Whilst all construction projects have their tricky elements, working on a live site presents an additional set of challenges. ITC’s Director Tony Smith discusses our approach to working on live sites.
As refurbishment and fit-out specialists, ITC teams often find themselves working in and around buildings that are still in use. This might be because we’re only working on one area of the building, or because the essential work of the space must continue around the renovations. Either way, live site work must be approached with a great deal of understanding for the client and the needs of those they work with, whether they be customers, patients, pupils or employees.
At our recently completed project at Kingston University, we were transforming lab space directly above the main lecture theatre. This required a bespoke schedule of work designed to minimise disruption during lecture hours. Whilst adjustments such as this aren’t always straightforward to deliver, it can make the world of difference to the client.
Client Kim Thomas from Kingston University talks about their experience.
So, following several decades in the industry, here are my top 5 tips for working on live sites:
1. Put yourself in the client’s shoes
The day to day operations of the building often have to go on, even whilst construction work is taking place. Thinking about the client’s needs and priorities every step of the way is essential.
2. Getting off on the right foot
Make sure every single person working on the project knows what the client’s expectations are. At ITC, we’ve recently enhanced our subcontractor induction process to ensure the whole team knows exactly what is expected of them from day 1.
3. Bespoke planning
What worked for one client might not work for another. At ITC, we always develop tailored strategies for each client, taking into account the nuances of their needs and the needs of others using the building.
4. Communication is key
Strong lines of communication with the client are essential. If any plans change or delays are expected, making sure they are aware ahead of time can help avoid a lot of issues.
5. Positive attitudes
Ensuring the team on site is friendly, polite and respectful is essential. Whether it’s respecting the general public or being sensitive to the work happening in a building, the attitude of your team is the shop window to your organisation. It can be the difference between a positive relationship with your client and repeat business, or a negative impression that will last beyond the project.
Tony Smith, Director