Architects Vs Construction Managers: A Game of Thrones

Architect Vs Construction Managers: A game of thrones

The building construction industry is a wide industry that encompasses many professionals. Recently, a bill has been introduced in parliament touching on the little known profession of construction management.

The Construction Project Managers And Construction Managers Bill 2017 which is being fronted by the newly launched Association Of Construction Mangers of Kenya, ACMK, seeks to end malpractices that have bedeviled the local construction industry.

According to the bill, each construction project should have a a professional manager who will oversee the construction process.

Traditionally, this role was reserved for the architect and as expected the bill has raised mixed reactions largely by virtue of the fact that role of the construction manager is still a new concept in Kenya.

An architect is primarily a design professional who will come up with plans that will form the basis for construction.

A construction manager or CM will plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise the construction project from start to finish.

The purpose of the CM is to control a project’s time, cost and quality.

The profession is not new per se since “management” of construction has been around, of necessity, for as long as construction itself and was provided as an ancillary service by architects or engineers in other instances, and as a routine part of what construction contractors do.

The argument behind having construction managers as a separate profession relates to the changing times and demanding requirements of the industry.

Construction projects have become complex as different professions are involved in one single project and all these have to be managed and coordinated in order to achieve a project’s objectives.

In addition, tough economic times means that every penny counts. This results to a need to exercise higher level of control while executing the construction process so as to minimize delays and at the same time giving best value for money.

The building owner’s needs have also evolved. While, originally most owners were concerned with the initial cost, nowadays they will prioritize sustainable development and look at the overall asset life cycle performance to make decisions relating to the project.

For this, they will need an expert well versed in construction techniques and technology to advise them This is the niche that a well trained and experienced CM will be able to fill. The Construction Management Bill, therefore, is a definite step in the right direction to be lauded by all.

View Comments (6)
  • Good information. This well outlines the core roles and responsibilities of a CM ‘s effort in achieving the objectives of the project because of the change in technologies, clients desires thus converging the cost, time and quality aspects. Try to push this also in Uganda and across Africa where management in construction infrastructure is not well understood or practiced thus affecting the faster growth of this sector. There should be one person accountable to all the questions from a project because he coordinates, oversees and monitors different professionals so as to have a focal point. Good push for the people of Kenya and East Africa.

  • Architects should be the one’s well versed in construction techniques and practices, idealy they should have control of quality as the design and idea is theirs. CMs are relevant in only large projects. They can lead the management of time and costs but cannot dictate the quality of the build as it’s only as good as the design. This is where the friction exists as Architects have been rigorously trained on design and choice of materials, a CM cannot imagine themselves as the lead coordinator in a construction project but rather as part of link in a big chain. Even the quality of training of Architects is way higher than that of construction managers.

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