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  • Writer's picturePeter Searle

“Water tight” and “power on” milestones.

Are the projects you are working on adequately planned or are you suffering disruption? 

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Quote - Benjamin Franklin 1790. Never has a quote been as relevant then as it is today. With construction projects, planning is a fundamental part of their success. However, in many instances, project planning is not carried out thoroughly. Inevitably project delays and disruption will occur during construction if there is not a robust program. The main contractor should produce a construction program which takes account of the key milestones during construction. The construction program should then be worked back so that procurement occurs at the right time. An Information Required Schedule should be produced so lack of information does not compromise the construction program. 

From experience there are two milestones which are critical for the smooth delivery of a new build construction project. When these milestones are achieved fully it is usually a good reflection of how well a project is managed and the ultimate quality of the project. The milestones are also a clearly identifiable measure to determine the progress of a project. Not achieving them cleanly will impact to some degree on many trades and usually triggers delays and disruption. 

The first milestone which is easily reviewed is “watertight”. To achieve this there should be no roof penetrations left open and the envelope complete. Without a watertight structure internal finishes commence with a high probability of creating problems with the build. To achieve a watertight structure, there are various building elements which regularly cause issues and experienced contractors will focus upon ensuring they address these at the earlies opportunity. 

The second milestone which requires many components to be in place and approved by 3rd parties is “Power on”. This is significant and it allows the pumps to be run and “heat-on” to occur. The permanent lighting can be switched on. With power on the finishing trades can complete their work in a suitable environment and the quality of the finish inspected in realistic conditions. 

Main contractors stipulate program information in their orders to trade contractors. How the information is stipulated varies. Nevertheless, there is an expectation that the trade contractor will comply and for this the trade contractor must assume the main contractor has considered all the trade contractors’ requirements to achieve the program. If, for whatever reason, the site does not meet the trade contractors’ requirements, delay and disruption will occur which will lead to costs being incurred. The Society of Construction Lawyers have produced a protocol for analysing the amount of delay & disruption and ascertaining who is responsible regardless of where you are in the supply chain. 

Are you in the situation where the “watertight” or “power on” milestones have not been fully achieved? Have you found yourself the victim of activities getting out of sequence on site because of less-than-ideal working conditions? If so, then book a demo of a tool we have developed to keep the records you will need to recover your additional costs, using the protocol. 



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