Monday, 13 July 2009

FAST-TRACK PROJECT DELIVERY STRATEGY FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURAL HIGH-RISE BUILDING PROJECTS

Fast Track is known as a method of implementation where construction and design phases are overlapped to expedite completion of the project (Resource for OR design and construction). In addition, it is not only an activity that is simply done fast, but more than that, it refers to an overlap on stages of design and/or construction before other stage is done with the purpose to get an earlier project delivery.

Recently, Fast track has gained the popularity in current project delivery strategies and the popularity keeps on increasing due to its potential advantages in improving project performance. An effective fast track project can bring advantages including: (1) reduced time; (2) lower cost; (3) reduced burden for the project owner by contracting all responsibilities to a single party; and (4) invisible benefits by increasing the reputation of the owner thus offering further business opportunities in a competitive market
On the other hand, fast track project also contains some challenges like: (1) complications and difficulties in; planning procedures for approval; transfer of information; feedback, and evaluation documents (2) requiring a very strict cash-flow; prompt payment; capital resources; (3) requiring strong and experienced manpower resources, especially in project management

Ms. Mai Do Thuy Dung made a case study on “Fast-Track Project Delivery Strategy for Civil Engineering and Architectural High-Rise Building Projects” which goals were to: (1) identify a Fast Track Project Delivery Strategy which is applicable for High Rise Building Projects (private fund); (2) identify advantages and also threats to quality, budget and schedule during applying fast track project.

She concluded that fast track project delivery is a strategy for many high-rise building projects in Viet Nam. By using fast track project, the project owner can gain benefit in terms of earlier revenue and financial return. Aside from that, the unquantifiable benefit is from the improvement of company reputation in the market and the risk on construction can be earlier transferred. Furthermore, due to market demand and its complication, the need of an early deliver project is increasing evidently, especially for high-rise projects at where the footprint area is limited but carries several complicated task at the same time.

Even though fast track delivery is a current strategy for high-rise building, however, there are some problems that can occur when applying fast track due to lack of knowledge and inexperienced consultants. Therefore, the negative effectiveness of unsuccessful fast track projects is significant and can lead to more delay and cost.
The most difficult factor of all fast track projects is negotiating the contract between the owner and contractors and determining price changes. If it is fixed priced contract with changes to be paid by claim each time, it would cause the total cost of the project to overrun budget. But a cost- plus contract with a maximum guaranteed price could cause unnecessary difficulties for the contractors.

On the other hand, fast track delivery gives a limitation to the project owner's ability to make design changes once construction has started. Starting construction before design works are completed can lead to a large number of change orders. More than that it may cause redesign or demolishing and rebuild.

A fast track project method is not a must for all projects, as it depends on each project type and business strategy. The project owners should carry out a benefit analysis and have a business target to decide which strategy is suitable for their case.

Therefore, experienced consultants and project managers should provide a suitable plan for project owners based on analyzed and feasibility studies.

Ms. Dung’s recommended that in using fast track project methods, individual must know how to apply and manage these methods together, and analyzing its strengths and weaknesses.

Her recommendations for efficient fast track project are as follows:

1. A proper and successful fast track project requires skillful and experienced consultants and project management. When a project owner decides on fast track project, designers and contractors should be selected according to their experiences in this construction approach. To make this decision, the project owner should consider using a pre-qualification process to evaluate a contractor's experience.
2. Fast track project requires a clear and simple organization chart and responsibilities, in order to minimize the project confusion about line of approval, comment, who is in charge of what. If the fast track is not done carefully, it becomes a threat to quality, schedule and cost.

Her thesis abstract is copied and posted.

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, with the rapidly growing of economic as well as construction market, the need of effective fast track project is obviously. Many high rise building construction projects are implemented using fast track approaches. With fast track project delivery system, construction tasks begin before design and construction documents are completed, which allow other works to start earlier than with traditional method. Without doubt, fast-tracking offers many advantages and benefits, such as an earlier project completion, a shorter time spent before the work starts compared to the traditional design bid build method, earlier operation and earlier financial return. Therefore, fast track project delivery strategy which become applicable for high rise building projects. In order to understand how the current strategies are being operated together with the strengths and the weaknesses of the strategy, a case study is explored by approaching its documentations, interviewing involved persons. The results show the fast track project is not suitable to all projects, however, there are also some problems that can occur when applying fast track due to many reasons such as unforeseen changes, lack of knowledge and inexperienced consultants. As a result, the negative effectiveness of unsuccessful fast track projects is huge and can lead to more delay and cost. Therefore, in order to apply fast track project successful, owners should have proper plan.

7 comments:

Matthew Lane said...

Hey there I am currently doing an assignmnet on fast-track project delivery in architecture. I am requiring recent case studies withen the last 3 years but I am struggling to find these. Any help? Can I view this thesis that you have posted the abstract for?

bhargavareddy said...

hi friend dis is bhargav iam doing my mtech i india..i want to do thesis on dis topic can u provide any more information ..if possible can u send ur thesis work it may gide me alot..plz can u make as soon as possible dear frnd..

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Amani Phoenix said...

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