Note: This is the fifth article in a 6 part series explaining the services of Bureau Xavier David. Previously a general overview of Construction Management, an explanation of the Xavier David Method™, an introduction to Feasibility Analysis & Pre-Design Planning, and the Design Process. Now today an overview the Construction Process followed next week by one more article :
- Feasibility Analysis & Pre-Design Planning
- Design Process
- Construction Process
- Post-Construction Maintenance and Management
Saint-Barthélemy April 2020 — Depending upon the size of the project, the Construction Process can last from a few weeks to several years. Even on simple, small projects the construction site can be a complex undertaking as various trades go about their work without creating problems for each other. Communication and scheduling is key to avoiding costly conflicts.
Advantage Xavier David Method™
Traditionally via the old-fashioned Design/Bid/Build method, the Construction Process begins when Owner gives notice to Contractor to proceed. First a site investigation to expose unforeseen problems such as historical artifacts or environmental conditions. Then procurement of labor, materials and equipment. Subcontractors (concrete, welding, carpentry etc.) are hired. A meeting is set to determine schedule including payments based on progress. As milestones are met, payments are made. But with the Xavier Method™, our experience on St Barts pays dividends during construction. Having been on the island since 1984, Bureau Xavier David has long running relationship with many of the the tradesmen and can deftly avoid the cutthroat mentality of a lowest-bid-wins culture. The accumulated trust of shared history proves advantageous as subcontractors and craftsmen know exactly what is expected of them and lengthy explanations become unnecessary.
Sequencing of Works
As on-site work begins, the Construction Process is remarkably consistent across all variety of project types and styles. First, the site is prepared for the new project. Often this include demolition and/or large machine that might shape the terrain. Then work commences on the major structural elements beginning with foundation and proceeding upwards to the roof. Once the structure is completed and the roof clad, then the next effort is to seal the building to prevent wind and water from entering the interior. This work includes installation of doors and windows as well as external cladding. Work then continues inside with installation of utility components such a plumbing pipes and electrical wiring. Shortly thereafter, carpenters prepare cabinetry for the installation of fixtures such as sinks and faucets. Finally, finishing interior elements such as painting and installation of furnishings are undertaken and then the building is ready for use by its occupants.
As each trade finishes their work, milestones are achieved and eventually the project reaches completion. Typically at 95%, a punch list is compiled as owner and Construction Manager review status of project near completion to ensure satisfactory quality. Finally, at 100%, the building and its’ keys are handed over to the owner. This is a legally significant moment as responsibility and insurances are transferred from the the Construction Manager to the building owner. In some instances, this can even be an occasion for a party. But as we see in our next installment article, just because the building is complete does not mean that Bureau Xavier David’s work is over.