The project is a simple house construction project. Traditionally, house projects are managed by building system composed of Client, Architecture, Engineer and Contractor relationships. In most cases, the client does have little or no construction management skills. But in some cases, the client might possess substantial knowledge about construction and he/she might choose to manage the project by himself. In this case, the client is required to prove to his/her financiers that he can manage or implement the project (Allen & Iano, 2011).
The main building material shall be timber. The structural timber will be used mainly for the framing of the whole house and building of trusses for the roof. The choice of this structural material was mainly guided by factors like time constraints, technical requirements and associated cost among others (Anderson & Howard, 2008).Timber framing is one of the fastest construction methods. It saves a lot of time in a number of ways. One, Timber framing provides excellent and ready routes for other works mainly plumbing and wiring, this significantly reduces the time needed for this works (Doran & Ward, 2011). Two, timber framing creates a template, with ready openings. This reduces the time needed for setting out and hence windows and doors can be fitted easily and faster leading to a reduction of time in total building time. Three, it has very low risk of delays due to unfavorable weather conditions (Doran & Ward, 2011).
Timber framing has several technical advantages that attracted me to adopt its use in my house project. First, timber framing designs by an engineer are easy to understand and implement by the tradesmen who actually implement them. Timber framing also allows prefabricated floor units to be comfortably installed on site. Third, timber framing as mentioned earlier, acts as a template, with ready openings. This reduces very greatly setting out and hence results in higher dimensional accuracy. Windows and doors can be fitted very easily. The last advantage I took into account is the light self-weight of timber as compared to masonry walls, columns, and beams. This means that the house can seat on weaker soils in terms of weight bearing without any adverse effects (Stirling, 2013).
The other major factor is the associated costs. From research, there is a very slight difference in costs between timber framing and other building and structural materials. This difference is brought first by the fact that timber framing is far much faster to build than other materials hence the tradesmen take less time to build which can translate directly to reduced labor costs especially in direct employment basis which I intend to use (Ross, 2009). Secondly, timber is easy to construct due to understandable designs and also due to light weight hence may require fewer tradesmen and general laborers. This can greatly help in cutting building costs. Other factors that could be considered included; aesthetics, storage requirements and finally environmental compatibility. In all this timber was the best option for the project.
The other major construction material that will be used is the reinforced cement paste concrete. This will be mainly used as the base of the house timber framing after the engineering survey its done exact location of the house is determined. It also requires site preparation for placing the concrete like site clearance and cleaning, digging to remove unwanted weak top soils and finally leveling operations.
Since the main purpose of the concrete is to give a foundation of the timber framing and a good level floor the concrete will be of class 25, which is a medium strength concrete suitable for light houses (Smulders et. al., 2013). Ready mix concrete for the construction shall due to quality control issues and saving time and cost associated with in situ concrete preparation. Also in situ concrete may require additional management techniques due to more teams involved, quality responsibility, hiring or buying of concrete work equipment.
- Insulating material
Another material is the thermal insulating material. The spongy wood fibreboard shall be used as the insulation material. It is readily available in the market at reasonable prices. For this reason, it shall be fundamental in providing protection to the building against adverse conditions.
- Fininishing materials
Finishing works and materials is also an import aspect of the project. Finishing works are the additional works to the main framing works that are done to make the house look beautiful and attractive. There are several types of finishes that are used and they are normally selected based on the main materials used for framing, environmental conditions, and associated costs. Finishing works are mainly divided into three sections: Floor finishing, Wall finishing and Ceiling finishing (Graham, 2009).Floor finishing will involve the carpeting of the concrete surface. I will use ceramic tiles as the carpeting material. Ceramic tiles are the best suited for this project due to their excellent bonding characteristics with the concrete surface through screed and cement paste. Ceramic tiles are also readily available in the market and are easy to install. Another advantage of ceramic tiles is that they have a higher strength and durability than other materials like wood and plastic tiles (Smulders et. al., 2013). Also, ceramic tiles offer a variety of designs and coloring that can be suitable for a match with the general interior design of the house. Wall finishing will mainly involve plastering boards both inside and outside which are very suitable for timber framed building.The other finishing works are the ceilings works. Pvc plastic ceiling boards will be used as the ceiling material. Pvc boards are very light and very easy to work with. Also, these ceiling boards are designed in such a way that they are made of two very thin lining with a small gap between them. This property gives PVC boards the ability to insulate the house. Another advantage of the PVC ceiling boards is that they require less timber for blundering due to their light weight (Onouye & Kane, 2012). This amount of timber is even lower in this project due to timber trusses. The bottom boom of the trusses is used as part of the blundering framework hence reducing the amount of timber needed for blundering.
Different door type will be used depending on their respective rooms or sections. For the entrance, the paneled wood door will be used. The panel door will offer aesthetics for beautification at the entrance of the house and strength for security. Flash doors will be used as bedrooms doors. The flush door will be made of; – light wood frame made of 50mm by 25mm frame, two plywood surfaces that are the face and the back surface, and a particle board to fill the 50mm space between the plywood. These flush doors are suitable for the bedroom since are light and no special provision is needed for bedroom doors. Bathrooms will be fitted with louvered wooden doors to allow for air circulation. Another door is the rear entrance door commonly known as the back door or emergency door. This door will be made of glass with a steel frame. The purpose of glass in the door is for an emergency since glass can be broken easily (Knippers & Speck, 2012).
Two main types of windows shall be used for the whole project. The first one is the casement windows. This kind of windows open outwards and are excellent for both light and ventilation purposes. When this window is closed, it creates a tight seal hence increasing the energy efficiency of the house. These windows will be made of the metallic frame preferably aluminum frame and glass. The casement window will be used in all the rooms including the kitchen but excluding the bathrooms. For bathrooms, picture window shall be used which are small windows usually not more than 400mm by 400m area. They are made of metallic frame and translucent glass. The translucent glass allows for light but prevents a clear vision through it for privacy purposes in the bathroom. This bathroom window together with the louvered bathroom door forms a perfect ventilation system for the bathroom.
The roofing material I intend to use is the asphalt shingles. This roof has got so many advantages among them being; it has light weight, its available in the market, it’s relatively cheap and its highly durable and so many other advantages (Watt, 2009). The roof is also easy to construct.
Construction management method is another vital aspect of the project. Determining the project management method is a very sensitive since it really determines the success of the project. The criteria I used in determining which management system to adopt was using costs implications of different management systems and technical requirements of the whole project.
After considering this factors, taking into account the architects recommendations and my personal research and advises from friends, family and other construction techniques and management experts I chose to manage the project myself using directly employed tradesmen. This will have significant advantages to me and you, the lender in several ways; –
- Eliminate unnecessary contractors that may exploit me as they try to make huge profit margins from the project. This will help reduce total project costs.
- Allow me to be supplied with cheap and quality building materials since I will deal with suppliers directly.
- This management system will help implement the project faster by dealing with the tradespeople directly.
- This management method will help me understand my house in and out so as to help me in operational management as a post-construction strategy.
As advised by the architect and the engineer, this management method of directly employed tradesmen will involve: –
- Identifying all activities that will take place in the process of implementing the project arranging them the way they follow each other from inception of the project to completion.
- Identifying the tradesmen that are experts of each of the listed activities and arranging them in order of when they will be required to appear on the site.
- Researching on the tradesmen standard employment terms like employment laws, terms of payments.
- Looking for the tradesmen individuals to work on the project and entering into legally binding contracts directly with them. The contract will act as an agreement between me and the tradesperson.
- Execution of the stipulated works of the project.
Energy efficiency of the project is also of great concern (Anderson & Howard, 2008). Energy conservation will be achieved in a number of ways. First, the house is designed with relatively larger windows to help in two ways, one is to give enough light during the day so as to avoid possible need for electric lighting. Two, to help in ventilation and cooling of the house during hot days. This helps cut energy requirements for cooling and ventilation systems (Onouye & Kane, 2012). Second, the house will be installed with solar energy system for both water heating and lighting in the house. Third, the walls are designed to have a thermal insulation material. still, on the thermal insulation, timber frame is a natural insulator, that is it does not absorb heat easily and neither does it lose heat easily once it absorbs. Fourth, there will be the use of energy saving lights that will reduce the electrical energy required. This four techniques will ensure a conservative and efficient use of energy. Although it ensures a sustainable environment that we live in, it also directly cut operational costs by slashing electricity bills of the house.
Total time that is required to complete the project will depend on a number of factors. One of this factors is the issue of uncertainties. Uncertainties can arise at any stage or from any aspect of the project. Another factor that will affect the time schedule is the type of materials intended to be used. The size of the project is also a major factor that will determine the project time (Stirling, 2013).This is a simple timber framed house project that will take three months to be completed. Generally, the schedule will be as follows. Site exact location survey, site clearance and all preparation for concrete works will take one week. Concrete works and allowing for curing shall take a week. The main timber frame work including roof trusses shall take two weeks. To protect the project against bad weather the roof work shall follow to make the house water tight and is estimated to take a week. Service works, mainly electrical and plumbing works shall be done together with the other main works. But to cater for any possible delays due to this service works allowance of one week shall be provided. Ceiling, wall plastering, and floor works shall take two weeks. Doors, window and any other fitting and finishing work shall take two weeks. Uncertainties shall be given an allowance of two weeks (Doran & Ward, 2011).
Critical path technique was used in developing the schedule outlined above. By the help of the technique, the critical activity was found to be the timber frame work. All service works and finishes depend on completion of the frame work. This means if there is a delay in the frame work, the whole project would be delayed.
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