This is a personal guide to the duties carried out by a construction administrator stationed on-site, based on my own experiences. Many construction projects costing upwards of £11 million require that offices be set up on-site so that construction staff are readily to hand to co-ordinate all phases of building. Thus, if the project has a large budget for building accommodation flats or schools for instance, and the location is more than an hour’s drive from head office then a temporary office base has to be put in place.

The site set-up has to render site staff as self-sufficient as possible so port-a-cabins are transported to, and placed on, site to act as temporary offices containing all the stationery, furniture and office equipment you would need to operate normally until the date of project completion and subsequent handover of the building under construction. The set-up generally comprises four offices, kitchen, drawing printer room, administrator’s office, boardroom for meetings complete with boardroom table and chairs, male WC and, most definitely, female WC, not least as there may be female architects and engineers visiting on-site.

Within this construction office base, the administrator’s duties are 90% centred around construction drawings: receiving, printing, stamping, registering, distributing and filing them all. The majority of these drawings will be issued to you by the project architect and engineer. In the first instance, when the piling points and foundations of the building are being marked out by the surveying engineers, the engineer drawings are the most important. However, the architect drawings start to become more prevalent as the actual building gets underway.

As each drawing revision becomes ‘live’ it is best to request both hard copies, ie paper copies, as well as electronic PDFs (Adobe portable document formats) of the drawings at the same time. The former always get stamped ‘Master Copy’ and filed in the filing cabinets and they should not be removed by anyone other than the administrator for viewing. It is important to keep a master copy of every revision issued by the architect and engineer in case drawings need to be reviewed if any contentious points of discussion relating to the drawings arise.

The latter, electronic PDF formats, are very important for filing in your project folders on your PC and keeping, just as with the paper copies, an up-to-date bank of electronic drawings so that they can be emailed to subcontractors who will invariably need them when they are due to start on site. Página Web You will have gathered many subcontractor email addresses by now so that you can send them drawings as easily as possible in this way.

As part of drawing control standards, you must keep current records and documentation ie proof of what drawings have been issued from your company out to subcontractors and when, whether sending by hard copy or PDF format on your PC. I used to write directly on the master copy of each drawing in the filing cabinet to whom and when that drawing had been issued. Site staff must not issue drawings casually out by hand to subcontractors on site as this causes a lot of trouble regarding denial as to whether a drawing was indeed given out or received. All drawings issued to subcontractors must be recorded by letter and posted out or emailed out as attachments so that subcontractors cannot say that they did not receive the drawing(s) in question. With regard to important drawing issues, you may have to use ‘Recorded Delivery’ wherein the drawings are signed for by the recipient at point of delivery.

When you receive drawings it is very important to check that the legend in the bottom right hand corner of the drawing reads correctly ie check the project name is correct, drawing title and particularly the drawing revision is correct. No drawing can reflect any changes being made without the drawing revision being upgraded to the next revision, whether they are numbered: 1, 2, 3 upwards or A, B, C…Z. If there are any anomalies, you should inform the architect and engineer so that the drawing can be re-issued correctly – take care to be particular about this at the time and it will save confusion and blame later. Every part of the design team: architect, engineer, construction team, mechanic & electrical (M&E) should be conscientious in notifying each other if something remiss is noticed in the drawings.

Printing out drawings is another time-consuming duty particularly if you have not been issued with enough paper copies by the architect, engineer or relevant subcontractor. You will normally have a heavy-duty printer that you can print drawings directly to from your pc (hence the advantage of PDFs of drawings on your PC) or, if you just have paper copies, you can manually feed them in to the printer and it copies them. Colour printers normally take a lot longer but never compromise on this unless the person that requested the drawing says specifically that it is OK for you to print the colour drawing out in black and white. Some site staff just want a black and white drawing for quickness, but make sure that whoever requires it knows it should be in colour. Importantly, architects mark up certain parts of drawings in colour deliberately to highlight certain things in question and if the construction team receive copies in black and white and something is overlooked, the architects can uphold the defence that the drawing was originally issued in colour and should have been printed out as such and duly exonerate themselves of blame.