Thursday, March 24, 2011

Contract Administration Process

 The main processes involved in the implementation of a construction project from stage after development plans have been drawn up and approved, and the necessary fund have been obtained from the Client to ensure completion and settlement of payments for its construction are as follows:

ƒ Preparation of project brief

 Land acquisition

ƒ Site surveying and site and soil investigation

 Preparation of preliminary design and site layout plans

ƒ Detail architecture and engineering drawing;

ƒ Preparation of preliminary estimates

ƒ  Preparation of the tender documents

ƒ  Invitation and receipt of tenders

ƒ  Evaluation and acceptance of tenders

ƒ  Preparation and signing of contract documents

ƒ  Supervision and monitoring the progress of work

ƒ  Extension of time for completion;

ƒ  Imposition of liquidated and ascertained damages

ƒ  Determination of employment of contractors; (when necessary)

ƒ  Completion and handing over of work completed and making good of defects

ƒ  Nomination of subcontractor and suppliers

ƒ  Administration of payments and

ƒ  Preparation of valuation of variation works and the final accounts

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lump sum contracts

A lump sum price may be called for, or a series of lump sums. This is best suited to easily defined, relatively simple constructions, involving little below-ground work. However, some quite large above-ground constructions are paid for by lump sum. Sometimes a separate section of the bill for pricing allows for the foundation work of a building to be paid for ‘on measure’.

In some kinds of civil engineering work the lump sum payment method can pose serious risks upon a contractor, causing him to add a substantial sum to his tender. This is particularly so for design-and-build or ‘turn-key’ projects where the contractor has to undertake detailed design as well as construction. The employer has to pay these additional sums whether or not any risks materialize.

A disadvantage is that an employer may have to pay a high price for any alteration or addition he wants to the project, because the contractor is only committed to undertaking a fixed amount of work for the fixed payment. Payments under lump sum contracts are usually made in instalments as set out in the contract according to stipulated stages of completion, or linked to a programme or activity schedule.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A P Møller School Schleswig - Award News

C. F. Møller Wins RIBA European Union Award and Worldwide Brick Award
The A. P. Møller School designed by C.F. Møller Architects has won both the prestigious 2010 RIBA European Union Award and the 2010 Worldwide Brick Award. The school is located on a scenic site in Schleswig in Germany. The site's interaction with the town of Schleswig and the picturesque landscape of Schlei Fjord was a primary generator of the design.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Types of construction contracts

Types of construction contracts/The Nature of Construction Contracts
A contract is an understanding made between two or more persons, by which rights are acquired on the one side to acts or forbearances on the other. To make an agreement which results in a contract, there must be an offer and acceptance which leads to a binding force of obligation.

Lump sum contract
A lump sum contract is an agreement pursuant to which one party consents to pay another party a set dollar amount for completing the work or providing the goods described in the agreement. Typically, lump sum contracts do not require contractors to provide a detailed breakdown of costs. Rather, the payment of the total contract price is linked to the contractor completing all of the work specified in the contract.

Under this arrangement the contractor is reimbursed for the actual cost of labor and materials, plus charges a fee (typically an agreed-upon lump or percentage of the total costs) for overhead and profit.  This arrangement seldom begins with a blank slate regarding specifications and costs. Rather, the consumer and contractor will create a list of specifications and an estimated budget to match to those specifications.  Although the contractor under this arrangement will have to keep copious records of its costs, most residential consumers in a cost-plus arrangement suffer from kid-in-a-candy storeitis and overspend. One way to prevent breaking the budget is to set a guaranteed maximum price.  However, even a maximum price will not alleviate problems.

Unit Price Contract
In a unit price contract, the risk of inaccurate estimation of uncertain quantities for some key tasks has been removed from the contractor. However, some contractors may submit an “unbalanced bid” when it discovers large discrepancies between its estimates and the owner’s estimates of these quantities. Depending on the confidence of the contractor on its own estimates and its propensity on risk, a contractor can slightly raise the unit prices on the underestimated tasks while lowering the unit prices on other tasks. If the contractor is correct in its assessment, it can increase its profit substantially since the payment is made on the actual quantities of tasks; and if the reverse is true, it can lose on this basis. Furthermore, the owner may disqualify a contractor if the bid appears to be heavily unbalanced. To the extent that an underestimate or overestimate is caused by changes in the quantities of work, neither error will effect the contractor’s profit beyond the markup in the unit prices.

Target Estimate Contract

This is another form of contract which specifies a penalty or reward to a contractor, depending on whether the actual cost is greater than or less than the contractor’s estimated direct job cost. Usually, the percentages of savings or overrun to be shared by the owner and the contractor are predetermined and the project duration is specified in the contract. Bonuses or penalties may be stipulated for different project completion dates.

Guaranteed Maximum Cost Contract

When the project scope is well defined, an owner may choose to ask the contractor to take all the risks, both in terms of actual project cost and project time. Any work change orders from the owner must be extremely minor if at all, since performance specifications are provided to the owner at the outset of construction. The owner and the contractor agree to a project cost guaranteed by the contractor as maximum. There may be or may not be additional provisions to share any savings if any in the contract. This type of contract is particularly suitable for turnkey operation.

Advantages of Suspension Bridges

Suspension bridges are adopted in places where it is difficult to construct other type of bridges. For very large spans, they can be adopted economically.

·         In a suspension bridge, tensile stresses are predominant. Thus it requires high tensile ropes, which are economical than mild steel trusses etc.
·         During construction, temporary central supports do not need to be built, and access to the construction is not required from beneath. This means busy roadways and waterways do not need to be disrupted.
·         The stresses are directly passed to the supports through cables and suspenders, hence slender sections are required effecting overall economy.
·         The area spanned by a suspension bridge is very long in proportion to the amount of materials required to construct bridges.

·         They are light and require no false work.
·         The material of construction can be transported easily.
·         The time of construction is less.
·         They provide the roadway at a low elevation and have low centre of wind pressure.
·         They give good aesthetic appearance.
·         They require no centering for construction.
·         There is no likely hood of failure during erection and after construction.
·         It is the safest structure as cables have vast reserve strength.
·         The chords of the stiffening truss can be repaired without interruption to traffic, while in other bridges the failure of a single truss member causes collapse of the bridge.
  What are the advantages/disadvantages of beam,arch, and suspension bridges?