Construction projects are unique – no two jobs are ever the same. They are intricate, time-consuming undertakings. Each structure is tailored specifically to suit its environment, arranged to perform its own particular function, and designed to reflect personal tastes and preferences. The vagaries of the construction site and the possibilities for creative and utilitarian variation, of even the most standardised building product, combine to make each construction project a new and different experience.

The construction process is subject to the influence of highly variable and sometimes unpredictable factors. The construction team, which includes architects, engineers, building tradesmen, subcontractors, material dealers, and others, changes from one job to the next. All the complexities inherent in different construction sites – such as subsoil conditions, surface topography, weather, transportation, material supply, utilities and services, local subcontractors, labour conditions, and available technologies – are an innate part of construction.

Consequently, construction projects are typified by their complexity and diversity and by the non-standardised nature of their production.

The total development of a project normally consists of several phases requiring a diverse range of specialised services. In progressing from initial planning to project completion, the typical job passes through successive and distinct stages that demand input from financial organisations, governmental agencies, engineers, architects, lawyers, insurance companies, contractors, material manufacturers and suppliers.

During the construction process itself, even a structure of modest proportions involves many skills, materials, and literally hundreds of different operations. The assembly process must follow a natural order of events that constitutes a complicated pattern of individual time requirements.

As Clough and Sears highlight above in the introduction to their new book, all construction projects involve a great deal of time and expense. Therefore in order to ensure that they are completed within the established time and cost limitations, close management control is required.

For more than 30 years, Construction Project Management: A Practical Guide to Field Construction Management by Clough and Sears has been considered the pre-eminent guide to the critical path method (CPM) of project scheduling. The objective of this book is to present and discuss the management of field construction projects. The text also develops and discusses management techniques directed towards the control of cost, time, resources, and project finance during the construction process. Emphasis is placed on practical and applied procedures of proven efficacy and examples relate to field construction practices.

Effective management of a project also requires a considerable background of general knowledge about the construction industry. A chapter is devoted to this in order to familiarise the reader with certain fundamentals of construction practice that will be useful for a complete understanding of the discussions presented in later chapters.

Solid foundations

Published by John Wiley, this 408-page book combines a solid foundation in the principles and fundamentals of CPM with particular emphasis on project planning, demonstrated through an example project.

The fifth edition of the book features a thorough analysis of project cost estimates, time, resource and financial management. Other areas covered include:

• Complete coverage of planning and scheduling principles that apply to every type of construction project.

• Expanded coverage of production planning.

• Large foldout illustrations conveniently integrated throughout the book.

This edition also incorporates a range of improvements. New pedagogical devices improve absorption of the material. Updated labour, material, and equipment pricing is incorporated into the text. Coverage is also enhanced by discussions of contemporary planning and management methods such as work breakdown structures (WBS) and the earned value management system (EVMS). Through the use of case studies, readers are given project management problems and hands-on project management experience.

The authors have drawn upon their wealth of construction and management experience in this publication. S Kekoi Sears has extensive experience managing large construction projects worldwide. He is a senior programme manager for CH2M Hill on the London 2012 Olympic Park in the UK. Glenn A Sears is an active consultant in construction engineering and management, and an emeritus professor of civil engineering at the University of New Mexico. Richard H Clough, deceased, was dean of the College of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He was a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was considered to be one of the leading American educators in construction engineering and management.

Reference tool

Thorough and up to date, the fifth edition of Construction Project Management is described as a ‘superb’ text for students and an indispensable on-the-job reference for civil engineers, builders, architects, and other construction professionals.

For more information visit
29c154/construction_project_management_a_practical or see ISBN: 978-0-471-74588-4