Why Pay Attention to Sitework?
On too many projects, the Construction Supervisor allows the Excavation Foreman to make most of the major decisions for the site work staging and planning. It seems to make sense to allow the Excavation Foreman to make these decisions, since his crews are doing the work. This assumption causes many problems on projects that could have been easily avoided.
The Excavation Foreman generally focuses on the most efficient method to get his required work items done. Generally the excavator’s goals can be visualized if the dirt were being moved with a stick; pushed from the high areas to the nearest low areas with a minimum of carrying. Sometimes the most efficient method for the Excavation Foreman is also the best plan for the entire project. Many times, though, project complexities exist that are beyond the excavator’s scope of work. In these cases, the Construction Supervisor should make sure the planning considers what is best for the entire project, not just for the Excavator.
A simple method that works well involves a color marked site plan that the Construction Supervisor develops just for job staging and planning. The Construction Supervisor needs to consider fill pile locations, topsoil pile locations, haul roads, building layout points, building material storage locations, parking areas, office trailer locations, etc for the various phases of the project.
Perhaps several color marked up site plans will be needed to show what happens at the various project stages. Each project is different and requires a slightly different approach. But the one consistent rule: lack of site work planning for the various project stages by the Construction Supervisor will definitely not achieve an optimized project.
A good Construction Supervisor considers the various requirements for foundation, site utilities, access and storage, dewatering, etc. and helps plan a detailed sequence of excavation. This planning process should include as many of the affected parties as possible to insure success. Be forewarned, it will be difficult to get people to take the time to plan. Planning, by definition, involves taking uncertain dates and requirements and looking into the future to make decisions. Many people are uncomfortable with this process and will try to avoid it. Good planning requires thought and negotiating and is hard mental work.