Starting a commercial project

Starting a commercial project

Commercial Project

A successful commercial construction project is one that is delivered ‘on time’, ‘on budget’ and ‘on quality’.

These ‘project’ goals must be balanced against the client’s relationship status and reputation, which will affect the longer-term goals of a contracting organisation.

The tradition view of construction being carried out by a small team of design consultants working for a client that was then given to a Chartered Surveyor to seek tenders from contractors has changed. Projects have become more complex with a less clear cut set of roles and responsibilities set for any one professional on the project but yet still the need for accountability and control. This page is an introduction to the many services that you might need at different stages of the project with enough information to help you decide if you need a professional to provide them – note it might be someone already on your team that can help.

Option analysis

As a client, you need a professional that will provide realistic options for your specific development opportunity to suit business needs. Financing and marketing analysis are at the heart of this research and require property & construction specific knowledge.

Project Management

The primary role of a project manager is to be the ‘single point of contact’ with the design team, contractors and third parties on behalf of the client. They are responsible for managing the project lifecycle which includes the coordination of areas including reporting, programming, scheduling, project team assembly, appointments, fees cash-flow, approval of payments and end of project reviews. The project manager will ensure that all of the third parties work to a schedule to ensure completion of a functionally and financially viable project that will be completed on time within authorised cost and to the required quality standards. Chartered Surveyors from many different backgrounds will be excellently qualified to provide this support, depending on the nature of your project.

Stakeholder Management

Larger projects come with a greater level of complexity, such development projects require multiple professionals including architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and those involved in fire safety and health and safety. A professional who has the primary function of being the primary interface from the start ensures that the project is will be professionally planned and executed. Also, these professionals will be able to manage the ever-changing legal and regulatory requirements through all relevant obligations will be fully adhered to.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Creating a physical and digital building require planning an expertise from the outset. Ensuring your team has experts in Building Information Modeling (BIM) which produces digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a building. Properly delivered BIM projects can have a lasting value for the building over its life.

Planning and cost estimating
It is important that you have a specialist to oversee the planning and coordination of the project through its lifecycle. The Project Manager will provide an insight into resource planning and cost estimation, which will ensure that the client will obtain maximum value for money on their project.

Procurement & Tendering
A large part of the role of the Chartered Project Manager is to negotiate with external suppliers, agencies and professionals involved in the project implementation. A Chartered Project Manager will develop and implement the procurement strategy appropriate for the project. A vital phase involves the preparation of tender documentations and analysis of the returned tenders. The Project Manager will also manage the negotiations and ongoing relationship with the successful tenderer. Advise on procurement strategy appropriate for the project. Prepare detailed tender documentation that will reduce the possibility of cost overruns on the project. Analyse tender returns and negotiate where appropriate, with the successful tenderer.

Contract Administration
Prepare contract documents and advise the client on the content of same and advise of all actions required by the client during the process.

DESIGN PHASE

Design Team Lead

The design team plays a vital role in ensuring the finished product meets both the practical and technical requirements of the buildings intended use and client requirements. Depending on the project, some professionals can develop a project from initial conception through to final design stage whether commercial or residential. To do this the professional needs a wide knowledge base to lead a multidisciplinary team necessary for a new build project.

Design Economics & Cost planning/estimating

Optimise cost and value of your project from the start, the use of a Chartered Surveyor can add value at the early design stages of a project through design solutions focused on your business case. They will ensure that the client will obtain maximum value for money on their project.

Topographical survey

The production of accurate topographic plans and models in 2D or 3D showing the topography of the landscape, together with site extent and all services on or close to it and access information is a primary responsibility for the Chartered Geomatics surveyor.

Life Cycle Costing

Provide the client with the total cost and spend profile for their building or in the case of proposed new buildings prepare cost options on the likely total cost of the building over its life span and review the current capital cost options available to reduce the life cycle cost of the building. This can typically include a review of the Mechanical, Electrical, finishes and indeed the fabric of the building.

CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Setting out the Site

This is the first in bringing the design to the site. Prior to the commencement of excavation works, a site set out provides high accuracy markers both physical and digital (find out more about BIM) to ensure no matter how complex the project the construction elements are in the right place on the ground. The site set will also ensure that all construction is completed within your legal boundary, preventing a costly mistake. A survey control network of permanent reference points on-site in local or national grid to millimetre accuracies will be established for this purpose by the Chartered Geomatics Surveyor.

Project Implementation & Monitoring

Oversight and management of all aspects of the construction project are essential for its success.

Commercial Management

This role is about maximising the potential of a business in terms of profitability. The commercial manager either as part of their other duties on the project or working with other consultants – monitors, or controls, internal processes such as production, and manages external relationships with customers, clients and trading partners. During the works, you will typically want to know the value of the works as undertaken by the contractor at regular intervals. The contractor will thus only be paid for work physically done. This will help with cost control as your professional surveyor will negotiate the cost of any additional works requested of the contractor. Periodic cost reports will be issued at agreed intervals to the client outlining the cost status of the project vis-a-vis the agreed contract sum. A Chartered Surveyor will negotiate the final account with the contractor and report thereon to the client.

Taxation Advice

You need not go to an accountant to get specialist advice on Capital Tax Allowance. This is a professional service that many Chartered professionals provide on the Capital Tax Allowance calculations for owners of buildings.

Statutory Compliance

The Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2018 require owners, builders, and registered construction professionals to demonstrate through the Statutory Register of Building Control Activity that the works concerned have been designed and constructed in compliance with Building Regulations. The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (BCAR) provides for a much more comprehensive system of monitoring and control of certain buildings or works. The legislation requires mandatory design certification, lodgement of plans and particulars, builder’s supervision and certification. Compliance must be verified by a mandatory inspection plan prepared by an appointed Assigned Certifier (AC). Inspections with inter-reliance on ancillary certification is required by key parties involved in the building process. This will affect certain buildings and works including those requiring a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC). Find out more about BCAR here.

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