January 25, 2024
The Role and Benefit of a Construction Consultant: Part 2
A construction consultant is a professional with extensive experience and expertise in delivering engineering and construction projects.
A project owner, general contractor, or subcontractor may hire a construction consultant to assist with and advise on the execution of a project. Construction consultants can provide expert advice during all phases of the engineering and construction project life cycle, including during front-end planning (business plan development, conceptual scope development, and front-end engineering design (FEED)), execution (detailed engineering, procurement, and construction, i.e., EPC), and project closeout (pre-commissioning, commissioning, and startup).
Construction consultants help both owners and/or contractors engaged in engineering and construction projects to identify potential project risks, prevent problems from occurring, and mitigate and equitably resolve problems when they do occur, thereby increasing the likelihood of delivering a successful project. Additionally, construction consultants typically facilitate the establishment of an open and collaborative project environment where the owner and contractor work together as partners rather than as adversaries, further increasing the likelihood of mutual success.
Construction consultants can assist with project management, cost and schedule risk analysis and avoidance, schedule quality assurance and optimization, and claims prevention and dispute resolution. Long International provides all these services and more, as detailed on our Services web page. This blog post is the second in a two-part series on the role and benefit of a construction consultant. This post focuses on schedule quality assurance and claims prevention services, while the first post addresses project management and risk analysis services.
Schedule quality assurance services are helpful because poorly prepared schedules do not provide reliable tools to quantify and allocate responsibility for project delays. Front-end schedule optimization services are beneficial because poor planning and scheduling during front-end planning phases, including during front-end engineering design (FEED), are significant factors that often lead to project failure. A construction consultant may provide the following schedule quality assurance and optimization consulting services and more.
- Review the critical path method (CPM) schedule vs. the project scope of work to ensure that all activities are included for all phases of the project, including engineering, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning, and startup.
- Evaluate schedule metrics to verify that the schedule integrity is compliant with standard industry practices.
- Review schedule logic, including verification of the proper use of activity successors and predecessors, logic relationships including lags, and constraints.
- Evaluate the reasonableness and completeness of the critical path and any near-critical path activity chains.
- Compare schedule updates to the baseline/rebaseline schedule to identify changes made to the current schedule, including the addition and/or deletion of activities, activity start and finish delays, activity duration changes, added constraints, and changes to the critical and near-critical paths.
- Assist with schedule optimization during front-end planning, including the development and optimization of the business plan level 1 master schedule, the conceptual plan level 2 project milestone schedule, and the FEED plan level 3 summary schedule.
A construction consultant providing claims prevention services can help a client avoid the costly consequences of resolving adversarial claims. Claims prevention services provided by a construction consultant may include, but not be limited to, the following.
- Increase the client’s knowledge of contracts to facilitate the analysis of potential contract risks prior to signing contracts.
- Increase the client’s knowledge of basic claim entitlements and how to avoid them.
- Perform independent biddability and constructability reviews.
- Assist with the development and implementation of an integrated cost and schedule control system.
- Assist with adherence to the contractual change management system.
- Assist with the generation and preservation of appropriate project documentation, including contract correspondence.
- Provide or assist with the development of checklists for bid preparation, review and approval of as-planned schedules and schedule updates, site inspections prior to bidding, project documentation, problem identification and analysis, and contractor’s risk analysis to facilitate improved management and control of projects.
- Implement periodic reviews by senior management.
- Identify potential problems that may result in delays and cost overruns, assist with the determination and documentation of the cause and effects of delays and cost overruns, and recommend and implement mitigation procedures before problems escalate into disputes.
- Implement an effective dispute resolution process.
Discover industry insights on construction disputes and claims, project management, risk analysis, and more.
Articles by our engineering and construction claims experts cover topics ranging from acceleration to why claims occur.
We are committed to sharing industry knowledge through publication of our books and presentations.
The Role and Benefit of a Construction Consultant: Part 1
This is the first blog post in a two-part series on the role and benefit of a construction consultant.
Construction Claims Prevention
This article identifies solutions and suggests programs that one can use to prevent, mitigate, and manage claims.
Keys to Successful Major Project Execution
This article examines some guidelines for effective project management control from the owner’s perspective.