Reducing construction time – Construction Project Management Services and Construction Books


In our previous article Is your construction schedule achievable? we discussed how many construction projects are completed late. This is often because contractors commit to an unachievable completion date. This is costly for both client and contractor.

In the article we also discussed how sometimes contractors can work with clients to deliver critical components of the project to the client on time, while completing the rest of the project later.

Sometimes however project dates are immovable and contractors must throw in extra resources or come up with innovative construction methods and solutions.

​In this article we discuss some methods to shorten construction time.

#constructionschedule #constructionprogramme #constructionprogram

“It is often possible to reduce construction time using innovative construction methods and techniques, together with good planning and scheduling.”

Case study: We had to construct a concrete cooling tower structure as can be seen in the above photos. To speed up construction while we were constructing the box structure we constructed the 2 concrete flues on the ground. The client had a 300 ton crane on the project which we were able to use to lift the completed flues onto the top of the box structure. This saved about 3 to 4 weeks of construction time.

Reducing Construction Time

It is possible to reduce construction time by:

  • Employing more resources.
  • Working longer hours or double shifts – this could be less productive and increase costs and may not be possible on some projects.
  • Changing the sequence of construction activities.
  • Using a different construction method – for example modules, precast and prefabrication. Even consider alternative foundation designs. ​Read for more.
  • Simplifying the design.
  • Using different materials.
  • Paying Suppliers extra to expedite deliveries where this is a problem.
  • Analysing where the bottlenecks are – what is slowing or impacting the schedule the most – and trying to eliminate these._

But reducing construction time sometimes comes at a price

But reducing construction time sometimes comes at a price

  • Additional cost.
  • Additional risk.
  • Potential quality issues.
  • Possible issues with neighbours.
  • Possible safety problems.

These risks must be balanced with the advantages of completing the construction project quicker. Although of course safety and quality should never be compromised no matter the time savings.

There is a point when you cannot achieve the impossible

There is a point when you cannot achieve the impossible.

  • There are no more resources.
  • The safety risks are too great.
  • The design cannot be changed.
  • The costs are exorbitant.
  • You cannot work more hours.

The client must be informed that their construction schedule is impossible.
#constructionmanagement #constructionprojectmanagement #constructiondelays

​Have you committed to a construction schedule that was impossible? What were the consequences?

© 2022 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.

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