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Last edited 07 Mar 2021
Conceiving construction plans
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Construction planning is the process of formulating activities required to undertake a construction project. This includes analysing the implications of each activity and selecting from the alternatives the appropriate method to accomplish the project goals.
Construction planning is crucial for successful completion of projects within the set time, quality and cost. It is an integral part of project execution that involves all stakeholders to ensure delivery and compliance.
 Key considerations in construction planning
There are technical issues that must be taken care of in the preparation of construction plans. These aspects form the basic parts of the plan and can also be used as guidelines to analyse the effectiveness of the final plan.
First and foremost is the choice of construction methods and technologies to be used. This is a high priority since it has an impact on material choices. It also allows planners to check and compare technologies, classes of work required, types of systems for the structure and environmental implications.
It is also necessary to keep in mind that preparation of a construction plan is a backward reasoning process that seeks to define tasks, set time and assign resources to reach a predetermined outcome.
Prior to this it is important to determine what the emphasis of the plan should be. Is it directed towards cost control , schedule control (or quality)? With cost control, it is better to evaluate direct and indirect costs (such as overhead costs, financing costs, activity cost and so on). With schedule control as the focus, the main criteria should be on the precedence of activities, efficiency, resource availability and utilisation and integration of schedule and budget.
The selection of different technological and methodological alternatives for the construction of the designed structure starts in the preliminary design stages. Often at this stage, alternatives are devised by architects and are hypothetical and abstract. They form the basis for the future detailed development of the construction method to be used, which may involve engineers, contractors, suppliers and specialists.
From a number of developed alternatives, the analysis is made weighing the cost, time and quality for each method. Depending on the availability of equipment, effects of each method and the skills available for each method, the most feasible method is chosen and a detailed plan is prepared.
 Setting up project activities
It is important to take into consideration the technology and methods selected for the project. Individual activities should be scheduled in accordance with the defined precedent of works, since this will help to frame efficient organisation of construction tasks and allocate resources dependent on often repeated activities.
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