Construction Projects…..

If your idea of a Construction Project is a bunch of Red-necked workers in hard hats with tool belts standing around whistling at passing women, here is some of the terminology I have to deal with in the bidding, construction, and completion of a typical modern Construction Project…..
Activity: A discrete part of a project that can be identified for planning, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling the construction project. Activities included in a construction schedule consume time and resources.
Critical Activities are activities on the Critical Path. They must start and finish on the planned early start and finish times.
Predecessor Activity: An activity that precedes another activity in the network.
Successor Activity: An activity that follows another activity in the network.
Critical Path: The longest connected chain of interdependent activities through the network schedule that establishes the minimum overall Project duration and contains no float.
Float: The measure of leeway in starting and completing an activity. Float Time is not for the exclusive use or benefit of either Owner or Contractor, but is a jointly owned, expiring Project resource available to both parties as needed to meet schedule milestones and Contract completion date.
Free Float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without adversely affecting the early start of the successor activity.
Total Float is the measure of leeway in starting or completing an activity without adversely affecting the planned Project completion date.

…..And here is the one I really love:

Fragnet: A partial or fragmentary network that breaks down activities into smaller activities for greater detail.

So, the next time you think that all it took was a bunch of Peanut-Heads to build the building you work in, just re-read this post……

5 Responses to “Construction Projects…..”

  1. uh huh. 😉

    So what’s the term for the limbo state when it’s cheaper for the contractor to pay the penalty than the overtime required to finish the construction?

  2. Here is a direct quote out of the contract specifications for the project I am currently bidding….. The amounts vary from contract to contract…. I have seen them as high as $1,000 per day.

    “The Contractor shall pay the Owner the sum of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) per day for each and every calendar day of unexcused delay in achieving Completion beyond the date set forth for Completion of the Work. Any sums due and payable hereunder by the Contractor shall be payable, not as a penalty, but as Liquidated Damages representing an estimate of delay damages likely to be sustained by the Owner, estimated at or before the time of executing this Agreement.”

    “Liquidated Damages” is the keyword – No such thing as a “Penalty” in the Construction game……

  3. Death by euphemism, eh?

    Anyway, in the case I’m thinking of, the dollar amount for the penalty…. er, “liquidated damages” was far too small.

  4. As my company deals exclusively with government and commercial contracts, there is really no way to do a “bad” job or not finish a project without “dire” consequences…. First, you have to be certified by the specified product manufacturer and they are usually required to furnish a 20-year NDL (No Dollar Limit) warranty for any material failure of the finished construction….. So, it’s very doubtful if they are going to certify a “Fly-by-Night” contractor…. You then have to furnish a Performance Bond, which guarantees completion of the project in accordance with the plans and specifications, a Statutory Bond, which guarantees that you will pay for all materials and labor incorporated into the project, and finally a Maintenance Bond, which guarantees that you will promptly, and at the contractors expense, repair any defects and resulting damage, other than Acts of God, that occur for a period of 5 years after final acceptance….. Again, I don’t think an insurance company is going to bond any “Fly-by-Nighters”….. They pretty well cover all bases…. Now, individual, residential work is a whole different ballgame…. “Bubba” with a ’60 Ford pick-up and a step ladder is a “Contractor”….. He’d be impossible to find “After-the-Fact”, and you don’t even want to know what his definition of Liquidated Damages is….

  5. #5 by Randalf the Grey

    If you work on a flat-work crew ( pouring concrete ), a “float” is also one of the tools. And there is a larger version of this tool called a “bull float”.
    When I worked on a framing crew, we only wore hard hats when an O.S.H.A. inspector was scheduled to do a “surprise” inspection. We mostly just stood around and whistled at passing women.

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