Our Services - Construction Administration
Written by: Rachel Washington
Construction Administration is one of the services we offer here at MDG. As the civil engineers on a project, we manage the construction administration tasks, coordinate with the contractor and client, and submit for final permits. This task is an important facet of a project, but it’s necessary for all projects.
What is construction administration?
Construction Administration is one phase of a project that takes place once permits have been secured. All projects that involve construction go through the same timeline: conceptual planning, design, permitting, and construction administration. Once a project has been fully permitted, construction begins.
This phase includes permitting, approving materials to be used on the project, attending coordination meetings, providing solutions to overcome construction hurdles, periodic project visits to ensure the site is being constructed according to our engineering plans, and submitting the applicable paperwork to local government agencies to closeout a project.
why is construction administration important?
While this service is often overlooked, it makes the project move through the various project phases smoothly from start to finish. When the engineer oversees Construction Administration, it’s easy to ensure that the process is flowing as it should and is being constructed according to the plans. If problems arise, it’s easier to catch them during the construction administration phase, correct the mistake, and save the client time and money.
The Key Elements of Construction Administration
Our engineers spend months designing the project according to the specifications of the client and municipality and are legally liable for the finished project. That is why they strongly prefer to also own this phase of the project – so they can oversee the work and ensure the end result is a high-quality product that is constructed according to the specifications of the design they engineered. A few essential elements of Construction Administration are:
- Participate in necessary meetings.
To ensure a smooth project, clear and constant communication are required. From the pre-construction meeting (done prior to construction) to meetings with the contractor, subcontractor, and/or client, having meetings to communicate that status of the project is essential to the project’s timeline and budget.
- Problem solving.
Occasionally, problems come up during a project. During this phase, the engineer can quickly resolve the issue. This flexibility ensures that the work remains on schedule, which saves the client money in the long run.
- Approve any changes.
If things take a turn due to the availability of supplies or from an issue during construction, we have the familiarity with the ongoing construction to make the best decision for the future of the project and approve any changes. This helps to avoid any delays and allows the client to be kept in the loop.
A small deviation can cause large design problems that are unforeseen by those who don’t know the history of the project, and a small change that is not fully vetted out can cause heavy delays when it comes to project close outs and building occupancy.
MDG has a Senior Construction Inspector that makes trips out to the field, checking in with the contractor, examining the supplies to ensure the correct ones are being used, and to ensure the overall quality of the work. Having regular site visits allows us to catch any mistakes or issues before they become a problem and/or cause delays.
Review submittal packages.
Once construction is done and the work has been verified, our engineers work with the contractor to gather all the required documents and submit the final package to the permitting agencies to close out the project. Being part of every phase of the project makes this process smoother.
Why Do We Recommend this Service?
We don’t offer this service as way to profit from your project. We genuinely have the client’s best interest in mind. Our Construction Administration service goes hand-in-hand with the other engineering services we offer and creates a seamless transition between the design and construction of each project. Having our engineers and construction inspector as an integral part of the project has many benefits:
- Simpler closeout process.
- Since the engineer must sign off on the final plans to close out the project, it’s easier for them to do so when they’ve been closely involved throughout each step of the construction process.
- Avoids potential problems or delays.
- Since our engineers are experienced with the local municipalities and their permitting requirement, having them part of the construction phase often helps expedite permitting and keep construction deadlines on schedule.
- Can save the client money.
- Having us involved from project conception to completion means there are faster turnarounds in responses, more consistent and better communication between all parties involved in the project, less delays and construction issues in the field, and expedites the closeout process.
What Should You Know?
If you are considering the benefit of having this service for your project, consider the following:
The Cost is Worth it. We understand that you want a high-quality result without emptying your bank account, which is why we recommend this service. While it seems counterintuitive to pay us for another service, it can save you time and/or money in the long run. Similar to how you pay for health insurance in case you need to see a doctor, Construction Administration is “insurance” for your project.
There’s No Spotlight. It is also important to know that much of what happens during this phase is behind the scenes. Our professionals work hard on your behalf and are available and capable of handling anything that occurs during the construction phase. They aim for a successful project and have the client’s best interest in mind. So, while you may not see progress in certain ways, our team is working hard behind the scenes to ensure your project is a success and meets your expectations!
Choose Well. Your choice of a contractor plays a major factor in the ease of this phase. If you need help in choosing a good contractor for your project, just ask your project manager! Making a good contractor choice will help make the process easier. The opposite is also true and makes this service all the more critical to the success of your project!
A Real Life Example
MDG recently took over the Construction Administration on a project that was done by another engineer. We oversaw the project through construction using plans/design that were designed by a different company. During submittals for the stormwater system, our engineers noticed a couple items that did not match the plans. Upon further review, they discovered more issues with retention ponds and areas that were low spots in the road. Because of MDG’s due diligence, our engineers were able to fix the problems before construction started. This saved the client not only time and money, but also prevented them from having their project constructed with critical design flaws that would cause long-term issues.
Meet Our Construction Administration Team
Senior Construction Inspector
Ivan Lamos, EI
Branden Marcinell, EI
In need of civil engineering services for your project? We would be happy to partner with you!