Managing major projects...

Nick Myall
Monday 25 Jun 2018

BAU is the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems. Here two experts in their field focus on managing major projects...

Major projects present a special challenge. What decisions need to be made in the beginning so that they are still relevant in 25 years? How can projects be managed to ensure that they are ultimately a temporal and financial success? Burkhard Fröhlich, Editor in Chief, at DBZ and Jürgen Engel from KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten GmbH provide some answers at BAU 2017 in Munich, Germany. 

Burkhard Frodlich said: “All over the world major projects are being realised but not always without significant problems. Many are public projects and there are always problems with public sector projects. The key is how they are controlled. How to organise processes and most importantly how to deal with the investor and the client. Where does the journey go? What is the purpose? What is the task?

What are we looking at in terms of the life cycle of the project over the course of 25-30 years? What decisions do I need to make now that will still be relevant in 25-30 years time?

You don’t want to be in the middle of the process and suddenly say; ‘Oh I never even thought that the day-to-day operation of the building might be an important issue here.’ 

This is why the areas of planning, building and operating are so important for us in this process chain; they need to be discussed right from the very outset - ideally with all the parties involved.”

Smooth project management 

Jurgen Engel of KSP Jurgen Engel Architechen GmbH, Frankfurt, went on to say:

“General planning is a curse and a blessing. Let me start with the blessing, as an architect you are responsible for what you do. You are also responsible for ensuring that the specialist engineers do their work, that the work is done to a high standard and you can not get out of being the general planner. This also means, however that you need to work with friends, with engineers you know well, whose skills you can trust. This is a crucial requirement. The curse of course is your responsibility for everything vis a vis the client. Economic problems may arise which many firms have trouble solving so you need to tread very carefully here. You need to think about these things in advance. 

It’s important to have a well functioning project management department which must not be too close to the architects. Ideally it should be an autonomous company within the firm which introduces independence and sufficient pressure to ensure that what project manager says will be done. We also direct the planning process and guide the client to the extent that they can address any questions about the permits of functions to us internally.

This means we are responsible for organising and scheduling all the necessary planning steps in a way that enables the project to succeed in terms of time and money.” 

Nick Myall

News editor

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