Hong Kong architecture emphasizes contemporary approaches namely, modernism, postmodernism, and functionalism. Using this approach Hong Kong has now become the center of modern architecture, with old buildings being destroyed as the new buildings are constructed. I was lucky to take part in the construction of one of the largest buildings in Hong Kong, 346m tall, which is located in the Queen's Road Central and was completed in 1999. Nowadays, it is regarded as the renewal project of the unique skyscraper made of steel without a reinforced concrete core. During the construction, I was I was charged with the management of the renewal building renewal process that took place in 2007, and this was one of the interesting roles in the project.
Construction projects symbolize an exceptional set of activities indispensable to fabricate a unique product. It is always perceived that the success of a project is determined by meeting the criteria of cost, time, safety, resource allocation, and quality as defined by a proprietor. Project Management helps to accomplish goals and objectives through the intended expenditure of resources. The site manager must control, avert, or alleviate the effects of any occurrence or situation that could affect project success. As a site manager, I was in charge of the workers at the site and acted as a tradesman between the project manager and the workers. I was responsible for reporting the issues as well as the progress of the building to the project manager to I made sure that everything was going as planned. This included the analysis of the construction materials, if they were on the site and if they were sufficient. I have also obliged to supervise the safety of the equipment. Since there are many challenges and risks that may occur as a result of carelessness among the workers, it was, therefore, my role to guide the workers on what they had to do. It also involved the analysis of the site to make sure it meets the laws and regulations guiding the process of construction in Hong Kong. Additionally, I also elaborated the working schedule to give the workers the direction so that they could understand what they were supposed to do. The arrangement of the materials to be delivered to the clients within the stated time was also my responsibility. It includes the allocation of resources appropriately to avoid confusions that may lead to accidents in the process. This report will critically analyze my role in the center building project and present the different experiences that I encountered during the project.
1.1 Project Overview
The project concerned the construction of the large center building in Hong Kong. Since the height of this building is significant, it was not an easy thing to work, and the process involved international engineers on the ground monitoring its progress day and night. The project was also involving considering the fact that it took long, and updating the progress to the project manager was something that I was expected to do as frequently as possible. There were also hundreds of workers I had to deal with as I collected the issues they informed me about regarding what they were facing which I had to report to the manager. I can say with the commitment from the ground; the project went on well, and since there were enough funds and materials, we managed to complete the project within the schedule defined. The primary objective of this project was to complete a modern building that meets the Hong Kong architecture regulations within the stated period (Deplazes, 2005). The most important thing was to ensure that this building was stable and did not pose risks to the people, and that are why thorough attention was paid to the materials to be used, the qualifications of engineers that were involved and the durability of this building.
1.2 My Involvement and Responsibilities
There are a number of factors that should be considered during the construction process, and one of them is the feasibility of the construction site. My role was to analyze the site and determine whether it was suitable for the construction, and at the same time, I was expected to keep within the timescale as well as the budget of the project. I was also due to control delays and make sure everything was in order at the construction site. I was responsible for managing the quality of control, the health dangers, and the safety risks as recommended.
I had never taken the role of the site manager before. The main task was to orient me so that I could understand what the site management is when it comes to facilitating projects. Before the beginning of the construction, I was already aware of what was supposed to be done, and what I was to do to manage the workers. At that moment, I was an average manager, and I cannot say that I was advanced. I took the time to go through the schedule every day before reporting at the site to make sure I had done everything properly.
2.1 Key Issue One Time constraints
As a site manager, there were several challenges that I encountered during my service in the project. The issues were very critical as they could result in the drawback of the work making it hard to attain its goals. The main problem I encountered in this project was time constraints. According to the owners, the revenue is lost when the return on investment is not received. At the same time, the user believes that the delays in the construction process have negative impacts on the business and the public as well.
On the contractor's side, time implications include the liquidated damages and the disincentive payments, which may cause the overhead costs and also places a crunch on the cash flow. Thus, extending the durations of the projects limits the ability of the constructor to bid more work. Lack of time management also leads to increased labor and the cost of equipment, which is not worth for the operation of any business. Personally, it was a challenge to schedule the project per the fixed time because the volume of work was immense and the deadline was tight. I was forced to plan the construction operations and monitor the progress. Scheduling the process was not an easy thing as it required the manager to think the project through from the starting point and to provide proper planning.
This schedule was important in providing such a way of communication able to make the work with other people manageable. Scheduling was also critical for implementing the main aim of the project: the organization of the employees’ work within the period. The problems which occurred during that resulted in time management constraints include the delay in the delivery of materials (Muir, 2005). There were incidences when the suppliers delayed the delivery thus affecting the flow of work significantly. I was forced to follow the suppliers up and remind them on time. In addition, there were times when the engineers were involved in other projects simultaneously, and I had to wait for them to come and complete the analysis so that we could proceed.
At the same time, I was supposed to compile the report and deliver it to the project manager within the provided time and to me, this was a challenge. Being at the site, preparing the records and provides them to the project manager require a lot of human power and time. As much I was aware of the impacts of time management, this was not the case to some workers, whom I kept n reminding what they should do. Thus, delaying with any part of the project could have affected the rest of the project, and this is the reason I was conscious of time
The main aim of my work was to provide an analysis that would help the project manager complete the project on time and within the budget. Thus, the most important things were to determine the cost of materials and evaluate the ultimate cost. Using the approach, it was easy for me to keep the cost of materials supplied such as sand, building metals, sand, and many others were well recorded with their respective costs. Also, I also made sure the materials were delivered within the time so that the workers could not have to wait for the materials for long. One thing that I made sure was that the workers started working immediately they arrived with no cases of delayed instructions or materials. I was also in constant contact with the engineers to extract any small detail that could be of great help to the success of the project. These were the options that I used to make sure the clients did maintain the original budget, but the quality of the work produced at the end was not compromised. The following options are the ones I used to enhance the efficiency of activities in the project.
Option 1: Contacting the suppliers early enough to make sure they are aware of what they should deliver, the quality and the quantity of the materials that were used in construction.
Option 2: Contacting the engineers who were to be on the ground as early as possible to minimize the cases of lateness (Ching, 2011).
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