CEng 146n
Construction Methods and Project Management
Project Network is a distributed model of work to
be completed in a project. Such a model includes a
hierarchy of interdependent work elements
(processes, tasks, activities) sequenced and
prioritized to identify and define the total effort of
the project.
PERT was developed as a project schedule planning
technique in the 1950s for the US Navy Special
Projects Office, while CPM was developed at
roughly the same time by Morgan R. Walker and
James E. Kelly. Both methods are used to identify the
minimum time needed to complete a project by
considering all inter-dependent project activities that
form the longest path or duration.
Three-time estimates for
each activity, assuming a
distribution for the time
How long the activity can be delayed without
extending or increasing the project
completion time.
1. Construct a project network
2. Perform forward and backward passes
3. Determine the project completion time
4. Calculate the slack values
5. Determine the critical path/activities
Activity (A) ES EF
Time (t)
---------------------------------------------------------------MANAGEMENT AND ITS PROCESSES
Project Management (Analogy)
Does not involve
probability but actual
activities in a project
Critical Path Method (CPM)
Actual time estimate of activities in a project. The
time estimate is determined by the estimator, who
is expected to be an experienced individual. The
estimator would have had a long record of similar
projects in the past.
For each activity, there are four-time estimates:
Earliest Start (ES)
The earliest time it takes for an activity to
Earliest Finish (EF)
An early start of an activity that will lead to an
early finish. The assumption is that the
activity begins with ES and ends with t.
Late Start (LS)
A delay in the start of an activity. The latest
time an activity can begin without delaying
the project completion time.
Late Finish (LF)
The late finish that could be allocated without
extending the minimum completion time.
*Slack Value
is meeting the needs and satisfaction of the
ultimate end user of the project, the owner.
Quality is the responsibility of all participants
in a project, including all levels of
management and workers in each of the
principal parties.
An attitude of achieving quality must be
instilled in everyone and perpetuated
throughout the work environment. The
attitude should not be “What can we do to
pass quality control or final inspection?”
Instead, it should be “What can we do to
improve our work and what is the best
way we can furnish a project that meets
the needs and satisfaction of the owner?”
Key points in maintaining quality
Project Management
The art and science of coordinating people,
equipment, materials, money, and schedule
to complete a specified project on time and
within the approved cost.
Responsibilities of Teams and Project
Combine admin and behavioral knowledge
Create a cordial environment that enables
members to uplift each other
Responsible for resolving disputes and
establishing control
Acts as the LEADER
Should develop its own leadership style
The drive to achieve results must always be
present. This attitude must also be instilled in
everyone involved in the project. Good
communication skills are a must for a manager.
The management of a project requires the
coordination of people and information.
Coordination is achieved through effective
Project Management is Functional
Management is
concerned with
concerned with
What must be done
When it must be done
How much it will cost
Coordinating overall
Multi-discipline focus
Reliance on others
Project quality
A generalist’s
How it will be done
Who will do it
How well it will be
Coordinating specific
Providing technical
Technical quality
Technical viewpoint
A specialist’s
Project Management – the process of
initiating, planning, executing, controlling,
and closing the work of a project to achieve
a specific objective
Functional management – managing the
routing activities in the organization relating
to various functions such as production,
sales, marketing, finance, etc. in order to
achieve the overall objective of the
---------------------------------------------------------------PLANNING AND ITS NATURE
I. Planning
the process of thinking about the activities
required to achieve a desired result. It is also
a fundamental management function that
involves deciding beforehand what is to be
done, when it is to be done, how it is to be
done, and who is going to do it. It is an
intellectual process that lays down an
organization’s objectives and develops
various courses of action by which the
organization can achieve those objectives.
the formulation of a course of action to guide
a project’s completion. It starts at the
beginning of a project, with the scope of
work, and continues, throughout the life of a
A plan is the output of planning in which it
provides a methodical way of achieving desired
results. It also serves as a useful guide since
without it, some minor tasks may be allotted with
major attention which can somehow hinder the
accomplishment of objectives.
Determining Resources Needed
Determination of resources (both human
and nonhuman) that are required by a
certain strategy or tactic will follow the
moment that all the strategies and tactics
have been devised already. This should be
done to satisfy strategic requirements.
Setting Standards
During the planning stage, the setting of
standard for measuring performance may
be set. A standard is defined as a
quantitative or qualitative measuring device
designed to help monitor the performance
of people, capital goods, or processes.
II. Organizing
the arrangement of resources in a systematic
manner to fit the project plan. A project must
be organized around the work to be
performed. There must be a breakdown of
the work to be performed into manageable
units, which can be defined and measured.
III. Staffing
the selection of individuals who have the
expertise to produce the work. The persons
that are assigned to the project team
influence every part of a project. Most
managers will readily agree that people are
the most important resource on a project.
People provide the knowledge to design,
coordinate, and construct the project. The
numerous problems that arise throughout
the life of a project are solved by people.
IV. Directing
the guidance of the work required to
complete a project. The people on the project
staff that provides diverse technical expertise
must be developed into an effective team.
Although each person provides work in his
or her area of expertise, the work that is
provided by each must be collectively
directed in a common effort and in a
common direction
V. Controlling
the establishment of a system to measure,
report, and forecast deviations in the project
scope, budget, and schedule. The purpose of
project control is to determine and predict
deviations in a project so corrective actions
can be taken. Project control requires the
continual reporting of information in a timely
manner so management can respond during
the project rather than afterward. Control is
often the most difficult function of project
---------------------------------------------------------------CONSTRUCTION METHODS
are the techniques construction professionals
use to build structures and complete projects.
Classified by the materials they require, their
design and their purpose, professionals
separate construction methods into many
types. Being able to identify some of these
types helps establish your career in the
construction field.
The building practices professionals use
when creating houses, offices, and other
buildings. The construction method a team
of professionals decides to use o􀅌en
depends on factors such as costs, the
materials available, the expertise of the
construction team, and the building’s
professionals, engineers, and architects to
understand. This knowledge helps design
structures, plan projects, and create safe
working environments. It is also useful
information to know when interviewing for
positions related to the construction field.
Precast Flat Panel
When construction professionals use a precast flat
panel system for a building, they create the floor
and walls of the structure off-site. The project
manager or the engineer who designed the
building often provides a third-party factory with
specific measurements for floor and wall panels.
Then, the professionals transport these panels and
put them together with the use of heavy
machinery. This construction method is useful for
buildings with a repeated design, such as stores in
strip malls or office buildings.
Concrete walls and floors
Professionals pour and cure concrete walls and
floors, also known as cement floors, on the
construction site. Often, when professionals use
special tools to allow the concrete walls and floors
a smooth texture and finish. Concrete walls and
floors offer many advantages, such as low
production costs and minimal maintenance for
the building owner. Professionals use this method
for a variety of projects, including basements and
ground floors for homes and industrial buildings.
Precast concrete foundation
building. Manufacturing professionals create these
steel beams in factories and then ship them to the
construction site. Professionals recommend this
construction method for buildings that need
extensive structural support, such as skyscrapers.
---------------------------------------------------------------CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
The responsibilities of construction managers (CMs)
generally revolve around the paperwork
documentation performed at the jobsite to support
superintendents and subcontractors in the
construction of a building.
Professionals use precast concrete when a project
requires rapid installation of the foundation for a
structure. For these projects, manufacturers create
all the components for the foundation in factories
and transport them to the construction site.
There, construction professionals piece the
concrete components together to lay the
foundation of the building. This is ideal for
construction sites in areas of extreme weather or
contaminated grounds because it requires minimal
soil excavation.
Timber Framing
Construction manager responsibilities include:
Estimating anticipated construction costs
Cost control
Cash flow projections and management
Processing invoices from subcontractors and
Processing pay requests to the project owner
Managing change orders
Financially closing out the construction project,
a variety of other advanced financial
management topics such as activity-based
costing, lean construction techniques, time
value of money, taxes and audits, and the
developer’s pro forma.
Everything that is done at the job site is connected
with the operations of the construction company in
the home office, and it is important that job site
managers understand why they manage finances and
other methods and how the management of work
and finances relates to the operation of the home
office department.
When implementing timber framing methods,
construction professionals use high-quality and
heavy-duty lumber. In this method, professionals
connect long beams of timber together to make a
building frame. Timber framing is a historic
construction method that has become a modern
design trend for American homes.
Heavy Steel Framing
“Construction is a risky business.”
- 70% of the contractors in business on the first
of any year will fail within seven years.
Warning signs from construction firms
Inefficient financial management system;
Borrowed on their credit line to the limit;
Poor estimating processes and/or results;
Poor project management systems and
An adequate business plan is not in place; and
Internal and external communication problems,
among others.
“An increase in volume or total revenue will
solve all of their financial problems.” – FALSE
Much like timber framing, heavy steel framing
attaches steel beams to create the frame of a
A contractor will choose to pursue
construction work or feel they have the
resources to do so
They see a potential to make a reasonable fee
The contractor already has a positive history
with the client or is interested in a future
relationship with the client, and/or they have a
positive history with the architect or engineer
or are interested in a future relationship with
those firms
This type of work is already a specialty of the
the contractor has sufficient bonding capacity
which is especially important on a public bid
qualified and available employees are already
on the payroll and ready to start a new project
the contractor has the necessary construction
equipment or immediate access to equipment
the home office overhead is staffed adequately
with specialists to support the project team
including estimators, schedulers, and cost
Basic Rules
The original estimate and schedule should be
shared with the contractor’s field supervisor,
including superintendents and foremen in
order for them to plan and implement the
work they need to have been given the
complete picture.
eighty percent of the costs and risks on a
project fall within 20% of the construction
activities – this is known as the Pareto 80-20
rule. The job site team should focus on the
riskiest activities.
Cost reporting data has to be timely and
accurate. If actual cost data was not input to
the accounting system accurately, then the
results will be of no value to the jobsite team.
Question to ponder:
“Can they really ‘control’ the operations of the
construction craftsmen in the field, or are they
doing their best to ‘manage’ the process so that the
craftsmen can achieve the estimate?”
Construction projects can be categorized into
different sectors along the lines of type of building
or how the facility is utilized.
Types of Sectors:
1. Commercial
Includes retail, office, schools, fire stations,
churches, and others
Entertainment and hospitality are subsets of
commercial and include movie theaters,
bowling alleys, and restaurants.
2. Residential
Includes individual spec home and custom
home construction
Also includes apartments, condominiums,
senior housing, and hotels – especially if
wood-framed as they include materials and
methods similar to apartments
3. Heavy Civil Projects
include bridges, roads, and utility projects
4. Industrial Projects
Are very specialized including power plants,
utility treatment plants, refineries, and
5. Hybrid or mixed-use developments (MXD)
Include two or three different uses, such as
a downtown high-rise hotel with
underground parking, a restaurant, retail
space, and luxury condominiums on the top
---------------------------------------------------------------LIFE CYCLE OF A PROJECT
1. Initiation
Determination of project’s feasibility by
evaluating pros and cons
Consideration of the project’s objectives for
it can be an opportunity or a problem
Appointment of a project manager to
control the project
2. Planning
Creation of the outline, time frame, and
other activities of the construction plan
Preparation of the budget of the project by
considering the estimated costs. This
includes the costs of the equipment,
material, and manpower.
Project has to be developed in detail to meet
its objectives
Identification of the resources and strategies
to obtain supplies to be conducted by the
project manager’s team
3. Execution/Implementation
Phase of the project is practically into
performance mode
Heads of all the teams executing the plan
will submit their progress report to the
project manager so that he can make
necessary adjustments
4. Controlling/Performance and Monitoring
Performance and progress of the entire
project are measured to ensure that the
project is running as per the schedule
5. Completing/Closing
Finalization and the stoppage of the
supplies, final touches including planting
and landscaping as well as cleaning the
surroundings and final inspection of the
project before handing over the building to
its owners
The Project Manager
The individual charged with the overall
coordination of the entire construction
program for the owner which includes
Among his/her duties:
Clear definition of the goals of the project
Investigate alternative solutions for the
Develop a detailed plan to make the
selected program a reality
Implement the plan and control the project
Construction Professionals
These are the parties responsible for
constructing the project in traditional
management where the owner, design
professional, and contractors would be termed
prime contractors. The prime contractor is
responsible for delivering a complete project in
accordance with the contract documents.
Design Professionals
An individual who plans and designs
buildings and their associated landscaping.
This usually refers to an individual or a
firm engaged in the design or other work
associated with the design or construction.
Engineering-Construction Firm
This is a type of organization that
combines both architect/engineering and
construction contracting. This type of
company has the ability to execute a
complete design-build sequence.
The individual or organization for whom a
project is to be built under a contract. They may
handle all or a portion of planning, project
procurement, and construction.
They are subcategorized to public owners and
private owners.