The Critical Roles of a Project Manager in a Large Commercial Office Fit-out Construction

In commercial office buildings today, fit-outs can be complex and large, and that is certainly the case in high quality buildings within CBD locations.

The Property Manager and the Center Management team should have rules and procedures in place to ensure that fit-out construction is controlled from the very beginning to the end.  The Center Management team will as part of that process integrate closely with the Project Manager appointed to the tenants fit-out.

Project Manager Appointment

The key to successful fit-out is a competent Project Manager coordinating between the tenant, services contractors, and Center Management.  The tenant is responsible for appointing the Project Manager, whose appointment shall be approved by the Center Management.  The Project Manager must have demonstrated proof of high standards of commercial work in landmark buildings in similar locations.

Design to Commissioning

A modern commercial office building today has a sophisticated suite of services for today’s tenant, and to gain the optimum from these services, tenant fit-outs must be correctly designed, installed, and commissioned correctly.  It is commonly found that the majority of tenant complaints with services are due to modifications done during the fit-out; that problem can be avoided by proper design and execution.

Project Co-ordination Meetings

It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to chair co-ordination meetings between the tenant, Centre Management and relevant specialist service contractors on a regular basis to enable Center Management to monitor the progress of the fit-out and service modifications for the benefit of the tenant.  In some larger tenancies and in high quality buildings, the construction of the fit-out can take weeks if not months.  Good controls and effective communication between the parties will help things proceed through construction and works completion.

Site Foreman or Supervisor Appointment

The Project Manager should appoint and maintain on the site for the duration of the fit-out, a competent full time Foreman or Supervisor who shall be fully experienced in all aspects of the works.  The Foreman or Supervisor is to be the Project Manager’s representative on the site, who shall have the authority to take all necessary actions requested by the Centre Management in relation to quality, performance and overall control as well as the daily organisation and planning of the works.  The Project Manager should provide the Foreman or Supervisor with either an onsite telephone with an answering machine, or a mobile phone.

Works Information and Approvals

The Project Manager should submit information and works specifications for approval to Centre Management as required by building codes, building specifications, and construction requirements, such approval not lessening the liability of the Project Manager.

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