The Ultimate Guide to Construction Project Management

Whether you’ve been a project manager before or if you’re new to the game, knowing exactly what you have to do is essential. Every project differs in terms of what needs to be done and what your role entails, but the general practice remains relatively similar.

The main roles for a construction project manager tend to include:

Planning the Work

Before the ground is broken the project manager will take a good look at the blueprints and figure out the work that their team will actually do. This is where the different stages tend to be figured out, from planning to prepping, breaking ground through to completion. Most of the estimates are thrown in here too, including cost and time.

project management planning

Hiring, Firing, Supervising

The project manager is the big boss, it’s up to you to pick and choose your team. This means ensuring that the construction workers are coordinated and are working as they should, as well as taking disciplinary action against anyone stepping out of line. You’re the site manager and that means that everyone reports to you and you’re the one calling the shots.

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Top 5 uses for Lighting Towers this Autumn

Autumn is a lovely time of year that signals the end of summer. The leaves are changing colour and the last hurrahs of warm weather are an invitation to enjoy what is left of the season. The only downside to this time of year is the fading light, which is why so many event organisers choose to hire a lighting tower for their gatherings.

Lighting towers are also useful for finishing building projects on time, as well as bringing groups together for enjoyable sporting and social activities. They provide an excellent means of extending the working day into the evening to reap the last benefits of the decent weather.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular reasons why people use artificial lighting during autumn.

lighting towers sports

Sporting events

What athlete doesn’t enjoy getting in the last few games of the season? Whether for outdoor tennis matches, a friendly game of rugby or football, this form of powerful outdoor lighting enhances the environment to make these late summer evenings out possible.

Social events

Autumnal dances held in outdoor gardens take on a romantic feel with the crisp air of September signalling that change is near. Tower lighting is available in different sizes and configurations to highlight dancing and concession areas, as well as walkways, to increase the comfort and safety of attendees.

Charitable and commercial events

Tower lighting is also ideal for bathing a park or garden in light for social events such as fundraising, auctions or autumnal celebrations for your business. Participants will appreciate the chance to get out in the last of the warm weather before events must turn to indoor venues. These powerful floodlights allow you to get the most out of the beauty of the great outdoors while the weather still permits.

Industrial uses

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Crews often run short of time when performing vital roadwork maintenance or building projects. Working after dark may become necessary to complete these works before the ravages of winter bring a halt to proceedings. The bright flooding of light that emanates from tower lighting can help to create a safer environment for workers to complete these necessary assignments before the forces of nature make it impossible to continue.

Ideal for remote locations

Tower lighting does not require the necessity of electrical points nearby for effective operation. High powered generators provide the needed power sources for remote locations or those which are not close to traditional electrical sources. This makes them ideal for autumnal events held in celebration of nature and the close of summer.

Tower lighting is a means of extending the usefulness of the day for both industrial and community use. September is an indicator that summer will soon be gone and any construction work that is necessary must be completed while there is still time. Celebrations, sporting and social events which mark the close of the season are possible in practically any location. End-of-season deals are in abundance at this time of the year which makes September an ideal month to schedule your event and reserve the lighting source that best meets your requirements.

Wonders of the Modern Man: Astounding Architecture

Man (and woman) is constantly pushing the boundaries of their ability by building structures to such a size, design and scale that they appear to defy logic. This isn’t something that has only been done over the last hundred or so years either, looks at the Egyptian pyramids or the Great Wall of China – these are incredible examples of man’s building ability and still astound many modern architects.

When it comes to modern architecture, some of the buildings that now exist are enough to cast a shadow (literally and metaphorically) over the pyramids and Great Wall. Here are some of the most impressive buildings that have been built recently:

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

burj khalfa

If the tallest building on Earth isn’t enough to make this list of remarkable structures then I don’t know what is! Standing at a whopping, 828 meters and with 163 floors the Burj Khalifa towers over everything. Thanks to its aesthetically pleasing needle shape, it is also a great sight to behold! Just imagine how many lighting towers and generators needed to build this?

Sydney Opera House, Australia

sydney opera house

Image under CC BY-SA 3.0

Arguable one of the most recognisable buildings to have ever been constructed, the Sydney Opera House is the pinnacle of beautiful design and utilitarian practicality. The building was marked as a World Heritage Site in 2007 and has been used for a wide variety of uses and has inspired many other architects to play with the shape of a building.

Guggenheim Museum, Spain

guggenheim

Image under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Guggenheim features a wide range of different styles to create a truly unique and interesting looking building. The building borrows its architectural styles from modern and contemporary features giving it its distinctive shape. Despite its unusual appearance, critics, academics and the public are all united in their appreciation for the Guggenheim Museum.

New York Museum of Contemporary Art, USA

new york museum

 Image: Mortiz Schmaltz under CC BY-SA 2.0

What better place to house the World’s finest contemporary art than in a museum that looks like contemporary art itself? The staggered boxes appearance looks like it was put together by a child playing with building blocks, but at the same time holds the idea that it has been meticulously balanced by an absolute genius.

Turning Torso, Sweden

turning torso

Image under CC BY-SA 3.0

Not only does the Turning Torso hold the record for being the tallest skyscraper in Sweden, but the 90 degree twist in its structure easily makes it one of the most beautiful structures around. The irregular shape was crafted by using five story pentagons that add a twist to each section until the final stories are exactly 90 degrees clockwise from the ground floor.

 The Gherkin, England

the gherking

Image Aurelien Guichard under CC BY-SA 2.0

30 St Mary Axe, or the Gherkin as it is well known, is one of the most famous modern landmarks in a city famed for its historic architecture. This giant glass structure seamlessly fits into the brick and stone background that is found everywhere in London. This isn’t only a beautiful building, but thanks to the energy saving methods it uses half the energy as a traditional building of the same size making it future proof.

Biggest Construction Fails in the World

We’ve all had one of those “what am I doing here” moments, but some people in construction seem to have them worse than others. To make you feel a little bit better about bodging that DIY job or epically failing at construction, here are a few people doing it worse than you:

Loading a Digger

These guys are either complete geniuses who worked out that when they get paid by the hour, the longer it takes the better or they are idiots who don’t know how to use a digger. Loading up a digger by hand is easily one of the biggest construction fails we’ve seen in a long time – we’re hoping the foreman was away or asleep for this, because we wouldn’t want to take this hit!

Bright Ideas

When you move something really tall it makes sense to check the route you’re taking. Why do you do that? To watch out for electric wires of course! These two received a nasty shock here which we are hoping is enough for them to learn from their mistakes.

Taking Turns

Some people clearly have no respect for health and safety and these workers are definitely in the mix. They were lucky to walk away without any injuries from this little play, there were so many ways that it could have gone wrong!

Calm and Collected

How many construction workers does it take to stop a concrete buffer? Lots! Machinery should always be kept under control just for this reason, when it goes wild it can be a full blown project to get it back in hand. It took pretty much the entire workforce and 2 mins 30 seconds to right this wrong – bet they made sure it was off when it wasn’t needed after this fiasco.

Wrong Tool for the Job

Sometimes you’re set up to fail, a bit like these workers who were given hand axes to – it looks like – take up a road. When the tool you need is something as powerful as a jack hammer, eight blokes on their hands and knees hitting the road with a hatchet isn’t going to have the same impact. If you need a job doing right make sure you have the right equipment to sort the issue.

Hi-Vis Isn’t Knowledge

When you have this many people standing around a construction scene in hi-vis jackets, you’d expect that at least one of them will know what they are doing. It all seems to be going well until the very last moment when it goes catastrophically wrong. If you’re moving something heavy and expensive, make sure you do a full analysis of the situation before!

Got a similar story? Please share your own construction catastrophes with us!

The Glastonbury Guide To Green Eco Friendly Music Festivals

glastonbury

The day after the great Jimi Hendrix died, a few people gathered on a farm outside Shepton Mallet for an event that they called the Pilton music festival. Over 40 years later, this small musical gathering – now known as Glastonbury – is the largest Greenfield festival in the world that hundreds of thousands of flock to every single year.

But as well as being a major force in the world of music, it turns out that Glastonbury is also a key player in the global $12billion ‘green industry’. Here are 6 ways that they’re achieving this.

#1 Glastonbury Green Traveller Initiative – Researchers from Oxford University found that of the 84,000 tonnes of CO2 generated by UK music festivals every year…most of it came from transport. As a way of reducing this negative impact, Glastonbury launched the ‘Glastonbury Green Traveller Initiative’ in which they provide significant discounts and prizes for festival goers who attend using public transport.

#2 Love Your Tent Campaign – Another eco-problem generated by music festival goers is the number of abandoned tents that end up in landfills. To combat this, Glastonbury partnered with the ‘Love Your Tent’ campaign to encourage festival goers to invest in quality camping gear that they take home after the festival and re-use the next time they came.

#3 Local Sewage Works – A major source of emissions at Glastonbury came from transporting in water for the festival. In fact, in 2008 alone, 168 tankers were used to bring in water by road, with sewage being taken on a 90-mile round trip to Avonmouth. The solution? Glastonbury built two reservoirs and a local sewage works to reduce the distance that the water and sewage need to travel. Also, festival goers are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles.

#4 Please Take It Home Campaign – 400 gazebos, 2,200 chairs, 3,500 air beds and 6,500 sleeping bags were all left behind at Glastonbury. This is why the ‘Please Take It Home’ campaign to take 5 minute to collect all their camping equipment.

#5 Long-drops For Portaloos – With hundreds of thousands of people onsite, ammonia levels in the nearby streams and countryside are hugely impacted by the amount of waste being produced in the portaloos. To stem this problem, the majority of the portaloos will be replaced with long-drops and composting toilets. As well as offering festival goers an ‘stink-free’ toilet experience, the collected waste will be used as compost to fertilise the farmland that hosts Glastonbury.

#6 Electric Golf Buggies – When it comes to generating the power needed to run a huge music festival, Glastonbury has approached this in a number of ways. Firstly they’ve installed over 1,500 square metres of solar panels, which is enough to power 40 homes annually. Glastonbury also makes use of electric bikes and golf buggies to transport staff around the 1,500 acre site. And even though the main stages and food stalls still require power generators, Glastonbury is investigating the viability of hybrid generators to minimise the use of fossil fuels in the event.

The Top 5 Greenest Buildings in the World

Want to go green but not sure how to do it? Take a look at what you can learn from these pioneers.

clock shadow#1 The Clock Shadow Building, Milwaukee, USA

This is one of the world’s most ‘green’ buildings thanks to an ecological build, sustainability and the effort to improve the local area’s infrastructure.

When building this property the designers wanted to concentrate on using renewable energy, but sadly due to its small footprint there was not enough roof space to hold a substantial amount of solar panels. Instead, they decided to reduce the building’s energy consumption.

A ground source water pump was fitted and most of the building materials are reclaimed, recycled or renewable.

co-op hq#2 The Co-op HQ, Manchester, UK

Not only is this new build a statement with its unique architecture, but it also does its bit in saving this planet. The Co-operative Group spent £100million on building their main office which opened in 2013. And it achieved the highest ever rating (95.16%) from BREEAM – the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.

This building powers itself using crops grown on Co-operative farms, rainwater harvesting, recycling system and a heat recovery system. The building has low-energy lighting, low-energy IT equipment and high-efficiency lifts.

bullitt centre#3 Bullitt Centre, Seattle, USA

The dream of any ecologically minded company is to achieve carbon neutrality. For the Bullitt Environmental Foundation HQ this dream is a reality. There is a water and sewage processing system, solar panels on the roof, rainwater collection and a UV light purification system. There are even 26 underground geothermal wells which heat the water.

The owners of this building also encourage employees to ride their bike to work by having their own garage. Parking for cars is therefore limited.

#4 The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s premier tourist attractions and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The large, bubble-shaped domes are home to a diversity of plants from all around the world and act as a natural biome.

eden project

This attraction is also big on educating visitors on the relationship between humans, plants and the natural environment. A geothermal plant powers everything at the project and generates enough to cover 5,000 nearby homes.

ying yang house#5 Yin Yang House, California, USA

This family home and office is designed to use as little energy as possible. And with a bamboo interior and composite stone countertops, much of the materials used are recyclable too.

The building has cross-ventilation, a thermal chimney and solar panels, which along with cellulose insulation and many more sustainable features makes this one of the world’s best eco properties.

Could you improve your green credentials and save money at home and work? Why not take inspiration from these eco warriors.

 

 

 

(images: Dwell, Wikimedia, Wikimedia, Wikipedia and Open Buildings)

Construction Giants – The World’s Largest Football Stadiums

Football stadiums are like modern day Coliseums, only they aren’t quite as rare and there is a lot more known about how they were put together. These constructions are simply massive – in fact there is very little on earth that can compete with some of the largest stadiums on the planet.

Often emerging out of derelict spaces and waste ground, these stadiums change the skyline of cities forever. Depending on the size and cost of the build, these giants take months and even years to complete –here are some of the largest football stadiums in the world:

Rungrado May Stadium, North Korea

KOREA

While most stadiums struggle to pack in 100,000 people into the building, the Rungrado in North Korea can fit in an incredible 150,000 – that’s 30k more than the next biggest stadium on Earth. One of the saddest things about this amazing bit of architecture is that due to its location in North Korea, it is never likely to play host to the World Cup or any other major tournaments.

São Paulo’s , Brazil

sao paolo

Host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this 65,000 person stadium may not be the biggest, but it has most certainly been a huge topic of conversation in the news. The stadium, which was purpose built for this international competition faced many difficulties being constructed and even 10 days before the opening ceremony of the World Cup it isn’t quite ready. Hundreds of generators have been powering bright lights to allow work to continue till late in the night, but will it be enough?

There’s been issues regarding ‘full-capacity’ testing which means that 25,000 may not be able to sit in the stands cheering on their team – whether it all blows over in time is anyone’s guess at the moment!

Salt Lake Stadium, India

salt lake stadium

Another behemoth of a football stadium, Salt Lake has a whopping 120,000 person max capacity. Normally when India are playing at home the stands will be packed to the rafters with supporters, giving off one of the most incredible atmospheres you’re ever likely to experience. Over the years many competitions have been held in this stadium, and as India continue to grow as a footballing nation we may expect to see large international competitions being held here in the future.

Camp Nou, Spain

camp nou, barcelona

Every football fan will recognise the stunning Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. The stadium, which is one of the oldest large stadiums still in use, can hold just under 98,000 people. But it is not the capacity of this building that is so impressive, it’s the styling. When it was constructed in the 1950’s it was designed to be a symbol of Catalan nationalism, and the architect did just that – giving it a completely unique appearance that marks out its regional identity entirely.

However, plans are underway to modernise and redesign this beautiful stadium with the aim of increasing capacity to over 112k and add more architectural flare to this special stadium.

Wembley Stadium, England

wembley

Wembley is something that the British can be proud of. The construction may have taken longer than expected and there were a few issues along the way, but the finished product is nothing short of magnificent anyway you cut it. The stunning architecture makes this an instantly recognisable feature of the footballing world! And with all the recent controversy over the World Cup bids in Russia and Qatar, then Wembley could yet get the chance be the centrepiece for the World Cup sooner than we first thought!