Building construction projects are expensive, technical, and challenging to stay within budget and on schedule – even for owners experienced in the design and construction processes. Owners need to be informed partners on projects, according to Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research at Dodge Data & Analytics, a provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. “Dodge research has consistently revealed that owner engagement in the design and construction process is critical to reducing risk and enhancing a project’s success,” says Jones.
To help building owners navigate this challenge, the AIA Large Firm Roundtable led a coalition of construction industry organizations in creating a concise guide that helps owners anticipate the major causes of uncertainty in building projects and provides best practices to manage and potentially mitigate those risks. The guide, titled the “Project Planning Guide for Owners and Project Teams”, is available for free download.The guide draws on a Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Report — “Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction” — to address the top factors owners need to consider.
This new guide provides a Contingency Calculator that owners can use to plan budget reserves for the entire life cycle of a project. “Surprisingly, the original study found that most owners have no specific methods for determining budget contingencies,” says Clark Davis, FAIA, principal consultant with Cameron MacAllister Group and leader of the Managing Uncertainty program for the Large Firm Roundtable and other sponsors. “This tool alone will help owners save money and improve project performance.”
A leading feature of the guide is a clear, direct explanation of the risks involved in construction projects and the best ways to mitigate them. “We look forward to being able to share this with our clients when we begin new projects,” says Thom Penney, FAIA, President/CEO of LS3P Architects and former national president of AIA. “It will form the basis of an informed discussion about what the owner needs to think about and what we can all do from the start to make projects more successful.”
The coalition of sponsors for this effort includes the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), the Construction Owners’ Association of America (COAA), the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and Graphisoft.