I have been gathering real and interesting project experiences over the past 50 years. Some of those have been great, and others not so. But we can learn from all of our experiences, regardless. With this book I have gathered over 275 case study examples or stories all in one place. Writing the book was very fun. Exploring these project experiences caused me to reflect on what happened, the good, the bad, and the worse, and what I will do next time. I hope it will have the same result with readers. The origins of the stories are primarily from the hundreds of projects I have participated in. Some date as far back as when I was only 10 years old working for my father’s company and others current as of this writing. The experiences are not hypothetical, but they reflect actual construction projects. My involvement has ranged from carpenter and foreman through project manager and senior project manager, construction company owner, estimating and scheduling consultant, and now as owner’s representative and expert witness.
Most construction management textbooks use hypothetical examples. The case study examples here outline activities and behaviors of actual project owners, designers, general contractors, project managers, superintendents, and also real craft workers, such as carpenters and electricians; and real subcontractors, such as earthwork and drywall, etc. It takes people to build buildings, and the examples included in this book explore the relations among all these built environment participants. The actual names have all been removed so any connection with real companies or individuals is coincidental. After finishing the book the reader will have added many important construction management tools to their toolbox.
There are many practical uses for the book. First of all, it is fun to read. One finds themselves saying: “Did that really happen? Why did he or she do that? This of course wouldn’t happen on my job.” But of course strange things do happen, especially on construction projects. There is a lot of money at stake, and money causes people to do some uncharacteristic things. Some of their actions are unethical and others, unfortunately, may be illegal. This book could work as a standalone course in a construction management or construction engineering university program, especially at the senior undergraduate level or at the master level. It would be perfect for a course seminar. Advanced cases from Chapter 17 and complete project descriptions from Chapter 18 could be combined with specific examples threaded throughout the book and presented in a class or seminar, even debated. It would also be a good accompany book for any construction management topic such as estimating, scheduling, contracts, project management, claim resolution, and others. The book would be a perfect fit for an industry seminar conducted for construction professionals or internal training for a contractor. If you could add only one construction management book to your library, this one would be a good choice.
The book includes 18 chapters organized along many popular construction management topics; from owners and architects through estimating, contracts, operations, and close-out. The chapters are presented in the relative order a true construction project would experience. The project owner and architects are first introduced, and then construction organizations are examined. The construction process from preconstruction and contracts is followed through to project close-out. The book can be read in the order introduced, or the reader is encouraged to dive into a topic that is of interest at that time, such as scheduling. Because other case studies and chapters are referenced with the introduction of each chapter and also within individual narratives, the reader can follow that thread throughout the rest of the book, for example from schedule to estimate and contract to claims and close-out.
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