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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
architect's construction administrator. Usually this person is the architect's project manager. This individual is responsible for ensuring that clarification and interpretation of construction documents are obtained from the design professional and engineers and communicated to the contractor; seeking approval from the client team for all changes in the scope of work; and, depending on contractual arrangements, reviewing and approving operation and maintenance manuals and "as-built" documentation prepared by the contractor. The construction administrator also assists the client team and construction manager in seeking rights-of-way or permits required prior to the start of construction or renovation and perhaps also in obtaining occupancy permits.
The design group includes representatives of the engineers who will provide technical oversight of the construction. These individuals visit the construction site periodically to assess progress and to ensure that construction meets the design intent and that the equipment and materials meet specifications. The frequency of site visits varies depending on the architects and the engineers involved and also varies over the course of the construction activities. During the most active periods, the architect's representative may visit the site weekly or biweekly. These individuals also check shop drawings from vendors and subcontractors, issue responses to requests for information from contractors, and make recommendations to the design professional regarding change orders.
Construction Group. The construction group, which typically includes the general contractor and/or construction manager and subcontractors, is the most heterogeneous of the three participant groups involved in the construction phase of a laboratory construction or renovation project. The general contractor/construction manager is responsible for the construction schedule, quality, methods, materials, direction of labor, and job safety and site security; for seeking construction permits and assisting the client team in obtaining occupancy permits; and for start-up activities and providing the client group assurance the facility can be occupied.
The contractor/construction manager should employ experienced construction supervisors to manage the work force and the delivery of materials to the site. Subcontractors typically also employ supervisors to direct the work of their tradespeople, and these supervisors communicate with and are responsible to the general contractor. The general contractor's supervisor attends regular project meetings with the project managers from the client team and design group. Construction administrators representing the client team and the design group may also attend and report on the progress of the work and help resolve conflicts between construction participants. The general contractor's supervisor also issues requests to the design group for information, manages the shop drawing distribution, provides estimates for change orders, and approves applications for payment to the general contractor.