Guide Helps Owners Manage Uncertainty of Building Construction Projects

Building construction projects are challenging to stay within budget and on schedule, even for owners experienced in the design and construction processes. Owners need to be informed partners on projects, according to Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research at Dodge Data & Analytics. “Dodge research has revealed that owner engagement in the design and construction process is critical to reducing risk and enhancing a project’s success.”

To help building owners navigate this challenge, the AIA Large Firm Roundtable has led a coalition of construction industry organizations in creating a guide that helps owners anticipate the causes of uncertainty in building projects and provides best practices to manage and potentially mitigate those risks. The guide is titled the “Project Planning Guide for Owners and Project Teams,” and it is available for download. The guide draws on a Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Report, “Managing Uncertainty and Expectations in Building Design and Construction”, to address the factors owners need to consider. The original research report is available online.

The new guide provides a Contingency Calculator that owners can use to plan budget reserves for the entire lifecycle of a project. “Surprisingly, the original study found that most owners have no specific methods for determining budget contingencies,” says Clark Davis, FAIA, principal consultant with Cameron MacAllister Group and leader of the Managing Uncertainty program for the Large Firm Roundtable and other sponsors. “This tool alone will help owners save money and improve project performance.”

The most important feature of the guide is an explanation of the risks involved in construction projects and the best ways to mitigate them. “We look forward to being able to share this with our clients when we begin new projects,” says Thom Penney, FAIA, President/CEO of LS3P Architects and former national president of AIA. “It will form the basis of an informed discussion about what the owner needs to think about and what we can all do from the start to make projects more successful.”

The coalition of sponsors for this effort, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), the Construction Owners’ Association of America (COAA), the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and Graphisoft, demonstrates industry recognition that better-informed owners and better project team collaboration will improve the final results.

A Dodge-hosted webinar based on the guide, How to Improve Client Satisfaction and Achieve Design Intent, is being planned for Thursday, August 9, at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to register.

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