Construction Management Plan Types

GlossaryJuly 23, 2021

Overview

From the first glance it may seem like there is no point in varying types of construction management. The name itself suggests that construction management is just a process of handling some sort of construction and/or renovation project.

However, the truth is not as simple as that. In reality, each project involves three core parties, and each one of them is drastically different from the rest.

First, you have the owner, the one who is commissioning the project in question. The owner is also the one who is funding the whole ordeal, either via external methods or directly. The second participant is the designer – the one who is going to be designing the entire project, be it an architect or an engineer. And the last, but not the least, is the general contractor – someone in charge of managing subcontractors and overseeing all of the smaller daily operations and actions of the construction team.

In this chain, someone with the role of a construction manager would be tasked with representing the interests of the owner and acting as a communication beacon between the construction team and the owner. Meeting the original goals of time, budget and quality are the main targets of a construction manager.

Some of the typical construction manager tasks include, but not exclusive to:

  • Reacting to various problems and errors on the construction site
  • Checking compliance of the project to legal and other regulations
  • Working with subcontractors and directing their efforts
  • Creating budget estimates, schedules, and timetables
  • Regularly reporting about the results of the construction to the owners or project manager(s)
  • Collaborating with specialists in other fields, such as architects or engineers

That being said, construction management in itself is a process that’s heavily influenced by the needs of a client, meaning that almost every other construction project is unique in one way or another. This is where two of the major types of construction management have started to form.

But before we start explaining the varying types of construction management, it’s important to quickly go over the basics. The most basic part of this topic is the definition of construction management (or building construction management, as it’s often called).

Going from the name itself, building construction management is a process of overlooking either creation or renovation of projects and subsequently managing such projects. Each project is heavily dependent on what the client wants, so both the construction and the renovation range from relatively small to truly massive in scope.

The existence of several different types of construction management leads to one important piece of advice – it is highly recommended to try and hire a professional that specializes in a specific construction management type that you’re looking for, rather than getting a “jack-of-all-trades” sort of deal. Such specialization could easily benefit your construction project in a variety of ways.

Now that we’ve gone over the basic definition of building construction management, it’s time to analyze the different types of construction management.

Types of construction management

You may or may not have heard some terms that could be considered types of construction management, such as industrial construction management, or on-site construction management. There are also several different types of construction that can be performed, such as:

  • Industrial – anything related to production or storage is included in this category, from power plants and seaports to oil refineries and pipelines.
  • Residential – includes most of the housing structures, such as regular houses, townhouses, apartments, smaller housing, etc.
  • Institutional – everything that serves the needs of either the government or some other public organization goes in this category. Examples of institutional construction include schools, hospitals, government buildings, museums, police stations, libraries, dormitories, and so on.
  • Agricultural – represented by mostly economic-related buildings and other projects that may serve some sort of agricultural purpose. Some examples of the constructions are storage silos, animal sheds, water supply, barns, etc.
  • Heavy civil – transportation infrastructure is the main type of structure for this category, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, tunnels, etc. Dams are also a part of this, but the majority of other infrastructure that is related to water belongs to the environmental category.
  • Environmental – is represented by some constructions that were once included in the heavy civil category, but were later segregated into a category of their own. Environmental constructions represent projects that aim to improve the environment, and include various projects of different scales, such as water treatment plans, storm sewers, air pollution control, wastewater treatment structures, solid waste management plans, and so on.
  • Commercial – is the one that includes all of the buildings that are required to fulfill the needs of trade, services, and private commerce. Known examples of this type are office buildings, shopping malls, theaters, golf courses, condominiums, warehouses, banks, casinos, resorts, and more.

While construction management as a process would, in fact, be different for each of these different construction types, we would like to focus a bit more on two of the most popular ones on the list: residential construction management and commercial construction management.

The biggest difference between the two is quite obvious, and it can be figured out with their names alone – commercial construction management deals with various commercial projects to sell or rent out space, while residential is all about a property that people would be living in.

Let’s give these two types a somewhat more detailed explanation.

Commercial construction management focuses on working with properties that would be either rented or sold to be used as various types of offices for other companies. Actual construction is often used in these cases to create these buildings, and renovation projects are often used as a way to make the necessary adjustments for a specific company’s workplace.

It’s not uncommon for companies that specialize in commercial construction management to also provide various subsequent services, such as design, office relocation, and so on.

On the other hand, residential construction management is all about residential properties – places that people can and would be living in, from single homes to multifamily housing or various apartment complexes.

The scope of construction management projects in this category is quite wide, from renovation to make the building livable in the first place, to upgrading for the purpose of generating more profit via higher rent. Almost every possible housing-related project goes under the residential construction management category.

That being said, no construction management would be complete without a dedicated construction management plan – and there are several different types of those, as well.

Construction management plans

Figuring out different types of construction management plans is also quite easy – there are three general types, and each one of those implies something different under the definition of a construction management plan.

As it stands, there are three main types of construction management plans:

  • A general plan, used to outline the entire construction project from the pre-design phase to the post-construction maintenance.

Often called a “business plan”, and is all but required for larger projects. Details many different parts of the process, such as feasibility, project design, construction process, evaluation process after completion, project description, and a lot more. Most of the time this type of plan is generated either by the client themselves or on behalf of a client. At the same time, in some cases contractors can also be involved in the creation of this plan.

  • A more detailed construction management plan that further explains both the costs and the scheduling of a project (often used by contractors to explain how the work would be done).

Sometimes called a “project management” plan, often generated with the help of various construction-related software in specific areas, such as CAD, construction accounting, construction activity project management, and so on. The need to exchange such data grows exponentially with the growth of the plan itself, and bigger projects often use BIM software as the means of transferring that data.

  • A construction plan that focuses more on how the process could affect the surrounding environment and in what ways (often requested by local municipalities in specific cases).

More often than not this plan is created directly for the purpose of getting approval from a local municipality if the size or the nature of a building project might disturb the surrounding areas. Some of the possible disturbances are operating hours, waste/material reuse, noise and vibration levels, construction site security, traffic problems, and so on.

Conclusion

Construction management is a relatively complicated topic in general, and the existence of different types does not help to ease the understanding of this topic. The same could be said for construction management plans. Luckily enough, it is possible to figure out the most commonly used types of both construction management and construction management plans, to make the topic somewhat more accessible and easier to explain – which is what we did in this article.

About the author

James Ocean

BIM/VDC Specialist. James Ocean is Head of BIMspiration at Revizto and keeps everything moving onwards and upwards. From supporting and teaching our internal team as well as our clients, James shows us the ins-and-outs and how to best leverage Revizto to maximize workflows, cut costs, and get all types of projects through the finish line.

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Types of Construction Management Construction management is a moderately complicated topic with its own share of nuances. The existence of distinctive construction management is not helping matters either. Fortunately, it is possible to figure out the most commonly used types of construction management and explain the significance of each one of them – that is what we’ll do in this article. 2021-07-23
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