Five Things You May Not Have Known About Construction Services

October 9, 2019

Construction Services personnel works closely with owners, engineers, architects and contractors to be the “eyes and ears” through all phases and functions of the construction process.

They build trusting partnerships and protect a client’s interests by constructing each project with conformity, approved plans and specifications.

A successful team focuses on maintaining collaborative relationships, implementing a trusted advisor approach and being proactive in offering smart, innovative solutions to every challenge. You might even view the work these teams perform as a public service, given the growth and large amounts of development occurring today.

State Highway 121/Sam Rayburn Tollway, Collin County, Texas

Here are five things you may not have known about Construction Services:

1. The lineup of services includes the following:

  • Construction management (including all aspects of project administration)

  • Field inspection

  • Materials testing and technical services associated with transportation systems (roads, highways, bridges and Intelligent Transportation Systems)

  • Municipal infrastructure (utilities and facilities)

  • Site development construction

2. Construction engineering and inspection (CEI) and public works inspection are the two primary methods of field inspection. A major chunk of CEI efforts is for long-range transportation infrastructure projects, in which everything is constructed according to, for example, TxDOT or FDOT plans and specifications. Meanwhile, a public works inspection effort will focus on plans and specifications from the engineer of record, and most likely, a second set of standards from the municipality in which the project is being constructed.

State Route 30, Miramar Beach, Florida

3. The basic reason field inspectors do what they do is to ensure the contractor builds the improvements and infrastructure to the plans and specifications—ensuring safety by eliminating the potential for a failure, promoting accountability, and maintaining budgets by verifying projects are constructed correctly the first time.

4. Touch points vary from eight hours a day to once every few weeks, depending on the dynamic of the project, location or even phasing. If a deficiency is identified, field inspectors go to great lengths to inform all parties, not just the contractor. The entire development team, and perhaps a municipality, will be made aware of the situation so problems don’t escalate out of control and further strain budgets. Nobody wants to tear up and redo paving, for instance, because of a water leak or compaction issue underneath that could have been prevented.

5. Construction Services personnel will be challenged to maintain a positive attitude in the field because nobody wants to be told they are doing a poor job. Emotions run high on occasion. However, highly skilled employees know the difference between stopping an activity immediately because something isn’t being done correctly vs. really working with a contractor to answer questions or help solve a challenging situation by gathering more information. Many types of interactions occur throughout the project life cycle—with contractors, clients and the public—and an accommodating mentality will enable the project to progress more effectively and efficiently.

In the end, everything comes back to specifications. They are created for very important reasons. Field inspectors examine all the little details, the materials, how a contractor handles the materials, how the materials are installed and so on.

It’s a job that requires constant reading, constant research and, at times, constant coaching.

I-10/I-110 Freeway Management System, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Florida

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