Why you Should be Bringing a Contractor When you Start Looking for Spaces to Move Into

Most of the time, a professional contractor is only brought in by the projects team towards the tail end of the site inspections. The norm in the Philippines is just to have professionals involved in the process after sites have been selected and contracts of lease or sale are about to be signed.

However, there are actually many advantages to bringing a contractor in much earlier prior to site selection that clients miss out on. Most clients are not aware of the value that professional contractors bring that early in the stage of site selection.

Here are the advantages of bringing a contractor in to do site inspections with your real estate broker: 

Initial Handover Condition Assessment 

Different buildings have different handover conditions, and a contractor can assess how much more you would be spending on fit-out depending on the unit turnover. In other words, a contractor will be able to provide you with insights into which units have less of a cost impact.

Building and Space Specifications 

A contractor can immediately assess the building specifications and would be able to evaluate if your office would be able to move in any special equipment you have with ease or with difficulty (i.e.: the need to reinforce floor loads, Electrical systems, furniture and fixtures, etc…). In addition, they can very quickly calculate if you have too much, or too little space based on your operational needs, and finally, they would be in a good position to assess the building characteristics and efficiency of the building design and layout.  

Pre-construction Planning 

A contractor could prepare a floor layout for you prior to site selection so it is much easier to see what you could do with the space, decide if you would need more space, or less space for your requirement. If you have a really good contractor, they’d throw in some renders as well so you can actually visualize what the space would look like so that you can make a more informed decision.  

Professional Advice for Free 

The best part, most contractors will offer this service at no cost to you. Having a contractor when looking into prospective spaces will maximize your cost savings and contractors can provide you with insights and advice assuring you that each step of the site selection process goes smoothly and according to your vision. 

Need a contractor to assess your prospective properties? T1 Project Services provides a complete range of services such as Project Management, Space Utilization Analysis, and more to complete your envisioned development.  

For project management services, Contact (+63) 2-7971-0238 or send an email to projects@t1projectservices.com today. 

Typical Pitfalls in Construction Project Management and How to Avoid Them

By: Luz Arceo – Project Manager

While every project has its unique aspects, many functions and requirements remain consistent and are made by default. Managing a project brings the need to identify which activities are to be subjected to certain standards to ensure quality work and to provide uniformity. The demand for foresight is perhaps one of the most important aspects of project management to minimize mistakes and the waste of resources.

However, there can still be a lot of circumstances where things could go wrong. While pitfalls are common in construction, there are ways and risk mitigating strategies to avoid them:

  1. If You Can’t Explain It, The Team Won’t Understand It

A key component to a successful project is starting the project well. Though it may sound like a lot of hard work in the beginning, defining the goal of the project and being clear with the requirements reduces confusion, limits the probability of redesign, and create a launch platform around which your project team can gather. In T1, we create a Design Brief that covers all aspects of a project. This is done in collaboration with the client’s team, taking consideration their specific requirements. Having a Design Brief is a great starting point for a great working experience and a smooth sailing project management.

  1. Get your Ducks in a Row (Perform Due Diligence)

It might surprise you to learn that many projects start well in the beginning, but only to be stalled by the discovery of land ownership issues or zoning problems, or boundary issues, or access issues. We recommend clients to invest in performing a Due Diligence per project to know the scope and limitations, as well as prepare for all the needed documents prior to construction.

Get a reputable geodetic engineer and survey correctly. Make sure you have a trusted engineer with the surveyors to ensure that they cover everything, especially the hard-to-reach areas. Measure surveys against your Title. Check your title certificate: Verify who owns the land; Are they the same entity that is conducting the project? Will this be a signatory issue later? Get a reputable topographic survey and geotechnical survey and make sure all of these are done properly. Make sure survey points tie back to a formal survey reference point and make sure future surveys use the same point of reference. In essence, the Due Diligence should verify that your project can deliver what you need it to deliver without inhibitors. In case there are, due diligence allows you the chance to take necessary measures before it’s too late.

  1. Resource Your Project

When we think about project delivery, we often think about what can be delivered in house and what needs to done external to the organization. In our experience, we often find clients relying on the staff who are very able but perhaps don’t necessarily have the exact skill set required. This is because of various reasons; maybe they have been employed for a different purpose, or there was a mismatch when it comes to expectations of the job.

T1 recommends taking a frank look at your team and deciding whether they can fulfil roles and satisfy the requirements while also carrying out their existing duties. The cost of overburdening or misassigning your in-house team is only likely to appear somewhere around the mid-point of construction. By this time, you may be hearing about cost overruns and delays and wondering why you didn’t bring in a professional team in the first place.

  1. Set your Budget & Program

Set your project budget early and make sure your team understands what the budget is for. Consultants design to price brackets: they know what to put in to meet the rough order of cost. Give them guidance to avoid redesigning but don’t give them all your budget. Keep a bit back for inevitable overruns.

  1. Prepare Your Contracts

If possible, use a standard form of contract for all engagements. A supplier provided contract will be written to protect the supplier, whether that is an engineer, a contractor, or even the project manager. Try to avoid using a different form of agreement with each supplier as it will become very difficult to manage in the long run.

  1. Make Coordination a Priority

If you aren’t using a BIM, then coordination can be a major issue. Consider how the design is released and know if the architect and engineer are releasing their design on the same day, it probably isn’t coordinated and may cause design lapses in the project.

  1. Anyone can Start a Project but not Everyone can Finish it

It seems obvious, but finishing a project isn’t really straightforward. Start thinking about what a finished project means to you and your team. Make sure this is discussed with your team early, to ensure expectations are aligned.

Learn more about how you can manage a construction project better. Contact Lana Kier at lana.kier@kmcmaggroup.com or call us at 0917-860-6400 for a consultation.

Luz Arceo is one of T1’s most trusted project managers. She has been successfully delivering construction projects for over 23 years with various projects throughout the Philippine archipelago.

How T1 Women are changing the construction business

T1 Project Management’s attitude towards Women in Construction ensures a progressive mindset in the industry. T1 is a firm ally and supporter of eliminating gender inequality in the workplace, as women make up 48% of the team. T1’s women inspire and serve as role models in encouraging Filipinas to see that construction is not “a man’s world.”

Confidence and Empowerment

“I feel empowered because being a female professional in what was a traditionally male-dominated industry gives me a sense of satisfaction and strength that no matter where I am, I can always say that I made it,” Jessa Marie Cabajug, Data Controller, shared.

Kat Sarayba, T1’s Assistant Manager for Design, challenged herself to be confident and happy in her career. “It honestly took me some time to build confidence. All-in-all though, I do really enjoy the career path I chose and the industry I’m in. At the end of the day, I think that matters most.”

“I feel empowered to be living in an age where you can find women excelling in previously male-dominated industries. Proving that women belong in the boardroom, on construction sites, in I.T. – in whatever career they choose,” Lana Kier, the company’s Business Development Manager added.

In the Philippines, the idea of women working in the construction industry is becoming normalized. More and more fit-out companies, contractors, design and architectural firms are made up of highly skilled and driven women employees who work on-site and behind the scenes. While the construction industry is moving in the right direction, women share that there is still a need to address the challenges in eradicating stereotypes.

T1’s Interior Designer Rose Ruelan shared, “Especially in the field of architecture, some underestimate us, that we know less about technicalities, and focus more on the aesthetics. Though women access the same education and training available to men, so we deserve to be respected as equal.”

Working Together

Women in the construction industry take on many challenges as individuals as an opportunity to excel and mark milestones in their career and in their field. Cyrelle Brillante, one of T1’s Project Managers, focuses on communication and coordination. She said, “working in harmony with the rest of the team creates a much better environment, especially in construction.”

Though it may seem difficult at first, every challenge can be overcome. Angel Falquerabao T1s Business Assistant shares, “After overcoming all the things that I thought I couldn’t do, I realized it wasn’t as daunting as I imagined it would be.”

Richelle Reyes another of T1’s Project Managers added, “I realized that in order to change the pace, you have to be amenable to endure what is beyond your comfort zone. Embrace what you are passionate about, even if it’s not what the norm dictates.”

A Cultivating Space for Women

T1 is a progressive design, construction and project management company in the Philippines. By providing equal opportunities for men and women and hiring based on skills, talents, and dedication, the company creates a safe space where gender-based prejudice and discrimination do not exist, whilst building the most dynamic, professional and skilled team in the market.

“I feel extremely lucky just to be a part of a strong, determined, passionate, flexible, and talented team, gender is not even a consideration,” Jen Panganiban, the company’s Business Manager expressed. “I think what I feel is very much similar to all of my hard-working colleagues regardless of the gender.”

The business landscape, no matter what industry, is ripe for a change. It takes movers and visionaries to ensure the development and evolution of these fields will continue. As proven by every successful leader, it is important to foster a working environment that allows for equality and celebrates competence beyond the discussion of gender.

Join the T1 team and be a leader in the industry. For job vacancies, visit https://t1projectmanagement.com/careers or send us an email at info@tone.management.

New Normal 101: Site Safety Tips to follow

Susceptibility to COVID-19 transmission increases as more business and industries resume their operations after the Philippines is placed under more lenient quarantine restrictions. In a recent survey, 90% of respondents who are immunologists, infectious-disease researchers, and virologists believe that the virus will become endemic in the long run.

For the construction industry, this only rationalizes the reality of accepting -a “new normal” by enforcing key measures that will guarantee safety and limit the transmission for smoother operations.

Here is a brief rundown on important measures to be implemented:

  • Limiting Exposure

Observance of good hygiene plays a big role in controlling viral transmission, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The placement of proper handwashing, sanitizing, and disinfecting stations around the site is required.

Tool sharing should also be limited unless necessary. For tools and equipment that need to be shared, disinfection must be done before and after use. Cleaning and sanitation of common and shared areas should be done regularly to ensure public health safety.

Crowd management must be done efficiently to limit face-to-face interactions. This can be done by communicating remotely via mobile or radio devices. To remove further exposure while commuting or travel, providing barracks to house workers on site is seen as an effective alternative. If the space does not allow this, contractors are encouraged to provide shuttle services to the workers.

  • Personnel Protection

In line with standards and protocols implemented by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases), wearing a mask is required in addition to the personal protective equipment that includes fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection, and other necessary gear.

Depending on operational need and hazard assessment, wearing a face shield is an effective layer of protection that workers can opt to wear. Signages must also be stationed around the site to remind of proper hygiene, handwashing, appropriate physical distancing, and other pertinent safety reminders.

  • Planning Ahead

Preparation is always key in the face of any crisis or challenge. Developing a COVID-19 Exposure plan is a proactive approach in ensuring that clients, managers, and workers are briefed and aware of their roles.

In dealing with the pandemic, having the right information can also save lives. Educating managers and workers to monitor and detect signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will stop outbreaks or a possible transmission.

It is also important to always have a Safety Officer present on the site. The number of safety officers needed at a time depends on the number of workers on the site at any given point.

Lastly, conducting regular health and safety audits on-site can help monitor possible issues and come up with solutions to resolve it. Coordination with local government units is also important as COVID-19 construction guidelines may vary depending on the location of the site.

Beyond the threats of the pandemic, the wellness and safety of workers on-site should be of utmost priority. The professional management and handling of operations will definitely help in assessing the risks and ensuring smoother conduct of projects.

For excellent project management services, contact Lana Kier at lana.kier@kmcmaggroup.com or call us at (+63) 2-7971-0238.