Construction site considerations

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Welfare facilities requirements

For all path projects, regardless of whether the project is notifiable or non-notifiable and how many contractors are working on site at any one time, the contractor (or principal contractor) must provide adequate welfare facilities on site before any pathwork, including site preparation, begin. The welfare facilities must remain on site (and be maintained) until all pathworks have been completed and signed off.

Site supervision

Once the pathwork has started, the designer (or principal designer, clerk of works, or works supervisor if any of these appointments are involved) should be on site at least once a week, or more.  They should track progress of the work against the design (specifications), and guide the contractor (or principal contractor) with regard to the standards required on an ongoing basis.  Any discussions or requests that might have a bearing on the specifications, quantities, or ‘out-turn’ costs should be recorded and shared with you (the client).  The contractor (or principal contractor) should keep a record of all completed work, which must be made available on request.  This will be of great assistance in the event of claims or disputes.

For complex projects, it is useful to hold a progress meeting at regular intervals throughout the construction phase with everyone involved.  Discuss work progress, problems, health and safety, design changes/ modifications, etc.  Someone present should take minutes, which should be logged and circulated to everyone in attendance.

To assist with site management, here are some things to lookout for:

Quality and tidiness
Check that all path and related feature/ structure works are of a sufficiently high quality e.g. piped culvert headwalls are neat and stable with no plastic pipe ends protruding out past the stonework
Make sure the contractor (or principal contractor) responsibly disposes of all packaging, geotextile sheet or geogrid off-cuts, rubbish and litter in line with good waste recycling practices

 

Materials and alternations
Make sure supplied materials are in accordance with the specification.  For example if DTp Type 1 granular sub base is required, make sure that the quarry has dispatched the right aggregate.  Inspect all materials before installation.  Any supplied materials should be rejected if, in the opinion of the clients' site representative, they do not meet specification or are defective in any way.  The contractor (or principal contractor) needs to be informed and is then responsible for making sure the materials are replaced
Any alternations or variations to the specification must be agreed verbally on site.  However, this must be confirmed in writing in advance of the work being completed.  Significant design alterations that result in concealed or unusual risks being present must be noted, preferably on as-built drawings.  In the case of a project with more than one contractor, they must be placed in the health and safety file for future reference

 

Quantities
Make sure the correct amount of material is used as stated in specifications or on drawings.  Measure the path base and surface layer depths and widths, and ask for them to be topped up or widened if less than specified.  The contractor (or principal contractor) should inform the clients' site representative of any situations where additional depth or widths are required so that the bill of quantities can be amended.  As with changes to the design, any variations to materials or quantities that affect the bill of quantity work item must be agreed verbally on site, and then in writing in advance of the work being undertaken

 

A quality finish

Before signing off any completed work, check the following:

  • Is the path surface even (is the surface regularity in line with the specification) and free of high and low points and hollows?

  • Is the crossfall or camber to the specification?

  • Is the path surface free of roller marks?  Noticeable roller marks on the surface are an indication that materials have not been compacted enough and require more rolling with a heavy roller

  • Are landscaped edges / verges finished level with path surface and not higher than the finished surface level?

  • Are ditches free of obstructions that could cause water to overflow onto the path?

  • Are ditches running in right directions?

  • Are piped culverts and other drainage features built to the specification?

Invoicing (payments)

For small path projects, payment to the contractor is issued after the works are completed and signed off.

For medium or large scale projects, the terms of payment should be agreed in the terms and conditions of contract - by law, any construction contract lasting more than 45 days must have an interim payment scheme.  Generally, the contractor (or principal contractor) is paid on issue of interim invoices throughout the construction phase. The contractor (or principal contractor) should submit an invoice with a measurement of completed works.  This measurement should relate to the bill of quantities and note the total amounts for the various work completed.

You or the project manager should check the measurements and totals to make sure the works have been done, and to specification.  The measurements and totals should be signed off prior to payment.  Good record keeping is essential to keep control of what payments have been made for works completed to your satisfaction.

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© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh