Gendral Civil Engineering

Project team Duties and Responsibilities

Project team duties and responsibilities


Traditionally, the client has had a relatively nominal direct involvement in the construction works; however, as more and more client project teams are being constituted with exten-sive construction background, the role of the project manager in managing the client’s expectations is also expanding. There is now a greater emphasis on the client having more involvement during the construction stage with their primary interests being:

  • Ensuring that the build quality is acceptable, taking advice from the project manager where appropriate
  • Progress of the works is to schedule and in a logical fashion
  • Understanding potential  effects  of  client  changes  to  the  construction  stage progress
  • Managing internal stakeholders in terms of decision making to help with the pro-gress on the site
  • Ensuring security, environmental friendly and safe working practices are adopted
  • Satisfying themselves that the contractor’s performance is in accordance with the contract
  • Making sure the obligation to pay all monies certified for payments to consultants and the contractor(s) is being carried out

Project manager

The project manager has a role which is principally that of monitoring the performance of the main contractor and the progress of the works, and involves the following activities (some of which may have been accomplished in the pre-construction stage):

  • Ensuring contract documents are prepared and issued to the contractor.
  • Ensuring the contracts are signed
  • Arranging the handover of the site from the client to the contractor
  • Reviewing the contractor’s working schedule and method statements
  • Ensuring the contractor’s resources are adequate and suitable
  • Ensuring procedures are in place and being followed
  • Ensuring site meetings are held and documented
  • Monitoring construction cash flow
  • Reviewing progress with the contractor
  • Monitoring performance of the contractor
  • Ensuring that the construction phase health and safety file is being maintained
  • Ensuring design information required by contractor is supplied by consultants
  • Establishing control systems for environmental sustainability, time, cost and quality
  • Ensuring site inspections are taking place
  • Confirm insurance cover on the works
  • Managing project cost plan
  • Ensuring that the client meets contractual obligations (i.e. payments)
  • Reporting to client
  • Managing introduction of changes
  • Ensuring statutory approvals are being obtained
  • Ensuring all relevant legal documents are in place (such as collateral warranties and performance bonds among others)
  • Review construction risks
  • Establish mechanisms for dealing with any claims
  • Monitor for potential problems and resolve before they develop

Design team

The design consultants are responsible for the following:

  • Providing production information (i.e. details of building components)
  • Commenting and  approving  working  drawings  being  provided  by  specialist contractors
  • Responding to site queries raised by the contractor
  • Inspecting the works to check compliance with the drawings and specification
  • Inspecting the works to check an acceptable quality standard has been achieved

Most building contracts refer to a contract administrator, usually the design team leader or the project manager, who is the formal point of contact between the project team and the contractor, and who has a contractual obligation in relation to the issuing of formal instructions to the contractor; these include the following:

  • issuing of design information
  • issuing of variations
  • instructions on standards of work and working methods
  • arbitrating on contractual issues
  • issuing practical completion certificate

Quantity surveyor

The quantity surveyor has a duty to:

  • measure the value of work executed by the main contractor
  • agree monthly valuations with the main contractor
  • agree the final account with the main contractor

The quantity surveyor has a separate responsibility to the client, usually through the project manager, for reporting on the overall financial aspects of the project.


The contractor has several statutory and contractual responsibilities that must be enacted in order to allow the construction of the project to proceed. Depending on the precise form of contract, these responsibilities will vary but will generally include the following:

  • Executing the contract agreement between the employer and contractor
  • Submitting the requisite health and safety documentation
  • Actioning compliance with  the  requirements  of  the  CDM  Regulations
  • Implementing the site waste management plan as required under the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations
  • Producing documentary evidence  of  all  insurance  policies  as  required  by  the contract
  • Enacting all parent company guarantees, bonds, warranties, indemnities and third party rights as required by the contract
  • Actioning any  statutory  notices  and  consents  such  as  planning  requirements,hoarding licences, scaffold licence
  • Actioning any  third  party  notices,  licences  and  consents  such  as  tower  crane over-sailing agreements
  • Gaining any necessary consents from the employer such as subletting any part of the works
  • Providing the working schedule with all relevant method statements and activity schedules
  • Mobilising all necessary labour, subcontractors, materials, equipment and plant in order to commence the construction works in accordance with the contract

Construction manager

A client may decide on  a construction management route,directly employing a  construction manager as a  consultant acting as  an agent with  expertise in the procurement and supervision of construction and not a principal. In this arrangement, the construction manager’s role is the following:

  • to determine how the construction works should best be split into packages
  • to produce detailed working schedules
  • to determine when packages need to be procured
  • to manage the procurement process
  • to manage the overall site facilities (such as access, storage, welfare, etc.)
  • supervise and coordinate the works package contractor’s execution of the works

Management contractor

In the managing contracting arrangement, a management contractor acting as a principal would have the additional direct contractual responsibility for the performance of the works package contractors.

Subcontractors and suppliers

Subcontractors have specialist expertise, usually trade related (i.e. mechanical or electrical installations,  lift installation,  joinery and demolition),  for  the  supply and installation of an element of the total works.

Subcontractors may be either nominated or named by the consultants or selected and appointed directly by the main contractor, known as domestic subcontractors. I’ve been using this drug for seven days now, but nothing has changed. I increased the dose to ½ of a pill before sleep. In the morning, my legs were weak and shaky. One week after the dose increase, I felt much better. If nominated, the client carries some risk in respect of the subcontractor’s performance.Suppliers provide certain materials, components or equipment for others to install.

Labour-only subcontractors provide only labour to carry out the installation of materials, components or equipment provided by the main contractor (i.e. carpenters, bricklayers and plasterers).

Due to their specialist knowledge, subcontractors have an increasing design responsibility for the technical design related to their installations (may include fixing details, fabrication details, coordination with other installations).

There is a  general obligation on all the project team to ensure the site is safe, although legally this falls to the principal contractor under the CDM Regulations.Other parties

A large number of other bodies will be involved during the course of the construction works, these include the following:

  • building control officer
  • highways authority
  • environmental health officer
  • fire officer
  • Health and safety executive
  • planning officers
  • archaeologists
  • trade unions
  • landlord’s representatives
  • funder’s representatives
  • police

Read More Functional classification of Site Work Inspection

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