In general, Turnaround Time (TAT) refers to the amount of time required for completing a process or a task. A faster project completion is ideal for all kinds of businesses. In construction, project turnaround time and timely feedbacks are vital for ensuring the project progresses according to the timeline, and is within budget until its completion. A smart approach is to optimize the design and construction process to speed up the project while maintaining a reasonable cost. For real estate developers, a faster turnaround time means the tenant spaces can be sold or rented faster.
In theory, faster turnaround time for building projects would mean hiring a larger staff or paying overtime. However, this approach would greatly increase the required finances, making the project much more expensive. Also, considering the current emergency situations of COVID-19, larger staff would also increase the risk of infection.
Let’s take a look at strategies that reduce the project turnaround time, while ensuring optimal performance, improved safety, lower costs and higher profits.
Smart Design Decisions
The project design is an unavoidable and a vital step that not only helps during construction, but also to get a project approved. The project design stage also provides an opportunity to make smart engineering decisions that help in building operations, maintenance and future possible renovation. When working with a team of expert design engineers, equipment layouts and specifications consider not only cost and performance, but also the installation. Building Information Modeling (BIM) can be used for identifying the optimal layout and detect potential conflict between components before installation process.
By following clash detection and resolution process, MEP engineers can detect possible issues before the construction work even begins. Each conflict resolved cuts down the possibility of change order during the construction. Change orders can lead to wastage of material and labor, and also make the project more expensive while adding unexpected delays in the project completion.
The following advantages can be introduced into the project with an optimized design:
Least amount of materials and man hours required, while meeting the project requirements. This speeds up the project delivery.
Optimized drawings and specifications layouts at design stage that avoid workflow conflict among skilled trades.
Faster project approval while ensuring the local building codes are met. Experienced MEP engineers can help avoid multiple revisions for getting the construction permit as soon as possible.
The use of eCommerce in MEP design can also help optimizing the construction projects. The required services can be ordered as itemized lists, which enables exact costs for making the finances much more manageable. eCommerce can also help in expanding the payment options for the required services which can reduce the time spent on payment processing considerably. With the global supply chains disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, design engineers can verify the availability of the materials and equipment. This helps in reducing the accumulated delays in the project.
Effective Project Management
While an optimized building design acts like an instruction manual for faster project delivery, the next step in to make sure the design documents are followed during the construction for ensuring faster turnaround time. Communication is the key. General contractor and all the trade subcontractors must be familiarized with the design documents. In the old days, one of the biggest hurdles in the turnaround time was the communication gap between contractors and engineers.
Coordination among the skilled trades associated with the project is critical to prevent conflicts and minimize delays. Subcontractors must not only be familiarized with the scope of the work, but also how it interacts with the tasks concerning other tradesmen. For ensuring proper communication and coordination, a kickoff meeting is strongly recommended so all the project participants are on the same page. During emergency situation like coronavirus outbreak, these meetings can be conducted with the help of modern design software and online collaboration tools.
To counter the challenges introduced by COVID-19, the following advanced technologies can be used for construction administration, and also complement social distancing measures.
Drones: They allow a detailed site inspection for collection necessary data with minimal interaction in person. They also have the ability to reach viewpoints that are out of reach for humans or are considered as risky.
Wearable Technology: They can help ensuring the social distancing guidelines are followed, and also help provide information about the worker’s environment, activities and biometric conditions.
Digital Construction Documents: They can the accessed individually by the site personnel without the need to handle printed documents that could spread COVID-19.
Technology can not only protect construction personnel from coronavirus, but also make the overall construction process more efficient and safer. They also help with supervision and communication, which are key aspects of the construction project.