Planning and Managing a Technology-Driven Construction Project
By Matthew DeVries
Competition in the construction arena has traditionally resulted in an environment where you do whatever you can to make the deal happen, to keep the project going forward and to minimize the risk of loss. In a technology-driven world, we see that the modern construction project, its players and its tools are constantly evolving. From business development efforts, to assigning risk through contract documents, to the ultimate design and performance of the work, the construction industry’s future success will depend on how well projects are planned and managed.
Business Development and Networking
Still not convinced? At www.agc.org there are advanced search features, access to meetings, workshops and training seminars, and communication and information sharing among members. The association’s site is also cutting-edge with a store for purchasing resource materials, a member directory, and a database of local organizations.
How do the parties allocate risk in this promising era of collaboration? As contractors sit down to negotiate a construction contract, collaborative form documents published by ConsensusDocs provide a good framework for collaborative contracting. Specifically, ConsensusDocs 300 is a tri-party agreement that binds the owner, designer and contractor at the inception of the project, requiring them to collaborate in the planning, design, development and construction of the project. They share the project risks and rewards differently than the traditional project. Negotiation in contracting will continue to be a necessary process, even where the parties agree to share certain risk in a collaborative arrangement.
In 2012, ConsensusDocs created a new platform and updated several of their most popular documents to make construction contracting even easier. See what's new at www.ConsensusDocs.org.
Technology in Design and Construction
In addition, innovative technologies such as cloud computing, iPads and other tablet computers are becoming more commonplace on the jobsite. Immediate access to project specifications, revised drawings and field instructions allow owners, designers and contractors to better communicate with each other throughout project performance. In many instances, collaboration through tablet computing significantly reduces requests for information and change order requests, as well as saving numerous hours in response time.
Matt DeVries is a member of the construction service group of Stites & Harbison PLLC and is the founder of www.bestpracticesconstructionlaw.com, a construction-related blog focused on transportation, health care and sustainable design and construction. DeVries represents contractors, subcontractors, owners and sureties in construction disputes. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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