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Changes in Constructability

What is Constructability you might ask?

It is simply the ability to construct. Constructability is more commonly referred to here in Australia as Buildability.

One of the best definitions of Constructability I have seen is “The optimal use of construction knowledge and experience in planning, design and procurement and field operations to achieve project outcomes”. Project outcomes will vary on the type of project and the type of client as sometimes it is to achieve lower costs and higher profitability. Other times it is to reduce risks by reducing the overall length of the construction programme. Every project is different and hence the concept of constructability will be applied differently to every project.

We have been building the same way for a long time and only recently has there been any major change in construction methods.

Some exciting changes to construction methods over recent years include the following:

  • The use of precast construction

  • The use of modular type buildings

  • The use of Pod Bathrooms

  • The use of different types of materials

These changes in construction methods were a direct result of constructability where efficiency in construction methods and materials were sought to reduce construction costs and to reduce the overall construction program.

Changes in Construability have perhaps best been seen in the different forms of delivery of projects that has developed over the years. When the vast majority of projects were delivered as ‘Traditional Lump Sum” there was little construability put into the design as there was little or no incentive for the Builders to provide their view as they would not be rewarded for it.

As the concept of “Design and Construction” developed the concept of Construability began to have an influence in the design stage. Builders would “value engineer” the design to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of construction. The Fast tracking of the design and construction stage was essentially a form of Construability.

More modern forms of Project Delivery such as Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), Managing Contractor (MC) and Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) have embraced the concept of constructability. The benefit of these types of project delivery methods is that they encourage and provide an incentive for Builders to provide constructability advice with the aim of reducing costs, reducing construction program and most important reducing project risk. In the current socio-economic climate, the reduction of project risk is a critical project objective.

At Boston Global we understand that the effective use of Constructability can help reduce risks on projects by value engineering the design to take into account any adverse effects that may increase costs or increase the program. The use of Constructability, and the ability to select consultants and Builders who understand the concept, can lead to successful projects.

Written by Michael Viskovich

This document has been prepared by Boston Global. Documents published on this website are for general information only and are not intended to provide you with personal financial advice as we do not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. Replication of this information requires prior approval and appropriate referencing to the entire document.

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