal ability to manage cash flow. and then summarises. cash purchases of material and other ongoing expenses in the periods between monthly progress payments from the employer and/or funder. (“Contract Price Adjustments”) Important criteria for determining who is liable for and must absorb cost changes: • The type of contract (“With Quantities” or “Without Quantities”/Lump sum) determines who will accept responsibility for the accuracy of quantities used to determine the tender price. 113 . usually prepared by the quantity surveyor. in terms of the contract and good common practice. Experience shows. materials. re-measurements and other adjustments. material and other costs. budgets. however. progress payment certificates including contract price adjustments due to escalation of labour. which sets out in detail. • Whose responsibility was it. The final account is a document. arrangements with funders for release of funds (and their administrative ability to stick to those arrangements). credit facilities with suppliers.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT A building contract price (based on accepted tender) may change during the course of the contract due to any of the following: • Re-measurement on site of provisionally measured quantities • Changes in design and/or specification (“variation orders” or VOs) • Adjustment of provisional sums and prime cost amounts (“PC amounts”) when more accurate information (for example. etc. all legitimate and accepted changes to the original contract price during the course of the contract. cash flow projections. sub-contract payment terms. The final statement is a summary of all the calculations involved in preparing the final account. pricing of variations. Cash-flow management (income and expenditure) Working capital requirements A main contractor needs operating capital (cash and/or overdraft facilities at the bank) to finance labour wages. tender prices) become available • Delays and extensions of time. The amount required varies according to the nature of the project. • Omission of allowances for contingencies • Inflationary or negotiated fluctuations in the cost of labour. lack of information. due to change in scope of work. the instruments/processes involved in cost control generally include cost estimates/plans.

or for shortfalls created when funders hold back retention monies. or could even be less than the expenditure incurred in doing the work when disputes or delays arise in the settlement of claims for extras. estimating. 114 . The problem of discrepancy between the date income is realised. allowing for the time it takes to process payment applications. or valuation methods. income is always exactly equal to expenditure. the usual source of such bridging finance is a combination of cash reserves (savings) and bank overdraft. however. and to have adequate cash and/or overdraft facilities in place to bridge those shortfalls. Private contractors also tend to minimise the requirement for cash by trying to negotiate extended payment periods for materials bought on credit. For private contractors. but projections of income flows will be based on the “selling rates” for completed work. Income is forecast in accordance with agreed payment milestones. expenditure flows will be forecast by linking cost estimates to building programmes. in theory. or substantial extensions of time are not accompanied by monetary compensation for the extended site costs (for example. and by “juggling” payments to larger sub-contractors. Hopefully. account payments due for suppliers). contractors cannot operate effectively without some working capital to finance immediate expenses such as fortnightly wages and cash payments for certain materials in the periods between receipt of progress payments or draw-downs. and the dates on which expenditures are due remain. This is usually done by allocating monetary values for expenditures (from cost estimates) to activities reflected on the building programme. and bridging finance and/or cash reserves may still be needed.S H F BP5 2006 What is cash flow? Cash flow is simply the flow of money in (income) and out (expenditure) of the contractor’s purse on a project. Cash-flow forecasting In order to prepare for temporary shortfalls between income and expenditure. Expenditure is due at fixed times (payday for labour and sub-contractors. whereas the corresponding income for work done can be delayed for a number of reasons. In the case of the entity building with mark-ups on cost. If there is no “mark-up” on costs. the entity must draw up cash-flow forecasts or projections as accurately as possible. This leaves no buffer for covering errors in estimating or measuring for payment. meaning that. pricing and on-site cost control will have been done in such a way that project income at any given time of measurement for payment will exceed the expenditure incurred. rain delays). or agreed contract fees. Construction finance (operating or working capital) As stated previously.

G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT If the entity. Get an accountant to help you assess your working-capital needs in conjunction with estimators and contracts managers. acting as contractor. Contact all the above organisations and obtain information on the products they offer. and the criteria for qualification 2. working capital loans at favourable interest rates. Ntsika. it will be able to successfully motivate for assistance (for example. Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC). Khula. and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Some commercial banks also have divisions that deal with small and emerging contractors. and to prepare applications 115 . qualifies as a developmental organisation. and with less stringent conditions than a straight bank overdraft) from development finance organisations such as: • NURCHA. The best ways to go about identifying and selecting the most appropriate option(s) are to: 1. and are able to provide special working finance packages. which supports small contractor development and unblocking of stalled housing construction projects through the provision of bridging finance • Small business support organisations such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

allow the community to retain ownership of the project and afford its members opportunities for employment. commercial and financial support and instruction. participation in construction activities. at the same time. In community-based projects. Community-based construction – the “development team” approach Introduction Community-based construction in a sensitive and non-imposing manner aims at the use of labour-based projects to promote the emergence of local entrepreneurs who. unit design and specifications for housing. monitoring of progress. etc. layout planning/urban design. especially with regard to issues such as site selection. • The transport of materials to local labour-only contractors • The manufacture of certain materials • The supply of minor materials • The security of the site Contractor development within a community will not take place without professional support and the acquisition of external resources. could in due course become fully fledged contractors. etc. 116 . members of the community can also become involved in: • The operation of stores and facilities • The support provided to local contractors by involvement in administration. The “development team” approach can provide emerging contractors with the support that they require and.S H F BP5 2006 c Co-operative community-based construction Reasons for community involvement in development projects The rationale for community involvement in projects that directly or indirectly affect the lives and living environments of those in the community usually includes factors such as: • “Buy-in” through participation • More effective need-satisfaction/more choice • Empowerment/autonomy • Capacity building • Local income generation Participation should ideally take place at all levels of project planning and implementation. with adequate technical.

assist with administration. A client may require the development team to undertake additional constructionrelated activities such as the co-ordination of the project. Duties and responsibilities of the development team members Body Client Duties • Appoint a development team • Fulfil obligations in terms of the General Conditions of Contract • Provide finance for community-based contractors and the purchase of materials • Permit alternative tender structures Architect/Engineer • Administer the contract • Direct staff who: • Check setting out • Measure the works • Conduct inspections to ensure compliance with specifications • Arrange acceptance tests Architect/Design engineer • Design the works • Prepare contract documentation • Advise on materials Materials manager • Procure materials • Store materials • Issue materials • Account for materials Construction manager • Arrange for specialist work • Arrange for the supply of plant and equipment • Advise. assist and train the labour-based contractor in administration and execution of the contract • Arrange fortnightly payments to the labour-based contractor • Transport materials to the site Community-based contractor • Provide supervision • Provide labour • Provide small tools 117 . and supply the necessary materials and equipment. design work or materials management. for example. overall project management. are summarised in the table below for the lowest level of labourbased contract. etc. The composition of a development team The duties and responsibilities of the client. the client may undertake certain responsibilities. monitor progress. Normally. and the development team is appointed directly by the client.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT In the development team approach. The development team is regarded as the construction facilitator that will arrange to provide resources that the contractor lacks. engage specialist contractors. offer technical training. and the contractor. The development team employs and trains members of the local community to run stores facilities. liaison with the public. experienced and suitably qualified people assist local community-based contractors at the lower level of contracts with the administration and management of their contracts. etc. Conversely. the local contractor enters into a contract with the client. the development team members.

and they can be used generally for smaller and simpler building projects (such as single dwellings. At this level. time-consuming. especially where labour-only contractors. Their use is not limited to situations where so-called emerging contractors are involved. Levels of contract As construction develops. To accommodate developing contractors within a community at any stage of development or level competence.). or community-based construction teams are being managed by the employer without a main contractor. etc. 118 . and the employment and supervision of labour. and understand how they work • They will have been tested in the field and cover most situations that can arise on a project • Preparing new contracts is costly. the role of the construction manager and materials manager diminishes and the nature of the support that is required changes. The use of standard forms is generally recommended because: • Professionals and other parties know the contents. different levels of contract with increasing responsibility being placed on the contractor is required. particularly with respect to the procurement of materials and plant. At the same time. commercial and administrative skills. small community centres and facilities. and risky Although it is wiser to keep to standard forms. all barriers to entry are removed to enable contractors to participate in construction activities. contractors develop only limited managerial. since at this level.S H F BP5 2006 Appropriate forms of contract for community involvement in construction projects Introduction There are a number of “simplified” standard contract forms for building work that have been specifically drafted for use on smaller works. the responsibility assumed and the degree of contractual risk is minimal. the acquisition of basic technical and administrative skills. the emphasis is on introducing contractors to tender procedures and contract documentation. At the lowest level of community-based contract. there are some instances where purpose-made contracts may work better.

The tenderer indicates his/her level of development and this is checked through a skills and capacity assessment. wisdom and experience. teach. to fully-fledged main contractor. materials and plant • Provide 5% surety • Engage specialist contractors • Finance all contractual obligations 5 Mentor • As for Level 4 • Provide 10% surety Non-standard or purpose-made forms of contract Drafting of contracts requires specialist knowledge. and provide certain materials • Provide labour • Provide small tools • Provide site office and certain storage facilities • Provide all materials • Offer advice. but also increases the risk and the management input from agents and consultants 119 . practical assistance and training • Provide plant other than small tools • Offer materials for purchase • Arrange for monthly wages • Arrange for specialist work • Conduct a tender workshop • Advise. instruct and tutor the contractor • Render assistance in the setting up of proven systems to enhance management and business skills • As for Level 4 3 Construction & materials manager 4 Mentor • Provide labour. and only one example of a contract designed to cater for various stages of contractor development or “sophistication” is discussed. coach. This broadens the scope for local participation. The range of contracts is very wide.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Contractual responsibilities and development support required for each level of contract: Level 1 Type of Support Construction & materials manager Contractor’s Contractual Responsibilities • Provide labour • Provide small tools Degree of Development Support Provided • Offer advice. to limited plant and materials supply. and any deviation from standard contract forms must be approached with circumspection and care. counsel. fair labour practice. and capacity building within the community institutions” • It provides for five stages of contractor development from labour-only. The main features of this contract are as follows: • It is specifically designed to “… foster local contractor development and promote overall social. practical assistance and training • Provide most materials • Provide plant other than small tools • Arrange for specialist work • Arrange for fortnightly wages • Offer advice. technical and developmental community goals such as local employment creation. This means the contract can be broken up into many parts allocated to different contractors. practical assistance and training • Provide and transport materials to site • Provide plant other than small tools • Arrange for specialist work • Arrange for fortnightly wages 2 Construction & materials manager • Provide labour • Provide small tools • Transport materials from yard to site. guide.

S H F BP5 2006 • It spells out. unavoidable based on the types of situation the contract is intended to be used in. it has been used with success. the responsibilities of the contractor and employer respectively for each stage of contractor development • It guarantees retention penalties for late completion. however. unsophisticated contractors • It allocates some risk to the contractor commensurate with his or her ability to absorb it • It allows for contractors to develop on-the-job and progress to higher stages of development as the work proceeds • It gives the employer a versatile and appropriate tool for spreading the advantages of preferential procurement. Recommended for use in the intended circumstances only 120 . However. without making it too onerous for small. and insurances are treated in accordance with level of contractor development and ability to provide • Offer and acceptance are contained in one complete document • It contains comprehensive guidelines and instructions on how to use the document • It contains a description of the works and guidelines to the contractor on how to carry out the works • It contains a simple milestone-based payment system graphically explained to contractor • It makes provision for employment of a principal agent and other consultants It is a complex document that requires that contractors are assisted by the employer and/or his agents to interpret and complete it before the tender stage. local employment and capacity building as widely as possible within a certain community Its main disadvantages are as follows: • It is complex and requires extensive management input to administer • It places more than usual risk and responsibility on the employer and his or her agents The above is. Its main advantages are as follows: • It maintains the discipline of sanction and responsibility. in clear detail.



Training objectives
The main objective of training is to equip existing and aspiring small contractors and/or sub-contractors with the practical know-how and skills needed to develop their endeavours into profitable enterprises as quickly and effectively as possible, while maintaining a high level of quality and professionalism, by:

• Familiarising participants with sound construction principles and methods • Enabling them to plan, organise, lead and control construction site activity • Enabling the conversion of information contained on drawings and in
specifications into a format for pricing and ordering of materials

• Training participants in the skills of obtaining access to credit and finance • Explaining contract administration systems and procedures by means of a
practical manual

• Developing capabilities for the efficient and sustainable management of their
own concerns

Planning and preparing for training
Ad hoc unplanned training is a waste of time and resources. Stand-alone or onceoff training sessions have their place, but to be really effective, training should be programmatic, and include the following: 1. Analysis of generic functions in a small and growing construction company 2. Identification of core competencies required for the above 3. Setting of unit standards for training in the above 4. Setting up guidelines for training and curricula 5. Identifying and accrediting training service providers 6. Obtaining funding 7. Calling for training proposals 8. Training on a progressive basis (with proper assessment criteria for the advancement of candidates from one level to the next) 9. Post-training impact assessment and mentoring

Who should be trained?
• Carry out local skills audit in collaboration with CBO and others • Match skills required with skills available, and identify training and mentoring
needs, and external support required (for example, project management)

• Assemble the core teams with the “right” mix and clear agreement on lines of

• Design and plan the training programme


S H F BP5 2006

Pre-construction training
Before moving on to site, training should take place on basic aspects of good construction practice – site organisation and work planning, resource analysis and allocation, care and maintenance of tools and equipment, health and safety on site, controlling waste, simple programming and monitoring of progress, and quality assurance.

Example: Pre-construction Training Programme
1. Construction technology and practice (principles, methods and materials): • Brief overview of the construction process • Interpretation of drawings and specifications • Construction technology with regard to: • Setting out and levelling • Foundations and sub-structures • Brickwork and masonry • Roofs and ceilings • Plastering and screeds • Windows and doors • Cupboards and fittings • Painting, glazing, flooring • Plumbing and drainage • Electrical work • Paving and fencing 2. Site activity management: • Site layout and functioning • Basic planning and organisation • Resource utilisation • Method study • Quality control, time-cost relationships, productivity and safety • Maintenance: Plant and equipment • Labour relations, supervision and control • Programming and scheduling 3. Basic quantity surveying: • Basic arithmetic skills • Calculation of areas, volumes and mass • Principles and units of measurement of drawings for basic construction elements • Lists of materials and cutting lists • Recording of site measurements 9 9

Time (Hours)



4. Procurement of work, credit and finance: • Introduction to contracts - parties, roles, relationships, rights and responsibilities • Overview of tendering methods and procedures • Costs elements - on site and off site • Unit rates and allowable WHAT IS MISSING HERE? • Price negotiation with suppliers, sub-contractors and labour, and how to go about arranging credit • Closing the bid - profit policy, consideration of external market and other factors that influence tender prices • Introduction to marketing and negotiation • Finance options 5. Contract administration: • Signing of contracts • Site and other meetings, including site hand-over, practical completion and final hand-over procedures • Internal meetings with supervisory staff, workers and sub-contractors • Keeping site records and diaries • Site instructions and variation orders • Progress and final certificates and payments • Site costing, internal certificates and cost control • Cash-flow planning and control • Basic site accounting (reconciliation of orders, delivery notes, credit notes, invoices and statements) • Wage administration • Final accounts • Insurances, levies, deposits and fees • Relations with employer, professional team, inspectors 6. Office administration and business management: • Introduction to management principles and functions, communication skills and human relations • Introduction to office functions, procedures and equipment • Information and paper management, storage and retrieval • Basic bookkeeping and accounting • Keeping overheads down • Office/site liaison • Introduction to computers and computer systems Total





“Hard” building skills training
There are training colleges in most of the larger urban centres that provide accredited training with funding from the Department of Labour. The training covers trade skills such as bricklaying, plastering, carpentry and plumbing. Training is structured as follows:

• Nine weeks full-time practical training at the training centre. Trainees receive a
small allowance for food and travelling expenses during this time

• The above is followed by nine weeks’ practical work on a site under part-time
supervision and mentoring by the trainers. Trainees are paid a wage by the contractor during this phase


and assisting with funding. planning and implementation of construction activities. and organisations can be contacted through their websites to learn more about their activities and experiences. while in others. unaided collective effort saw the initiatives through. Many of these experiences have been documented.S H F BP5 2006 t The experiences of some entities acting as “main contractors” There have been many cases of small-scale home building through community-based or mutual self-help initiatives in both rural and urban areas of South Africa. 124 . and organisations such as The South African Homeless People’s Federation and its allies People’s Dialogue and Utshani Fund played a role in setting up home-building co-operatives. Habitat for Humanity. In some. A few cases have been selected in which the actual construction process was executed in a formal manner and the process was reasonably well documented or observed. NGOs such as affiliates of the Urban Sector Network.

nevertheless. The project did.to mediumdensity housing and community facilities projects In the early 1990s. with financial. its ideological and organisational nature was strongly community-based and one of collective action and enterprise. and focusing all the parties on the mutual co-operative effort • Marrying community development objectives with practical and efficient construction practice The houses under construction 125 . organisational and technical support from NGOs Planact (South Africa) and CRIAA (France). embarked on a construction programme for the development of housing and community facilities in Wattville Township near Benoni. The housing project consisted of 182 single-storey free-standing four-room dwellings on small individual stands. The WCRC carried out the construction works under the designation of the Wattville Housing Association (WHA). and the houses were not all built. Unfortunately the project was interrupted by local clashes of interest. a local civic organisation. and the Dutch Social Housing Movement. provide valuable experience in how to plan and execute construction projects in co-operative style. the Wattville Concerned Residents Committee (WCRC). Construction of the houses Although the WHA was not institutionally a co-operative in the strict sense of the word. especially with regard to: • Setting up the appropriate structures and procedures • Bringing together widely divergent expectations.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT w Wattville/Tamboville – low. Ekurhuleni.

programming and resource (time) management • The “client”.S H F BP5 2006 Construction was carried out with community-based construction teams and local sub-contractors. materials and equipment • Overall construction management. plumbing and electrical work. with members drawn from the local community (including beneficiaries). system and procedures Contracts Materials management Finacial control Supervision and mentoring of community based construction teams Close working relationship Community Liaison Group • Assistance/ communication • Workshop technical issues (layouts. he set himself up as a managing contractor. etc. Local sub-contractors were employed for glazing. etc) 1 x community-based “supervisor” (with ‘contract’) 28-member construction teams (3x) on labour basis-unemployed women and youth. trained and employed on performance ‘contracts’ (for crèche and clinic) + + 126 . for the day-to-day management and supervision of the teams. handover procedures • Disputes and conflict management 1 x community-based “contractor” (for houses with ‘contract’) 4 x 8 -member communitybased construction “teams” (labour only) (for houses) (with ‘contracts’) (for community centre. Initially each team was given “contracts” of four houses at a time. tenant education. funding etc. Giving a team more than one house at a time gave them valuable experience in planning.) assist • Allocation. WHA. architectural and engineering services Organisation of the construction Project/ Construction Management WCRC Task Group Contract Had to establish as legal entity (for contracts. and initially all plant and tools. training and mentoring was provided by a professional Construction Management Agent (CMA) employed by the WHA. He was also assigned the daily administration of materials and tools management. lease agreements. man. Later on. resources centre.d. a local person with some business and contracting experience was employed on a contract basis “without risk”.) Project Manager and Shadow • • • • • • • • Skills audit I . training needs Training Set up constr. provided materials. housing types and design. and led by a local person with certain recognised skills such as bricklaying. and was organised as follows: • Actual construction work by teams of eight people. and assumed full risk for managing the teams and sub-contractors. Some tools and equipment were purchased from the WHA by the teams and individuals and paid off during the course of the contracts • Initially. allowing them eight weeks to complete each set of four houses. as were town planning.

propping. (For “labour-only” teams/sub-contractors)* B1. fitting.for the construction of foundations. The team/sub-contractor is responsible for all cutting. dismantling and moving of scaffolding. temporary power for the work. setting up or placing/hoisting and keeping in position and building in or fixing. plant and constructional aids such as scaffolding.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Training before and during construction was provided mainly by the CMA in the form of short workshops lasting from half a day to five days. where possible. On-site mentoring was continuously provided by the CMA and the supervisor. R3 000 per house for providing all labour . for himself and his workers. straight-edges. roofs. assembly. shovels.. The team/sub-contractor must provide all labour required for the temporary works such as erection. etc. Provision of minor plant such as: (1) Scaffolding. who later became a managing contractor for the teams and sub-contractors. 127 .1 General construction team/sub-contractor responsibilities: 1. floor. mortar. AND SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED BY THE WHA (TO BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CONDITIONS ABOVE) B1. They contained the following: • Roles and responsibilities of parties. maintain. Procurement and delivery of materials to the site or an agreed place of storage or stock-piling. gauging rods. 4. where it will eventually become the property of the team/sub-contractor. turning pieces and temporary bracing. SPECIFIC CONSTRUCTION TEAM/SUB. responsibility for looking after materials and equipment) respectively. Teams and sub-contractors signed formal contracts with the WHA. temporary formwork. Water and.skilled. repair and replace as necessary all hand tools. B2. 2. 4. The team/sub-contractor is responsible for all labour involved in moving materials from stockpiles or storage. and spelt out clearly in understandable language. • Agreed and fixed contract amounts per four-house contract (for example. walls. 2. etc. and the teams (labour. The team/sub-contractor must provide. lines and small plant such as picks. Contracts were workshopped and agreed with teams beforehand. 3.CONTRACTOR RESPONSIBILITIES. temporary services and facilities). mixing of concrete. and encompassed basic contract administration and site management. trestles and props (2) Pipe roller floats (3) Profiles (4) Ladders (5) Wheelbarrows 3. particularly regarding what was to be provided by the client (materials. List of services to be provided by the WHA: 1. and the hanging of doors) • Payment milestones • Penalties for late completion • Agreed rates of pay for team members • Dispute-resolution procedures The following extract from the contract documents used summarises the responsibilities of the construction team/sub-contractor and WHA respectively B. semi-skilled and unskilled . Provision of major plant such as: (1) Mixers (at main contractor’s discretion) (2) Power tools and equipment (at WHA’s discretion) Any of the items in 2 and 3 above can be hired from the WHA on an agreed “rent-to-buy” basis. transporting of mixed materials to place of work. of materials and components in the buildings. self-organisation under supervision of site supervisor/managing contractor.

and there were few problems in this regard in subsequent contracts. and were diligently applied even though it took some tough negotiation to get them accepted when a few teams defaulted early on. and only completed stages were included. as well as allowances for wastage on materials and wear and tear on tools and equipment were arrived at by negotiating a fair balance between widely accepted industry norms and pay levels. was around R35 000. Because of the spread-out nature of the site. This. Penalties for late completion were included as a form of discipline. which often included a member of the beneficiary household anyway. was solved by getting the intended beneficiaries to inhabit their properties in shacks before the start of construction. They kept the materials with them and a well-managed system of issue-and-receipt was maintained between them and the construction teams. Beneficiaries were then assigned responsibility for such materials. including serviced stand. while at the same not causing unreasonable hardship for small infringements among the team members. where teams had to substantiate reasons for being granted time extensions.) A simple payment milestone system based on easily definable stages of construction completion was adopted. Bulk materials (building blocks and aggregates) were delivered to stockpiles central to each group of four houses in a contract.S H F BP5 2006 The fixed agreed contract amounts. and the lack of motorised on-site transportation for materials. were a useful learning experience. (The total cost per house. and other problems such as excessive waste. and felt the consequences in their pay packets. In practice. It was made clear to teams that the budget for each house was fixed. including about R22 000 for a 42 m2 house with full bathroom and electricity). As a result. Penalty amounts were carefully set (at around 1% of contract value per day) to make the teams treat them with respect. completed on measurement days were often included at say 75% or 80% of their agreed values. This presented a security challenge. Milestone values were agreed upon beforehand and written into the contract. and the actual experiences of teams in building the materials depot. the responsibility for proper programming. and other materials were delivered to each individual house. Measurement for payment was done fortnightly. and stages that were substantially. strict application of this would have caused some hardship. 128 . it was not practical to have centralised stockpiles and sheds for the storage of materials. planning and monitoring of tasks and outputs was quickly understood and absorbed by the teams. and that no additional funds were available to pay for cost over-runs. but not fully. (Some beneficiaries even took large items such as window frames into the shacks with them and slept on top of them. The negotiations themselves.

Building in door and window frames 3. Plastering inside walls 3. backfilling and compacting 4. Building in roof ties Walls Foundation wall Floor slab Foundation Filling Work Completed (Pictures) Amounts due to team R2 800 (R700 per house) Less 10% Retention = R2 520 (R630 per house) Foundation wall Floor slab Foundation Filling Foundation Stage 1 Wall plate Windows Rooftiles Door frames Walls Foundation Wall R2 400 (R600 per house) Less 10% Retention = R2 160 (R540 per house) Stage 2 Stage 3 3rd payment Roof on 1. Casting surface beds and floating smooth Stage 2 2nd payment Walls up to roof height complete 1. Setting out. Building beam filling 4. Cleaning house and site Walls Foundation Walls Floor slab House Complete Foundation Wall plate Rooftiles Windows Roof Door frames Glass Door Walls plastered & painted Foundation Wall R3 600 (R900 per house) Less 10% Retention = R3 240 (R810 per house) Foundation Filling Stage 4 Final payment Retention work done 1. Placing and levelling concrete 3. Making and erecting roof trusses 3. Building all walls to plate level 2. Building in cills and lintels 4. All work on final completion list done to satisfaction of WHA and the homeowner. Bagging outside walls 2. Painting doors and windows 6. Hanging doors 5. and digging trenches 2. Painting all walls 4.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Example of a Payment Milestone Sheet. and Equipment Purchase Agreement used on the Project: Wattville Housing Association Tamboville 2 Pilot Housing Project – Payment Milestone for Houses Stage Payment Stage Stage 1 1st payment Work Completed (Words) Foundations and floor complete 1. Building foundation walls. Fixing roof sheeting and ridging Walls Foundation Walls Floor slab Foundation Wall plate Foundation Roof Rooftiles Windows Door frames Walls Foundation Wall Filling R3 200 (R800 per house Less 10% Retention = R2880 (R720 per house) Stage 3 Stage 4 4th payment House complete 1. WorkedPayment Certificate. (Final completion certificate and “happy letter” signed) Home-owner Foundation R1 200 (R300 per house) Wattville Housing Association Construction Team Certificate 129 . Building gables 2.

15 Certificate Details: Certificate no.S H F BP5 2006 Wattville Housing Association Construction Payment Certificate Contract Details: Employer: Wattville Housing Association Contract: Contract no.: 4 Certificate date: 25 August Construction team: Team Radebe Contract sum: R12 000.00 R 5 880.00 R 6 200.00 R 2 910.00 AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO TEAM R 2 790.00 VALUATION: Stand no. 14.00 R 120.00 Construction Management Agent: JJ Nkosi Date: 25 August For: Construction Team: Petrus Radebe Date: 25 August 130 .00 R 620. 13.00 R 2 970. Completed stage this valuation 3 3 2 1 Previous cumulative value R 1 300 R 1 300 R 700 R R 3 300 This stage value R 800 R 800 R 600 R 700 R 2 900 Total due to date 12 13 14 15 Total R 2 100 R 2 100 R 1 300 R 700 R 6 200 CERTIFICATE: Total certified to date Less: Retention (10%) TOTAL TO DATE Less: Previous payments (1-3) PAYMENT NO. TV2/Rad/001 Stand nos: 12. 4 NOW DUE Less: Deduction for: Loan repayment on equipment purchase agreement R 120.

loss or breakage.3 Deduct R___________ from each of my stage payments and R___________ from my retention or. the undersigned Petrus Radebe request the Wattville Housing Association (WHA) to purchase.1 Deduct R120.1 2.1 3. 1.3 2.00 R 480. Once all moneys owing on the equipment and/or materials have been received by the WHA. then ownership of the said equipment passes to: Petrus Radebe I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above-mentioned equipment in good working order. I will keep the equipment in good condition and use it for the purpose and in the way it is intended to be used. 3. on my behalf.2 The equipment and/or material remains the property of the WHA until all outstanding payments relating to said equipment and/or material has been paid.4 I undertake to be responsible for the above-mentioned equipment from date of delivery. I accept that I am responsible for the security and safe-keeping of the equipment at all times. Petrus Radebe Signature Petrus Radebe Name 10 July Date 131 .2 2.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Equipment Purchase order & Loan Repayment Agreement I. 1.00 R 120. REPAYMENT I undertake to repay the WHA the total amount as reflected above in the following manner: 1. except where a manufacturing defect can be shown.00 from each of my stage payments or. OWNERSHIP 3. the following equipment under the conditions set out below: Description One pair of steel trestles 4 Scaffold planks: 50 x 228 mm x 3 m long TOTAL Cost R 360.00 CONDITIONS 1. 1. RESPONSIBILITIES 2. I accept responsibility for any damage.2 Deduct R___________ from my retention on my contracts or.4 Deduct R ___________ The deductions are to start on the (Date): 12 July 2.

S H F BP5 2006 Construction of the community facilities The facilities comprised a community centre (incorporating the administrative offices of the WCRC). The workforce was again divided up into teams. The crèche was a bigger undertaking. and a team of around 30 was set up for the construction work. During the course of the construction some of the teams established themselves as sub-contractors. plastering team. and so on. and also received funding from the provincial government as a pilot of its Community Based Public Works Programme. and provide them with formally accredited training. The stated objective was to provide employment for women and youth from the community. This indicated total number of workers required.e. a building resource centre/materials depot. its technical advisors and the CMA. bricklaying team. and employed the teams “with risk”. but this time by trade i. Créche 132 . and a crèche. For the crèche a labour resource plan was compiled jointly by the civic. Funding was obtained from the Department of Manpower to have all team members undergo formal accredited training in various trades such as bricklaying and plastering (9 weeks full-time in training centre. as well as the minimum with critical skills to form the core of the team. meaning that empowerment and local economic development objectives were formalised in the funding agreement. A local person with business and contracting experience was once again appointed as managing contractor. The community centre and resource centre were built using the same approach as for the housing component. and some even left for more lucrative sub-contracting to mainstream builders elsewhere. The civic carried out a formal skills audit and recruitment programme in the community. followed by 9 weeks working an “apprenticeship” on site under periodic supervision of the trainers).

without further explanation of why things are done in a particular way. be aware of personal agendas and avoid nepotism • Training should be designed to address the real needs of the project. and not compromising on quality) • The construction manager.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Building resource centre Community centre Lessons learnt: • It is important to work closely with legitimate and representative CBOs when conducting skills audits. should constantly be on the lookout for people who show promise. but fairly. with assistance from on-site supervisory staff. employment on the construction teams. and contract administration procedures • The discipline introduced by contract conditions must be maintained consistently. and the consequences of non-compliance • Construction teams and sub-contractors must be well-briefed as to what is expected from them. Do not just use material that seems to be available “off the shelf” • In training. At the same time though. what support they will (and will not) get. Maintaining progress and quality becomes much easier when construction teams understand the underlying motivations. and create further training and promotion opportunities for them 133 . teams must not simply be shown what to do. and the consequences of non-compliance with contractual responsibilities • All construction activities should be governed by well-crafted and clear written agreements. and recruiting people for. during execution (this includes adherence to agreed time-frames and payment terms. and setting criteria for. levying retentions and penalties.

and decided they could not wait for government to provide them with houses. with the emphasis on providing employment through housing construction and related activities. The project has been described as an initiative under a “community-livelihoods approach to delivery at scale of medium-density housing for low-income families in informal settlements and township-upgrade projects”. provided over 100 self-built houses for members without the aid of government subsidy or other assistance. making use of the consolidation subsidy under the People’s Housing Process (PHP). Construction methods used are simple and quick to learn. and render services to projects that are still establishing themselves. skills and community building. and train a Steering Committee and beneficiaries. and has provided employment for more than 100 people from the community. Mazisisane now builds more than 40 houses per month for beneficiaries. and currently has more than 4 000 members contributing to a savings scheme. With help from Rooftops Canada. Gauteng Introduction The co-operative was established in 1999 (and later registered under the Cooperatives Act) by a group of women in Ivory Park Township who lost their shacks in a flash flood. the co-operative later re-structured to use their acquired skills and experience to provide services to the local Housing Support Centre. The subsidy is used to pay direct labour. At current levels of overheads and consulting fees. and the form of tenure is individual ownership. while operational costs are funded by a provincial Establishment Grant. Houses are at least 40 m2 in size. 134 . The co-operative has built almost 600 houses. adding rooms to the houses each time it was the respective member’s turn to receive the collective savings.S H F BP5 2006 m Masisizane Women’s Housing Co-operative. and certain materials such as bricks are manufactured locally by a brick-making co-operative. A once-off Facilitation Grant from Provincial Government was used to establish the Housing Support Centre (HSC). at least 300 dwellings per year must be built for the HSC to be viable. contractors. Midrand. It is also using its experience to transfer skills to other organisations. They founded a savings club. It is seen as providing poor communities with good quality affordable housing while also creating local jobs. fund the business plan. They are now recognised by the Gauteng Provincial Government as a Housing Support Organisation. and awaiting houses. and in the first five years. which they helped to establish. sub-contractors and materials suppliers. The co-operative has become more of a Worker Co-operative.

Labour and sub-contractors are recruited by means of advertising and word of mouth. If materials are lost while on the HSC premises. and appointed on a trial-and-error basis. for instance. and needs to be taken up with authorities at provincial and/or national level. Although materials control appears to be reasonably good at present. and there is no sign of usage and wastage being formally managed through. There is no UIF registration or Workmen’s Compensation insurance. Materials Materials are ordered by the HSO. materials are delivered to the HSC. Due to costs. each with four workers. plastering. 135 . keeping materials reconciliation records. This may pose too big a risk if volumes grow large. the co-operative is aware that it needs to develop more sophisticated formal control systems if it is to step up scale and pace of delivery. there is no insurance in place to cover loss or damage of materials. and practical issues of insurability. liabilities and risks around these needs to be investigated. and at his risk. In such cases. the cost of replacement is deducted from HSC staff wages and salaries. but are issued directly to the beneficiary for his ownership. and four young trainees) • Eight brick makers • Fifty-six local construction workers (14 construction teams. but no penalties for late completion are levied. Some suppliers will not deliver to the individual sites in the township. Teams sign contracts for fixed prices and contract periods. plumbing and electrical work • An independent foundations sub-contractor who is obliged to employ and train at least half of its workforce (about 10 people) from the immediate community Beneficiaries in some instances also provide “sweat equity”. and the beneficiary must collect them from there. Teams generally provide their own tools.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Organisation of the construction Labour and sub-contracts The Masisizane initiative now employs: • Twelve Housing Support Centre staff (four full-time and four part-time adults. and the legalities. It is not clear if reasonable allowances for wastage are agreed upon upfront. of which one is a fully trained and certified builder) • Around 10 local sub-contractors (with three employees each) for glazing. Lost materials have to be replaced by the beneficiary.

the contracts they need to sign. or daily schedules.S H F BP5 2006 Execution There are no formal work plans. and all instructions are verbal. their rights and obligations. NGO and other support Social Housing Foundation and Rooftops Canada assist in the running of the project. including: • Assisting the centre manager and staff in project planning • Ensuring that resources for project execution are organised • Sharpening the centre manager’s leadership skills • Helping the centre manager to motivate staff and members • Organising meetings with beneficiaries to brief them about project plans and the implementation process • Conducting workshops with construction teams to encourage team building. and to brief them about the project. There is no system in place for written instructions to teams. Each team is given its stand numbers. This needs to be rectified. Payment is made per completed house. a fixed price and a time within which to complete the project. staff administration. and reporting and grievance procedures • Management and operational training of the centre manager and staff • Applying project-management principles and co-ordinating the project with the centre manager • Introducing proper administrative processes for keeping financial and other records. work procedures and accountability • Documenting the project as a case-study and recording the lessons learnt 136 . overall programmes.

appointment and payment of materials suppliers (currently administered by a separate body employed by province) creates problems for Masisizane as the construction implementer. In order to be responsible for timeous delivery of a quality product. and implemented and maintained by the organisation 137 . though. If the scale is to be increased. produce good results on a smaller scale. as gaps arise when people leave • Community-based organisations often do not fully understand the complex environment within which housing development takes place (political. a far more sophisticated construction management approach and system will have to be developed. and they need to be educated about these • Keep the building operations and the institutional issues of membership separate. administrative and funding issues). but substantial additional funding and support are needed to put infrastructure and systems in place for running large-scale building operations effectively • Guard against the centralisation of power and knowledge in a single leader. or a small group. one needs to have effective control over all aspects of the process • Masisizane has shown that collective motivation.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Lessons learnt: • Collective initiatives like Masisizane are good at mobilising membership and savings. Document every experience in easily retrievable and usable form. and jeopardises continuity and succession. Let the housing co-operative concentrate on mobilisation of beneficiaries. procedures and controls. This limits capacity building. dedication and discipline backed-up by at least rudimentary formal systems. and the building co-operative focus on efficient production of quality houses while providing employment opportunities for its members and the community at large • Having little direct control over the selection. legal. and do not rely on institutional memory.

g Lessons learnt: • Once-off training has limited impact. mobilisation. Port Elizabeth As in the case of Wattville/Tamboville. Skills audits were conducted in the community. and collective self-help. and members chosen for the construction teams were sent on accredited building construction courses prior to construction. but the delivery approach was strongly based on community involvement. In Missionvale. by increasing density through smaller plot sizes.S H F BP5 2006 General Motors SA foundation – medium-density housing in the Eastern Cape Missionvale Community Housing Initiative and Sakhasonke Village. and double-storey houses. the houses were built by 15 working teams consisting of 12 people each. quad. Refresher courses are necessary • Solid and continuous supervision and mentoring are needed because of low skills levels and the relative inexperience of the construction teams • No cash transactions should take place on site. row. It creates temptation and opportunities for corruption • Specialist trades such as plumbing and electrical work should be carried out by experienced sub-contractors • It is easy to underestimate the true costs of the co-operative approach to construction. The projects aimed to use the housing-delivery process as a vehicle for broader social reconstruction and upliftment through a more integrated. these projects were not undertaken as formal co-operatives. Design was kept simple to facilitate construction by newly skilled and inexperienced builders. and shared-service connections. process-driven and beneficiary-centred approach. Make sure all angles and contingencies are covered by consulting first with people with experience 138 . and a new housing form for low-income housing was introduced. semi-detached. Housing subsidies were pooled to direct spending towards maximum effect. Costs were saved.

In the end. the managing contractor’s services were terminated. an established refurbishing firm was appointed to provide logistical. The access alley was too narrow for larger delivery trucks. and bulk materials such as bricks had to be moved directly from the truck into the building by hand and wheelbarrow. A consultant provided professional construction management. technical and managerial support to the emerging contractor. and partly in a ground floor court yard. Johannesburg. The building footprint at ground floor covered the whole of the site right up to the pavement on three sides. into 126 family units. and because his contract absolved him from most of the construction performance risk. After experiencing some difficulties with the emerging contractor (mainly around cash flow and underestimation). Its first project was the purchase and conversion of the former Hotel Quirinale in Hillbrow. an emerging contractor was appointed as main contractor for the work. Hillbrow (high-rise inner city refurbishment) The Badiri Housing Association (BHA) was set up by the Hospitality Industry Pension and Provident Fund (HIPPF) to provide housing for low-income workers belonging to the fund. This meant that the contractor had to place his site establishment in the building – partly in the basement. The existing building was some 12 storeys high with a small basement. as the managing contractor had no real interest in the job. Initially. with a narrow alley at the back for deliveries to the basement. The employer bought all materials and financed the working capital requirements. 139 . and the emerging contractor was disbanded as a business and became a contract employee.G U I D E L I N E S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT b Badiri House. This did not work out either. assisting with supervision of a construction team that was organised along co-operative principles to complete the work.

as they will constantly interrupt their own activities to carry a bucket or push a barrow all the way outside. This requires well-trained supervisors. materials and equipment moving past finished floors. Teams doing the work simply place rubble on a pile next to their work area for collection and disposal by the cleaning team. preventing damage caused by workers. This also has a positive psychological influence on the workforce: distances of moving themselves and materials and equipment around become shorter as the project progresses. for instance repainting. vertical chutes should be installed for quick disposal of rubble to the ground rather than carrying out by bucket or barrow • Work should start from the top floor down so the upper floors can be finished and locked. and when everyone is getting tired and impatient to finish • Existing lifts and stair finishes need to be carefully protected against damage by wheelbarrows. scaffold frames) or materials through the building. or hiring specialist “rope access” contractors. or carrying of heavy equipment (for example. The alternatives are swing scaffolds or gondolas suspended from the roof. Actual performance must be noted against this matrix daily. Both options are expensive and this must be taken into account when budgeting 140 . and efficient monitoring and reporting systems and procedures • Removal of rubble and waste from this kind of building can be timeconsuming and uneconomical if left to workers. on a rotating basis and according to a clear plan. It is better to have a small and dedicated rubble removal team roaming those parts of the building where work is taking place. it may not always be practical or economical to erect conventional scaffolding.S H F BP5 2006 Lessons learnt: • When working in a large multi-storey building with many rooms into which workers can “disappear”. If possible. it is important to have a schedule or matrix based on the layout of the building that shows clearly who has been assigned to do what work in which unit(s). When work is to be done to the exterior of a building. so that work can carry on uninterrupted.

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