The Effect of Inclement Weather on Construction

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The Effect of Inclement Weather on Construction

The completion of a project depends just as much on the weather as on the contractor’s rate of work.

Most projects have standard Main Contract Conditions, i.e. JBCC, NEC or FIDIC contracts, and construction programme periods which outline the conditions for any inclement weather claims the contractor might need to submit for a specific project. Then, there might be other employers who have their own additional conditions as well.

It also does not just depend on the days when it is raining, but also on the days following the rain, as the working conditions won’t allow normal activity for safety reasons, due to excess water or muddy conditions, etc. Strong winds can also prevent construction from taking place.

Different provinces will have their own specific rainfall patterns, and contractors in the provinces will be aware of these, however, each construction site is to keep daily weather records which include rainfall meter and/or wind speed meter.

So, the question is, are contractors able to depend on weather sites and/or reports to predict the days that they will not be able to continue construction due to bad weather?

Given all the technological advances during the last few years, the prediction of the weather has become more accurate. However, given all the variables that need to be taken into account in order to predict the weather, the chances are quite high that should one of the elements change, it will affect the entire prediction. This means that a prediction for the weather for the next three days will be more accurate, but a longer-range forecasting becomes significantly less reliable by the third and fourth day of the forecast.

Of course, there are also alternative ways of predicting the weather, i.e. observation, pattern and folklore. According to wikiHow (http://www.wikihow.com/Predict-the-Weather-Without-a-Forecast), there are four methods of predicting the weather without a forecast:

  1. Observing the sky
  2. Feeling the wind and air
  3. Watching animal behaviour
  4. Creating your own prediction methods

I am not going to go into all the details, but they had the following rhymes/proverbs which are quite interesting:

  1. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
  2. “Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning.”
  3. “Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon.”
  4. “Flowers smell best just before a rain.”

To find out the meanings of these, you are welcome to follow the link above, it does make for interesting reading, although these are for the Northern Hemisphere.

In conducting my research for this article, I came across the COMBISAFE UBIX® temporary roof system (http://www.combisafe.com/news-and-events/keeping-construction-on-track-when-under-the-weather/). This is a British product that they use in construction to keep a project on course and limit the effects of adverse weather conditions. Further to the temporary roof system, it can also feature a COMBISAFE RunWay system. This means it can quickly and safely be rolled open to allow for plant, equipment and materials to be craned in and out as required.

In the end, it appears that although there have been great strides in predicting the weather, it is not possible to only rely on weather predictions for accuracy. A combination of all methods described here might have better accuracy than just one or two of all the methods. But unfortunately, there will still be instances when mother nature decides that she has to vent, and construction will have to bow down and surrender to her will for a day or so.

Special thanks to Neels Van Staden from Steffanutti Stocks Building Gauteng for his assistance.

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

Tender Documents to Help the Average Ant

Tender Documents to Help the Average Ant

Tender documents to help the Average Ant.

Every day, a small Ant arrives at work very early and starts work immediately. She produces a lot and she was happy.

The Chief, a Lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the Ant can produce so much without supervision, would she produce even more if she had a supervisor?

So he recruited a Cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports.

The Cockroach’s first decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports and he recruited a Spider, who managed the archives and monitored all the phone calls. The Lion was delighted with the Cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyse trends, so he could use them for presentations at board meetings.

So the Cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and recruited a Fly to manage the IT department.

The Ant, who had once been so productive, happy and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of her time.

The Lion came to the conclusion that it was time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the Ant worked.

The position was given to the Cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office. He also needed a personal assistant who he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a “Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan”.

The department where the Ant works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody is upset. It was at this time the Cicada convinced the Lion Chief, of the absolute necessity to start a “Climactic Study of the Environment.”

Having reviewed the charges for running the Ant’s department, the Lion found out that the production was even less then before!

So he recruited the Owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions.

The Owl spent three months and came up with an enormous report and after several volumes it that concluded: “The department is overstaffed…”

Guess who the Lion fired first?

The Ant, of course, because she “ showed a lack of motivation and had a negative attitude.”

Adapted from: Aesop’s Fable/ CP’s Fables

Perhaps this story rings true for you and you are compelled on a daily basis to acquire and complete mountains of paperwork. Unfortunately we cannot change how many supervisors or departments you work within.

We are however hopeful that this secret repository of Tender documents will help you be more positive, effective and motivated in your workplace as well as keep you out of the line of fire from any Lions!

About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

Is there Value in attending Tendering Workshops?

Is there Value in attending Tendering Workshops?

The question raised is similar to that for all other types of training where prospects question the wisdom of attending workshops. Depending on who’s answering the question, that in itself is a debatable one. If I were to be the one asking this question I would look for the following background checks on those offering the training.

Firstly, you have to look at the facilitators’ track record and here we are not referring to academic qualifications but for how many years has the person been presenting on the aspects of tendering. Secondly, you would have to request a Course Outline to determine as to whether the topics covered will indeed be in line with your expectations and thirdly, to check what kind of feedback past delegates’ are giving on the facilitators ability to bring the subject matter across in a manner that made them “happy”. I would say, that once you’ve ticked off all the boxes, then we are halfway there in answering the above question.

In essence it now becomes an issue as to what one should expect of such a workshop or training seminar. In the main, the facilitator has to cover the key legal aspects around the subject of tendering as well as bringing in other enabling legislation since the topic of tendering in itself is not a stand-alone issue. Depending on who one tenders for i.e. local, provincial or national government, parastatals or state owned enterprises, you need to be made aware by the facilitator that the applicable tendering-legislation has relevance to all these different spheres of government. Further, the facilitator needs to explain the different and various “stumbling blocks” found within the broader scope of the tendering process.

Primarily, those tendering for government contracts are challenged with submitting compliant bids since only those bids that are considered to be compliant will “graduate” to the short-list from which they will choose the successful bidder. The facilitator will also have to cover the aspects of the different committees systems, their structure, role and functions as well as how tenders are scored through the different point systems. Issues like the key pillars of tendering; BBBEE and sub-contracting, firm and non-firm pricing must also be covered in explaining the over-arching process of tendering.

Completing tender documents are not really open to varied interpretation since each bid document must consist of most of the 9 prescribed forms or returnables as issued by the national treasury. One of the areas that must be covered is the “declaration of interests” since delegates must be advised that by getting things wrong on this form could have serious legal repercussions such as being accused of what I call “inadvertent fraudulent declarations”. Also, the aspects of when to submit fixed prices and non-fixed prices coupled with the limitations on sub-contracting and the general conditions of contract, are also key issues to be dealt with in the workshop.

Overall, if you are happy that these key points will be covered in the workshop, then the answer to the above question should be in the “affirmative”

Gerrit is the Lead-Advisor at Taranisco Advisory CC and is contactable at advisor@taranis.co.za or www.taranis.co.za

About Gerrit Davids

Gerrit Davids is the Lead Advisor at Taranis Co Advisory with more than 20 years experience in government procurement regulations and having trained more than 2000 people on how to submit compliant tenders.

The devil is in the details

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The devil is in the details

 

 Putting your Best Foot Forward when presenting Yourself

 

Easy. Follow instructions.

 

If it specifies that the tender document must be filled out in black ink; fill it out in black ink. The odds are there’s a very unamused Supply Chain Manager who’s had to deal with documents filled out in anything from pink crayon to pencil (the ultimate indicator of shady goings on). He will most probably not understand the aesthetic superiority of blue ink or the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of all black pens ever, or any other excuse you might come up with. If it specifies that you have to hand in not only the original tender document, but also multiple copies; be professional and show up on the closing day with the aforementioned multiple copies. Do not put yourself in a position to pull an Oliver “Please sir, can I use your photocopier?”. Anyone else hear a resounding “No!”.

 

Granted, these details do not seem important when faced with pricing and filling out a document that is responsible for the felling of a small forest. These details do not compare with cement prices or transport costs or the fact that your site is slowly turning into marshland, is being disputed by two traditional authorities and a lone extremely endangered frog has decided to take up residence slap bang in the middle of where your new shiny Mall is supposed to go. But that’s not the point. The devils’ in the detail.

 

When I get called by telemarketers and they get my name wrong, all bets are off. My logic being, if you can’t get my name correct, why would I give you my hard earned money? If you can’t even remember to sign your own tender document, why should the Municipality/ Department trust you to build that bridge?

 

Yes, this is a small detail and, I will also concede, petty. But it’s also indicative. There are no business dealings today that don’t involve a contract or some sort of written agreement. These are made entirely up of small details, seemly insignificant details that all parties agree to abide by. Should one of these parties decide to not abide by one of these little details, another profession tends to get involved. They make sharks look fluffy by comparison.

 

In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter, sent to observe Mar’s weather, burnt up in the Martian atmosphere. NASA investigated and discovered the use of English units, instead of Metric units in the calculations. Oops. A detail so small and taken for granted, it was never checked. $125 million up in smoke.

 

Do you really want to lose a tender because you didn’t carry a total across? Or because you handed it in too late? Or couldn’t be bothered to hand in your Tax Clearance certificate?

 

In filling out documents, this is not an opportunity to “stick it to the man”. If you want to do business, then be professional and conscientious. It isn’t other people’s responsibility (never mind the Government’s) to give you a break. This is tenders – the competition is ruthless.

 

So I can’t help you with the price of cement or the fact that petrol’s gone up three times in as many months or with your frog-infested marshland overrun with Environmental types. But I can tell you, to watch the details. Those buggers will get you everytime.

 

 

 

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

 

 

 

 

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a fly fishing competition in the KwaZulu – Natal Midlands in South Africa. If you ever have this opportunity, you would find yourself in the most impossibly scenic places at the best time of day, catching and releasing a worthy prey – in this case – trout.

 

The social aspect of this competition is quite well known and was in full swing.  As with any sport or hobby there inevitably is some networking that happens.  One moment you are talking about what fly you were using when you hooked into your fish and the next you are exchanging business cards.  It got me thinking about marketing and how there are some similarities to fishing. Let me explain my thinking…

 

 

Do the hard yards

When fishing, it is always a good idea to find where the fish are holding.  What structures would they choose to hide and live in?  What are they feeding on and what do they like to consume?  Similarly in marketing, you need to investigate who your target market is and what are they looking for.  What would create interest in you and your products or services over and above your competitors?

 

You can’t catch a fish unless your line is in the water

You need to get your line in the water to actually have a fish interested in your offering.  No line, no chance.  Whatever your plan is, brand awareness via repeated exposure or increasing sales, you need to actually put something out there for people to see.   If they don’t see you, they will be less aware of you and someone else is going to get their attention.

 

Be Present

If I wasn’t at the competition I wouldn’t possibly have caught any fish or even made the connections that I did with the people there.  In the day and age of technology I feel it is still important to be present to connect and engage with people.  People like to put a face to a name.  It makes it more memorable and keeps you front of mind.  It is a more personal connection.  Sometimes, between all the advertising and marketing, you need to make sure that there is an opportunity for people to walk through an open door and actually meet a person.  Let people see inside as such and realise that it is not just a brand they are connecting to, but the people behind it as well.  It makes a difference.

 

As for the fishing competition… we may not have won, but we definitely got to catch some amazing fish and met some very interesting people who now know more about our brand.  Kind of a win win situation really.  So, the only question remaining is… are you going fishing?

 

 

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Creative ways to get your Bill of Quantities

posted in: General, How To 2

Creative Ways to Obtain a Bill of Quantity

Bills of quantities are prepared by Quantity Surveyors we all know that thanks to the previous blog post “What is a Bill of Quantities (BoQ)?”

So how does one obtain a Bill of Quantities? Let me count the legal ways…

1. Request the BoQ from the Quantity Surveyor
2. Purchase the Tender Document which contains the BoQ
3. Download off a website if it is available
4. Request the BoQ from the Client directly
5. Request the BoQ from the Architect
6. Request the BoQ from the PA of the Quantity Surveyor
7. Contact Leads 2 Business

All of these methods lead back to the Quantity Surveyor. Surely we could obtain a Bill of Quantities in a more creative way? Maybe the answer would be to become a Quantity Surveyor and draw up your own BoQ. Sounds easy right? Not so quick.
Firstly we need to understand the role a Quantity Surveyor plays in the Construction Industry.

When asked what a Quantity Surveyor does many people will say “Erm. They survey quantities”. That’s what I would have said before working at Leads 2 Business.

From the inception of the project the QS will estimate costs throughout the process based on industry knowledge, substantiating their results with previous projects in order to make estimates on how much the project will cost. A QS performs various roles including managing the costs of a project, calculating quantities (how many bricks a house will need), advice on tendering procedures and contractual arrangements to name a few. Explains why you need to study at least 4 years to obtain a degree.
Becoming a Quantity surveyor may assist you to obtain a BoQ creatively but perhaps not the most efficient way to do so and I doubt anyone would go to such lengths especially when you take into consideration that you may not be appointed on the project you might be interested in pursuing. So what is the alternative?

You could go with some of the conventional methods I listed. If however you are looking for a creative 21st Century approach to obtaining a BoQ that is legal and efficient, Leads 2 Business may be a perfect fit for you.

 

 

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

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