Previously, we looked at the role proper planning plays in ensuring the smooth rollout of a development project. In this post we will move on to the next phase – the actual construction itself. This is where people tend to focus most of their attention because it is where the work becomes increasingly tangible. Without the planning of Phase 1 properly seen through, however, it is where neglected issues can become potential stumbling blocks. In this piece we want to highlight the connections between the two phases, as well as the role we are able to play both as overall custodians of a development, and specialists in our respective divisions.
Getting Ideas off the Ground
The construction phase has many moving parts, and entails a wide range of service providers coming together to get a development out of the ground. Here, the planning and scoping conducted in Phase 1 are used as the guideline to brief in the different role-players and ensure that the development follows what has been proposed and approved. During the construction phase of a project, GeoAfrika’s divisions work closely with the client and the professional team to ensure the constructed development remains within the design specifications and meets the requirements of the town-planning framework it was approved under. Deviations from either of these can jeopardise the entire project, but luckily this is avoidable with the correct systems and audits in place.
GeoAfrika is not involved in actual construction, but rather serves a complementary role in this phase. Our Surveys division often works with the different contractors in their technical capacity, and HSG comes in from a legal perspective to ensure that any deviations from the proposed plans do not have a knock-on effect. From a macro perspective, GeoAfrika is also skilled at servicing a more advisory role, ensuring that any issues that are raised are quickly and effectively dealt with.
One of the key thresholds in this phase is what’s known as an As Build (or “As Built”) Submission. Here, the documentation of what was actually constructed needs to be submitted to the authorities for the final signoff before the development can be sold or used. It also serves as the record of what was built for any future reference going forward. It is a technical, but vitally-important step in the development process, and involves collating input from the entire professional team (each of which may have their own standards and systems). As alluded to earlier, ensuring that this also matches up to what was signed off in the planning phase is also key to avoid delays and further costs.
In this space, GeoAfrika’s difference truly comes to the fore in the business’s ability to strategically manage a complex set of processes, ensure they all feed into a master-plan in the right way, and create information management systems to record, track and ultimately document the final development. This includes managing the all-important cash-flow throughout this phase. At it’s most basic level this ensures that what the client is paying for and expecting to be delivered at the end of the day is actually realised. By staying close to the project workstreams, however, we are able to track progress along the way and adjust any planning to meet the deadlines and requirements to make sure this is the case.
A key product offering here is our proprietary DIMS (Development Information Management System) from our Technologies division. This allows for an entire development to be virtually represented along with whatever data points are most relevant for the project. This not only ensures that the project progress can be tracked accordingly, but also that the different service providers are informed to capture the right information, at the right point in time, to feed into the As Build submissions and sales teams forecasts. It also means that when the development is completed and ready for occupation, a rich digital model is available for on-going facilities management. Ultimately the primary goal in the services and products provided by GeoAfrika is that of certainty for developers in the management of compliance, timeframes and budgets. This enables the timeous unlocking of value through property transfers or commissioning of their fixed assets.