It’s easy to see how contractors might feel there are too many people watching what they do. But, there are times when a trusted party looking over your shoulder is worth its weight in gold. Just consider some of the use cases for third party involvement.
Improve Management Oversight
Superintendents and project managers walk the fine line between design and construction. They spend a lot of time on the human aspects of the project, from smoothing conflicts among participants to handling concerns of owner, bank, and insurance company. Consider hiring a third party to compare quality and timeliness of subcontractor performance to the specifications and schedule. Because they bring a fresh set of eyes to the project, a third party can also shed light on scheduling issues and resource constraints.
Speed Up Approvals
States and municipalities often have third parties doing inspections. In some cases, inspections by these third parties are an option contractors can use to avoid the typical waiting times. Third party plan review speeds up plan approvals by finding places in the plans that run counter to local planning authority requirements. Zoning, fire, public safety, and utility services comprise a web of requirements that contractors are hard pressed to keep up with. When you involve a qualified consultant, you gain peace of mind that you won’t get a stop work order two days after you’ve begun work. You also stand to speed up external and internal approvals.
Reduce Environmental Surprises
For redevelopment and even for projects breaking ground on virgin sites, involving a third party for discovery of environmental issues helps you gain expertise that many contractors seldom have in house. Besides inspecting the property for environmental issues, these third parties will research the history of neighboring properties because environmental issues pay no heed to property lines. Hiring third parties for environmental discovery can also help you conduct a thorough “all appropriate inquiry” that even takes vapor intrusion into account.
The authenticity of materials is a continuing problem especially for electrical and plumbing items. Counterfeit materials that don’t meet specifications add risks during construction, and liabilities after construction. Hiring a consulting engineer or specifier to review sources of supply against a materials list can help keep counterfeit and substandard materials off the jobsite. Another area where a third party pays off here is with green materials. The rush by manufacturers to “green up” their products has led to marginal and outright false claims about product sustainability. Third parties who know LEED, and Green Globes can help ensure the materials conform to the specifications needed.
Drones now offer unprecedented views of the jobsite. Builders use them to create visual records of jobsite activities that affect claims, project progress, security, safety, and quality. Builders also use them to collect spatial information about projects. But, regulations regarding safety and privacy make it risky business to start sending up your own drones. That’s where third parties like TrueLook can deliver drone benefits without the risks and steep learning curve. TrueLook connects you with a certified drone pilot, makes it easy to schedule the drone mission, and delivers the media directly to your TrueLook app.
Inaccurate as-builts hinder facilities management and add risk for future changes in the structure to accommodate new uses. And, there is a perennial problem with as-builts. They typically get pulled together at the tail end of the project, just as everyone is mobilizing for the next project. That means they are often inaccurate and short on critical details. When you turn as-built responsibility over to a qualified third party you free up staff time for closeout, and you turn over complete, accurate, and digitally-accessible as-builts to the owner.