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Understanding the construction stage

When work starts on site, you still have an important role to play. Communication is vital - don't be tempted to sit back and let the contractor get on with it.

The construction phase is governed by the contract agreed between you and the contractor – the company building or managing the construction of your project.

The contract sets out who will make decisions and issue instructions on site to the contractor. The decision-making role and authority to issue instructions varies, according to the procurement route.

The construction stage begins when the project activity starts to site. The design phase may overlap with construction to a greater or lesser extent depending on your procurement route, and the type of role played by your contractor.

By this stage you must be sure that the project satisfies all the stated criteria in the best way, and meets all necessary standards and requirements, because change is costly or even impossible once work starts on site.

Before you continue, make sure that you read the following information about understanding the construction stage:

How do I understand the construction stage?

  1. Prepare for use
    At an appropriate point during the construction period, you will need to plan how and when to train, and if necessary recruit staff to operate the project once it is complete.
  2. Minimise disruption and provide optimum working conditions
    Planning the construction process on site is the responsibility of the contractor.
  3. Understand your role during construction
    During construction the main responsibility for the progress of the project lies with the contractor.
  4. Work with your team to deliver the project
    You need to check the translation of the drawings and specifications into the finished building, and set up a procedure for notifying and sorting out defects.
  5. Keep in touch with the site
    Site visits are an important way for you to keep in touch with the progress of the project.

Example of understanding the construction stage

Completion checklist

  • You have a clear understanding of your responsibilities.
  • You are prepared to deal with any problems which occur.
  • You have regular contact with activity on site.