Responsibilities of owners in construction projects

Construction projects involve various techniques, equipment and personnel. All of these factors have important functions to perform and responsibilities to carry out. The significance of contractors and the building staff as well as the labor cannot be undermine. However, owners have the most of the responsibilities to fulfil. Generally, owners of the construction projects are seen merely as making hiring and paying money. They have much more duties and tasks at their hands to perform. There are certain misunderstandings around the role of the owner. The depth and intensity along with the pressure is unknown to many and this is what needs to be corrected. We have seen the owners struggling to find new projects after the completion. They are seen as the authority for warranting plans and specifications. They have to fulfill financial responsibilities and meanwhile, they have to stay out of the way of professionals. They have to work with designers and construction estimators. However, this is not it. The duties for the owners are much more diverse than just passing the orders and the pressure they have both in term of finances and security is great. We are going to highlight the important tasks and duties that an owner has to perform when a construction project starts. The list is long and requires a careful reading and analysis. Let us dive in the nature of responsibilities that the heads have to carry out.

Responsibilities of the construction owners:

Throughout the project lifecycle, different parties carry out different tasks. All of them are concerned only with their own work. The concerned departments fulfil and accomplish tasks that are relevant to their expertise, but the heads have to monitor each department.

Keeping an eye on the lifecycle of the projects:

The phases of the project cycle include the consideration of the market demands along with the conceptual planning and feasibility studies of the plans and specifications. There is also a phase for design and procurement. Operation and maintenance are the part of project cycle, which eventually conclude at the closure phase of the project. All of these processes are complex in nature and require attention to details and technicalities. It is the duty of the owner to keep an eye on every process and make sure that these stay operational. Many more phases to this require expertise. It is the duty of the owner to provide the experts and professionals for the job in order to ensure that the development is smooth and the hurdles are properly dealt with.

Financial responsibilities:

All of the project funding is a duty of the owner. They have to provide financial resources for carrying out the construction work. In addition to this, they have to plan contingencies and reserve some amount in the wake of risks and damages. They have to generate the revenue for paying the contractors as well as the labor. They have to pay the rent of the equipment if it is borrowed. They have to consider damages and liquidities as well. The owner fulfills all of these financial needs of the project. This is a huge responsibility as budget is the major thing that drives the project.

Regulation of safety measure on sites:

Construction sites are often considered dangerous places with all the heavy equipment and machinery in place. The nature of work is also risky and prone to damages. These damages have varying nature. Life threats are also a part of this. The owner has to ensure that there are adequate security measure in place at the site. If something unfortunate is bound to happen, the pressure is on the head to cover and compensate. The task of security is important to than to leave it to the contractor. The moral as well as legal obligations drive the decisions related to the security and protection from potential damages.

Conflict resolution:

At a construction site, there are multiple teams and people working simultaneously. Their work may overlap as per the requirements of the project. Designers and architects have to be in constant contact with the contractor. In case of any conflict among the parties, the whole project can suffer deadlock. Halting any process can delay the construction work. The owner has to perform the duties of a mediator as well. He has to be responsible for the mitigation of the crisis as well as resolving the deadlocks among stakeholders in order to avoid the hurdles that can hamper the project growth.

Site surveying:

The owners have to perform site surveys for having proper work installations. They have to set the boundaries physically and the contractors have to observe those boundaries throughout the process of construction. They visit the sites in order to analyze the needs for materials and the properties that the whole process is going to require. Although, it is the task of the contractor to set up the baselines but the responsibility of the correctness for those baselines lies with the owner. They have to check and assume the responsibility.

Hiring professionals:

The work of owners is again not easy when doing hiring for the job at hand. They have to take into account multiple factors when choosing the quality contractor for the job. They have to conduct multiple interviews and sessions for shortlisting candidates and professionals, which are best, suited for the job. If these professionals mess up the task or the job, the responsibility lies with the owner. This can really hamper the growth of the project and even the short delays can cost heavy.

In addition to these duties and responsibilities, the owners of the projects have more tasks to perform. They have to adopt to the changing environment of construction. The revisions need to incorporated and the changes need to be updates in the plans. This can completely change the course of progress. They have to check the feasibility reports for the changes that they are required to make. If they neglect even a slightest of error, the possible financial crisis may loom over the whole project. Construction estimating services also require the attention of the owner. Hence, they have to be careful and attentive to the whole scenario.