Traditional contract: mobilisation
Mobilisation refers to the activities carried out after the client has selected the main contractor, but before the contractor commences work on site. It is a preparatory stage during which the majority of activities are managed by the contractor.
 Preparing for the construction stage.
There are a range of tasks necessary to prepare for the construction stage:
- The contract administrator arranges for production information to be issued to the contractor.
- The client and contractor prepare and agree schedules of conditions for adjacent property or structures to be retained.
- The lead consultant co-ordinates the consultant team to check that all necessary insurance, permissions, approvals, party wall agreements and other statutory requirements are in place and that all necessary planning conditions have been satisfied.
- If necessary, and if it has not already been done, the client appoints party wall surveyors, an approved inspector, site inspectors and an in-house or outsourced engineering team to witness testing and commissioning and to take over the running of the services as soon as practical completion is certified.
- The contractor prepares and publishes a master programme for the works and issues this to the contract administrator. The contract administrator may wish to bring key dates on the master programme to the attention of the client or consultant team (for example dates for decisions or information, or for works outside of the contract). The contract administrator should not approve the master programme as approval might be considered to relieve the contractor of liability for programming the works in such a way as to achieve the completion date.
- The principal designer ensures that co-ordination procedures are in place for design carried out by the contractor or specialist contractors.
- The contract administrator briefs the site inspectors regarding procedures for inspecting and reporting on work on site as it progresses. This might include specific monitoring and reporting arrangements relating to the implementation of client policies such as environmental policies (on a large project this might involve the appointment of an environmental consultant specifically to perform that role).
- The client may need to put procedures in place to move some of its staff and equipment so that it can continue to operate effectively during construction.
- The contractor agrees the basic principles with the design team to be used for grid lines and setting out of the site.
 Mobilising the contractor.
- Co-ordinating the preparation and issue of a project handbook setting out responsibilities, procedures, and lines of communication for the construction stage.
- Preparing method statements and obtaining method statements from sub-contractors.
- Preparing a site layout plan for construction.
- Making arrangements for site communications such as the receipt and distribution of post and information and communications technology (ICT).
- Managing specialist design and drawing approval. The contractor may wish to appoint a design co-ordinator to be responsible for this.
- Advertising and selecting any remaining contracts such as catering, security and cleaning contracts.
- Establishing a contract register scheduling: the contracts that have been placed, who signed them and when, what the value of the contract is and where it is stored. This can be crucial information if for example the contractor becomes insolvent.
- Establishing an asset register scheduling what assets there are on site and who they belong to. This information may later be incorporated into the building owner's manual.
- Establishing all statutory site registers such as; lifting equipment, dangerous and explosive substance storage, scaffolding and accident reports.
- Complying with any statutory conditions that must be satisfied prior to construction (such as tree protection, submission of contaminated soil disposal plans, approval of work adjacent to an operating rail track and so on).
- Ensuring (in their role as principal contractor) that workers are provided with a suitable site induction, training and information to be able to work without undue risk to their health or safety.
- Establishing inspection regimes and quality assurance procedures for construction.
- Commissioning any further geotechnical survey work required.
- If it has not already been done, obtaining statutory utility drawings of all existing and surrounding services including details of any telecoms, wells and hydraulic mains.
- Arranging necessary road closures and restrictions, diversions of services and connections necessary for the works to be carried out.
- If it has not already been done, obtaining legal documentation describing precisely the site boundary and ownership.
- Preparing (in their role as principal contractor) a construction phase plan, if this has not already been done.
- Developing the site waste management plan (if required).
- Commissioning a survey team to establish semi-permanent setting-out theodolite base plates.
- If it has not already been done, arranging for the statutory utilities to provide the necessary water, power supplies, and ICT services required for construction activities.
- Notifying the local authority (or approved inspector) of their intention to begin construction.
- Informing the emergency services of their intention to begin construction.
- Notifying the HSE if this has not already been done.
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