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Project Management for Construction: Fundamental Concepts for Owners, Engineers, Architects, and Builders

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This book is provided on the worldwide web as a service to the community of practitioners and students. Reproduction for educational purposes is permitted with appropriate citation. If you find this work helpful or have suggestions for additions or corrections, please email Chris Hendrickson: cth@cmu.edu. A hardcopy Instructor's Manual with problem solutions is available for a fee of $ 10 to cover reproduction, mailing and handling. Send a check made out to Carnegie Mellon University to Ms. Patty Langer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

This book develops a specific viewpoint in discussing the participants, the processes and the techniques of project management for construction. This viewpoint is that of owners who desire completion of projects in a timely, cost effective fashion. Some profound implications for the objectives and methods of project management result from this perspective:

  • The "life cycle" of costs and benefits from initial planning through operation and disposal of a facility are relevant to decision making. An owner is concerned with a project from the cradle to the grave. Construction costs represent only one portion of the overall life cycle costs.
  • Optimizing performance at one stage of the process may not be beneficial overall if additional costs or delays occur elsewhere. For example, saving money on the design process will be a false economy if the result is excess construction costs.
  • Fragmentation of project management among different specialists may be necessary, but good communication and coordination among the participants is essential to accomplish the overall goals of the project. New information technologies can be instrumental in this process, especially the Internet and specialized Extranets.
  • Productivity improvements are always of importance and value. As a result, introducing new materials and automated construction processes is always desirable as long as they are less expensive and are consistent with desired performance.
  • Quality of work and performance are critically important to the success of a project since it is the owner who will have to live with the results.

In essence, adopting the viewpoint of the owner focuses attention on the cost effectiveness of facility construction rather than competitive provision of services by the various participants.

While this book is devoted to a particular viewpoint with respect to project management for construction, it is not solely intended for owners and their direct representatives. By understanding the entire process, all participants can respond more effectively to the owner's needs in their own work, in marketing their services, and in communicating with other participants. In addition, the specific techniques and tools discussed in this book (such as economic evaluation, scheduling, management information systems, etc.) can be readily applied to any portion of the process.

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