The Building Team Members: People Involved In Construction Projects
Building is a collaborative process that relies on the contributions of each team member.
The building owner, who finances and commissions the work, plays a crucial role in employing all other personnel. They have the responsibility of appointing the planning supervisor, usually the architect, and nominating the principal contractor. This is in accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994.
The architect, acting as the agent for the building owner, is responsible for designing, advising, and ensuring that the project remains within budget while complying with the design specifications.
The clerk of works serves as the architect’s on-site representative on large contracts. Their primary function is to facilitate communication between the architect and the main contractor, ensuring that construction progresses according to the design. While they can offer advice, any directives must come from the architect.
The quantity surveyor is engaged to prepare cost evaluations and bills of quantities, check tenders, provide interim valuations, implement cost controls, and advise the architect on the cost of variations.
Consulting engineers are employed to offer specialized advice and design expertise in areas such as structural, services, and security installations. They work within the cost and physical parameters outlined in the architect’s brief.
The principal or main contractor is employed by the client based on the architect’s recommendation, either through nomination or competitive tendering. Their role is to oversee the construction program under the architect’s guidance.
On large projects, the contract’s manager or site agent represents the main contractor on-site. They have overall responsibility for ensuring that work progresses effectively and efficiently, adhering to the design specifications and timeline.
The title of general foreman is sometimes used, but it is more suitable for small to modest-size contracts.
The surveyor is employed by the main contractor to check work progress and assist the quantity surveyor in preparing interim valuations for stage payments and final accounts. They may also be responsible for measuring work done for bonus and subcontractor payments.
The estimator prepares unit rates for tender pricing and conducts pre-tender investigations into the cost aspects of the proposed contract.
The buyer or procurement officer, is responsible for ordering materials and obtaining quotations for the supply of materials and services.
The accountant prepares and submits accounts to clients and makes payments to suppliers and subcontractors. They may also have a costing department that allocates labor and material costs to each contract to assist with account preparation.
The administrator organizes the general clerical duties of the contractor’s office, including the preparation of contract documents, payment of salaries, subcontractors’ and suppliers’ invoices, insurances, and all necessary correspondence.
The assistant contract manager is often a trainee in the process of completing professional examinations and assists with the general responsibility for administering site proceedings.
The nominated subcontractor is engaged by the client or architect for specialist construction or installation work, such as lifts or air conditioning.
The domestic subcontractor is employed by the principal contractor to assist with general construction, such as ground workers or bricklayers.
The operatives are the main workforce on-site and include craftsmen, apprentices, and laborers.
The composition of the construction team is determined by the size of the building firm or the size of the contract. For medium-sized contracts, some functions may be combined, such as the surveyor and estimator. Additionally, many design-and-build practices have emerged by combining the professional expertise of architects, builders, and consultants.
The organizational structure of a typical team for a large project is depicted below, with each member fulfilling a specific role.