With almost any project, a good deal of preparation and planning has gone into getting to this stage – the actual construction phase of the project. This is also the phase where the potential for future and sometimes permanent issues will arise. Communication is the key to success in most every phase of a project, but it is often critical in this phase.
A tremendous amount of effort and detail has been poured into the creation of a set of design documents by teams of architects, engineers and planners. The resulting product is quite often an incredible collection of information that identifies every detail about the particular project right down to the material, configuration and spacing of each fastener installed.
Sounds easy, right? Just follow the directions. Anyone that has been involved with construction for more than about five minutes understands that this is much easier said than done. The construction teams are comprised of highly skilled individuals who understand their trades and the tasks they perform very well. But do they always understand and think of the other trades working on the same project? To a degree, sometimes, but they rarely understand the full scope of what the other trades need and what their expectations and drivers for success are for any particular project.
So what is the point? The building owner and/or occupant has paid a huge team of professionals, including both design and construction, to deliver an uber-complex project that must be coordinated and interact seamlessly to give the end users the ability to be comfortable and productive and to use the space for how it was intended. Successful design and construction is driven by effective communication of large, diverse teams of professionals. Effective communication is not measured by volume of information but rather by how easily information can be understood, interpreted, coordinated and transformed to reality through each phase of the project.
The commissioning process, when it is applied as it was intended and when administered by knowledgeable professionals, is a key for aligning the owner’s project requirements with what is delivered through the design and construction process. The best commissioning professionals understand this big picture and are successful in assisting the design and construction teams in delivering a product to the building owner and occupant that fully meets his or her needs and objectives.
The construction phase of a project is the point in time when massive amounts of communication become something tangible and real. It is at this point that the reality of limitations and interpretation become evident. Commissioning during a construction phase quite often enables the teams to close the gap between intentions and reality.
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