Reducing Project Costs with Design Technology and Effective Management

Cost savings are welcome in any construction project, as long as they don’t compromise quality and safety. However, many costs are due to unplanned changes during construction. These changes can often be prevented with effective design and better project management.

There are two main ways to reduce project costs during the design stage:

  • To optimize the layout of building systems;
  • To prevent location conflicts between components.

When mechanical and electrical systems have an inefficient layout, they require more materials and labor. At ContractorsToday.com we know that conflicting specifications also waste resources in cases where finished work must be modified.

What Types Of Costs Are There?

  • Fixed costs
    These keep still as the projects run start to finish. It could be various machinery such as vehicles or building tools, as well as accounting software or electricity.
  • Direct costs
    These could be salaries for either employees or contractors. Direct costs are taken from budget funds directly.
  • Sunk costs

These are often considered as “lost”. It could be funds wasted due to errors or wrong supplies.

What are the Elements of Managing Cost?

  • Plan cost variance
  • Choose the right approach for management
  • Estimate costs prior
  • Set baseline
  • Report and control
  • Process for changes
  • Setting the budget

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Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has gained popularity in the construction industry, is a powerful design tool that is also useful for project management.

BIM takes the design process from 2D drawings to 3D models, where the impact of design decisions can be visualized better.

Optimizing the Layout of Building Installations

The visible components of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems only represent a portion of their total costs. There are also elements like conduit, wiring, piping, and ducts, which are normally concealed in walls and ceilings.

The total cost of these elements can be high, especially if their layout was not optimized during the design process.

How 2D and 3D play along?

When three-dimensional installations are represented in 2D drawings, there is a limit to how much information the drawing can show. Providing clear specifications is especially difficult when many components are found together, like in the case of mechanical rooms.

By allowing 3D design and highly detailed specifications, BIM brings several benefits:

  • Design engineers can visualize the layout better, making changes and optimizations that are not evident in two-dimensional space.
  • When there is a location or specification conflict between components, the BIM software can detect it automatically and notify the design team.
  • Contractors and subcontractors can understand the required work better.
  • Since the building design is highly detailed, BIM software can automate cost calculations while improving their accuracy.

To summarize, BIM allows an optimized building design with an accurate budget. The project management staff can use this information as a reference, to compare the completed work and keep track of project costs.

The Importance of Effective Project Management

You can have an optimal building design, but its benefits are only obtained if the finished construction matches the design documents. To ensure this happens, effective project management plays a fundamental role.

Supervision

Design firms often provide supervision services as well, and hiring the same firm for both aspects brings a key advantage: they will be supervising their own design. When design and supervision are handled by different companies, the supervision firm must take time to study the design documents carefully.

Beyond the technical aspects, planning and communication are also fundamental in the project management process.

The contractor must ensure that all materials and equipment arrive at the project site on time while ensuring the availability of skilled labor to operate and implement. Some materials and equipment have a long delivery time, and the purchase must be planned well in advance.

Communication

Communication can be improved with BIM since a detailed building model describes the project better than 2D drawings with annotations. A 3D model is especially useful when different types of equipment are installed in closed spaces, which is common in electrical and mechanical rooms.

Commercial interior designers at A Detailed Pallete say that having a project communication plan is strongly recommended, so all parties are aware of the documentation, what follows what, and who is in charge of signing tasks in and out.

Risk management is also fundamental since all projects are exposed to external threats. Some examples of project risks are unfavorable weather, unexpected material shortages and workplace accidents.

Project managers must identify risks and establish measures to prevent them, as well as mitigation measures in case they occur.

Post project planning and managing waste

As building works go through, a great volume of leftover debris, packaging, and various leftovers accumulate accumulates. That’s why implementing a resourceful approach to use and reuse resources, otherwise thrown to junk can be cost-efficient and partially restore initial investments.

The environmental-mindful Escape Waste Guide shares that the plan to reduce resources thrown to waste happen before a project starts. It’s up to architects and process managers to estimate what, where, and how could work towards reducing costs at the end of a project.

According to junk & rubbish experts Bournemouth Rubbish Clearance, recycling of post-construction leftovers could build up to 5% of your average domestic project, meaning there’s always potential in reducing overall cost.

Conclusion

To handle funds and timespan of any building project in the context and efficiency and results is what efficiency and management chase. A well-done job is measured not only in building regulations and standards. Professional construction works are all about time and budget. That’s why successful management weights on keeping up with spending and schedules.