I touched on the importance of design-build (D-B) project schedules last month, so this month I’d like to elaborate further on this management tool. Let’s start with an example, such as the renovation of a historical building located on a busy street in a major city. The project scope of work is to replace an antiquated steam heating system and split-system air conditioning equipment with a two-pipe hvac system.

A Longer List

As the D-B hvac engineer, you might think that the schedule should go as follows:

  • Survey existing hvac system, and document findings on construction drawings.
  • Develop new hvac layout construction drawings.
  • Coordinate electrical data and produce electrical construction drawings.
  • Coordinate interior alterations and structural data.
  • Create contract specifications.
  • Prepurchase long lead items.
  • Solicit subcontractor bids.
  • Obtain permits and agency approvals.
  • Begin roughing-in of duct, pipe, and electrical systems.
  • Install equipment.
  • Complete final duct, pipe, and electrical installation.
  • Complete automatic control installation.
  • Start-up and test/adjust equipment/systems.
  • Closeout with record drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, & warranties.

Is there anything missing? Don’t forget the:

This timeline should also begin when the design begins. As the scope of work becomes better defined, the project schedule can become better defined.

  • Asbestos abatement contract, including permitting.
  • Historical committee review and approval.
  • Structural steel shop drawings, delivery and installation of steel for rooftop equipment.
  • New electrical service by utility company.
  • Scheduling of installation of air conditioning equipment during heating season.
  • Scheduling of installation of heating equipment during air conditioning season.
  • Dumpster and demolition of mechanical and electrical equipment/systems.
  • Cutting and patching.
  • Temporary barriers, dust and noise control, and daily cleanup.
  • Delivery of equipment and associated traffic control, including police detail.
  • Rigging.
  • Office trailer, phone line, fax machine, etc.
  • Inspection schedule by local and state authorities.
  • Monthly report and progress photograph submission to owners.
  • Safety program and routine insurance inspections.
  • Security.
  • Touch-up painting and final cleanup.
  • Commissioning.
  • Training.
  • Preventive maintenance workorder system.
  • Extended service contracts.
  • Final payments and removal of liens.
  • Project meeting at month 10 of the warranty period to review any outstanding issues and changes in the program use.

    A Timely Manner

    Depending on the project, this menu of additional needs can grow into an even longer list of things to schedule. For the D-B firm, a project schedule should capture all these milestones if the job is going to proceed smoothly from beginning to end. This timeline should also begin when the design begins. As the scope of work becomes better defined, the project schedule can become better defined.

    Another important project schedule that customers will probably ask the D-B firm for will be a cashflow schedule. This month-by-month schedule will help the owner with the financial end of the project implementation. Quite often, this second timeline will be in the shape of a bell curve. Whether it includes D-B activities or financial funding activities, the project schedule is an important management tool, as well as your roadmap to project success.