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Conceptual Planning and Feasibility Study

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    Conceptual planning stage of the project is a crucial and busy time for the owner because during this stage the owner of the project will makes decisions that set the tone for the project. It is also the process where’s the owner hires his or her key consultants including the contractor and project manager, selects the project site, and establishes a conceptual estimate, schedule and program. Apart from that the owner will make the most critical decision that is whether to proceed with the project or not.

    In a nutshell, conceptual planning stage of a project is when the owner needs to gather as much reliable information as posibble about a project. This process may require hiring quite a number of design and technical consultants to help if those resources are not available within the company. Once the information is formulated the owner needs to make a decision as to whether or not to proceed with the project. If the decision is to proceed, than the owner needs to select a site and establish a program,a conceptual estimate and a master schedule.

    The contractor and project manager also be hired at this stage. Feasibility studies aim to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing business or proposed venture, opportunities and threats as presented by the environment, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success. In simple terms, a feasibility study is a proposal to determine whether a project is viable or feasible from both the business and technical point of view.

    Procedures of a feasibility study should include : * Review of master plan findings such as- review and confirm recommendations * Analysis of functional brief to ensure service delivery is in accordance with the functional brief requirements * Area allocation model * Confirmation of site influences * Identification of viable development options * Evaluation of options * Make a report Role of Project Manager in conceptual planning & feasibility study Objectives A project manager must possess three essential attributes to be effective.

    First, he must have a considerable background of practical construction experience so that he is thoroughly familiar with the workings and intricacies of the industry. Without such a basic grounding in construction fundamentals, the project manager would be completely unprepared to carry out his responsibilities. Second, the project manager should or must have available to him, persons with expertise and experience in the application of specialized management techniques to the planning, scheduling, and control of construction operations.

    These procedures have been developed specifically for application to construction projects and are those discussed herein. This is due to much of the management system is usually computer based; the project manager must have access to adequate computer support services. Third, the project manager must have the personality and insight that will enable him to work harmoniously with other people, often under very strained and trying circumstances. The manager, after all, cannot accomplish everything through his efforts alone. He must work with and through people in the performance of his duties.

    This requires an appreciation and understanding of the human factor. Without this, his other attributes, however commendable, will be of limited effectiveness. Duties The first step in the of the project manager in management process is to arrive at a clear definition of the goals of the project and to understand what problems the project is designed to solve. The project manager will assembled the owner, contractor, designer and supplier into a project team and this team is very important in this phase. Each member of the team is a negotiator due to they have to compromise for other project and making sure the main project will go smoothly.

    Afterward, the project manager will have to investigate alternate solutions to the stated problem. Tremendous amount of investigation will be done in order to develop more alternative solutions in the phase of feasibility study. The design professionals need to find available technologies while others will have to investigate cost and schedule implication. In this phase, many ideas and criticisms will be materialized and the project manager will have to maintain open and constructive communication with others.

    The next step is to develop a detailed plan to make the selected program a reality. This work plan lays out for all involved specific tasks and responsibilities and establishes for each step all resource, budget, and schedule parameters. It should be developed involving all the key project team members such as owner, designer, contractor and supplier. The project manager will have to pay more attention to the project team due to they are very crucial members in the project. Next, the project manager needs to implement the plan and control the whole project from start until finish.

    As the project moves to the field the project manager needs to mobilize all contractors and suppliers who will be involved in the project. The project manager will have to evaluate their progress and make adjustment. To accomplish all these tasks, the construction project manager needs to be able to negotiate contracts, use computer, interview and evaluate subcontractors and suppliers, coordinate employees, evaluate progress and quality using technical drawings. In essence, the project manager acts as the backbone of the entire project.

    It is a position of great responsibility, requiring complete and thorough technical knowledge of the construction process and also, strongest possible focus on quality. He is the leader who conceptualizes the construction project, and is responsible for its smooth organization, implementation and completion, to the satisfaction of the clients. Role of Contractor in conceptual planning & feasibility study Objectives A contractor is an individual who engages in the planning, developing and coordinating of activities which coincide with the building of structures.

    The building contractor is the individual who oversees the construction and ensures that all necessary measures are taken to result in the completed finished product. Duties At this phase, the contractor will have to get the tender of the project from the authorities or owners. There are usually 3 types of tender in the construction industry which are: open tendering, selective tendering and negotiated tendering. Open tendering is an arrangement where an advertisement in local newspapers or trade journals invites contractors to apply for tender documents.

    The main advantages of open tendering are it gives high level of competition and contractors tend to give best prices as compare to other tendering method, there is no list of restrictive tenderer, which does not allow favoritism and it is very transparent process which ensures that only the contractor with the best price and meeting all the technical requirements will win the tender. Besides that, selective tendering consists of drawing up a list of chosen firms and asking them to tender.

    It is by far the most common arrangement because it allows price to be the deciding criterion; all other selection factors will have been dealt with at the pre-qualification stage. Last is negotiated tendering which is normally one contractor is approached and such tender mainly used for specialist work such as lift system or airport project at big level, in such case there are limited number of contractor who do such work in the market . it is based on one-to-one discussion with contractors to negotiated the terms of contract.

    In a residential project, an open tendering fits the best for the contractor. Apart from that, the contractor will have to appoint the sub-contractors for the project. The main contractor will be responsible to the employer for its obligations under the master contract, regardless of whether any breach is caused by the sub-contractor failing to perform its obligations under the sub-contract. The sub-contractor has to understand its obligations and must deliver in a timeframe and manner which will enable the main contractor to perform its obligations under the main contract.

    From the main contractor’s perspective, it will be important that the terms of the main contract are reflected in, or stepped down to, the sub-contract. This avoids ‘gaps’ in the main contractor’s obligations under the master contract and the sub-contractor’s obligations under the sub-contract. Role of Supplier in conceptual planning & feasibility study Objectives Suppliers provide all the materials and services needed for building projects. The term ‘supplier’ encompasses a very diverse range of roles, duties, and skills. As such, their responsibilities vary from project to project.

    The best suppliers are reliable and efficient, and as a result, they have great relationships with their clients. Many construction companies consistently use the same suppliers for these reasons. While many suppliers cater exclusively to the commercial and trade industries, some also work on residential projects. Duties The role of a supplier can revolve around materials or services. For example, a building company may use an external supplier to source the following materials: timber, tools, windows, frames, and roof tiles. They can also supply – and sometimes recommend – the machinery needed for a project.

    While many construction companies do have machinery and tools on hand, they often use suppliers for projects that require more innovative materials. Some suppliers stock recycled materials, which is convenient for those building companies that have environmental criteria to meet. In terms of services, suppliers can offer delivery, the cutting and dressing of wood, and the sharpening of tools. Suppliers will provide their services when the purchasing function of a construction firm is central to materials management and especially includes the commitment of project funds for construction materials.

    Purchasing within an organization typically involves all activities associated with the buying process. These activities include: determining the need, selecting the supplier, arriving at a proper price, specifying terms and conditions, issuing the contract or order, and ensuring proper delivery. The increasing importance of supply chain management is motivating companies to fit purchasing and sourcing strategies into their supply chain objectives such as :

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