What is the future of project management in a civil engineering project ?

What is the future of project management in a civil engineering project ?

What is the future of project management in a civil engineering project ?
?  What is the future of project management in a civil engineering project

A successful construction project relies on a good project management that includes strategies, tactics, and tools for managing the design and construction delivery processes as well as the controlling key factors to ensure a facility that matches the expectations and functions as it is intended.

1.Project Management of civil engineering projects  

It is critical to establish the qualities of the project that are necessary to make the construction project sustainable and with a huge impact on an international and worldwide value. A well-programmed project will continue to provide value and meet user needs throughout its lifetime and will contribute positively to the environment in which it is located with a wide range of social and economic benefits. Early management in planning, programming, and design can help deliver these benefits by reducing the cost, lowering the environmental impact and producing a good level of security management.Successful project delivery  requires the implementation of an innovative and developed management system focusing on three essential parts: 
  • Reducing the project cost  in order to assemble and effectively manage the project in order to reduce costs and generate more profits.    
  •  Reducing the environmental impact of construction and civil engineering projects by providing details for a good CEMP (Construction Environmental Management Plan) in order to reduce the environmental impact during and after construction.     
  • Improving the security management  with plans providing an overview in order to establish a safe well organized construction site with the right atmosphere to execute and produce. 

2.How to innovate in the management of civil engineering projects? 

2.1. Reducing the cost 
First costs, cost-benefit ratios, and life-cycle costing are a few examples of how a project's cost-effectiveness can be evaluated. The control of costs requires:
  • Continual and systematic cost management and monitoring to compare actual costs incurred against targeted budget numbers. 
  • Cost management processes start with the establishment of budgets based on actual estimates for related work. They need to align with scope and quality requirements and be based on realistic, current market conditions.
  •  Comparing budgets to actual costs throughout the building process is critical. The process continues with milestone estimates, value engineering, procurement strategies, and change order management to ensure the project is timely and cost-effective. 
  • Schedule management defines the processes and establishes a timeline for delivering the project. Avoiding missing deadlines for delivery of project components is a key objective of schedule management. Schedule management interfaces directly with scope, cost, and quality optimization where team member roles and activities must be defined, coordinated, and continually monitored. 
  • Project Management Plans (PMP) in order to provide documents and oversight tasks that are updated throughout the project as changes occur. The plan includes definition of an owner's program goals, technical requirements, schedules, resources, budgets, and management programs 
  • Project management software; there are many software options available to assist in the management of a project or program of work. Most software’s use the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) by breaking down the entire project or program into manageable pieces. The WBS can be customized to suit the agency's needs, and should be consistent across budgeting, scheduling and construction management. 
  • Using Building Information Modeling (BIM)  is the process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle Typically it uses three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modeling software to increase productivity in building design and construction. The process produces the Building Information Model (also abbreviated BIM), which encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and the quantities and properties of building components. Utilizing BIM has the potential to save project time and cost and increase overall productivity of construction and delivery of building projects with less rework, design, and construction errors.
2.2. Reducing the environmental impact of the project
  • Optimizing energy use by improving the energy performance of existing buildings which will help in increasing energy independence. The concept of building and operating net zero energy buildings as a way to significantly reduce the dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy is an innovative plan to make a good environmental management plan in civil engineering projects. 
  • Protecting and conserving water while construction by not over using the available water resources or using them in an organized way because fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource. A sustainable building should use water efficiently, and reuse or recycle water for on-site use, when feasible. The effort to bring drinkable water to household’s faucets consumes enormous energy resources in pumping, transport, and treatment. 
  • Optimizing building space and material use, a sustainable building is designed and operated to use and reuse materials in the most productive and sustainable way across its entire life cycle and is adaptable for reuse during its life cycle. 
  • The materials used in a sustainable building minimize life-cycle environmental impacts such as global warming, resource depletion, and human toxicity. Environmentally preferable materials have a reduced effect on human health and the environment and contribute to improved worker safety and health, reduced liabilities, reduced disposal costs, and achievement of environmental goals. 
  • Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of a building has a significant impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity. Among other attributes, a sustainable building maximizes daylighting, has appropriate ventilation and moisture control, optimizes acoustic performance, and avoids the use of materials with high-VOC emissions. Principles of IEQ also emphasize occupant control over systems such as lighting and temperature. 
  • Optimize operational and maintenance practices by considering a building's operating and maintenance issues during the preliminary design phase of a facility will contribute to improved working environments, higher productivity, reduced energy and resource costs, and prevented system failures. Encourage building operators and maintenance personnel to participate in the design and development phases to ensure optimal operations and maintenance of the building.
2.3. Establishing a good security plan
  • Delivering and measuring building quality.  A good design is derived from a complex and creative process encompassing a wide range of activities, elements and attributes. A standard for measuring building quality has been created by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and it measures the key attributes that constitute good design and produces high performance buildings. The CIC has developed the Design Quality Indicator (DQI) a standard method of assessing the quality of buildings in three main areas: Functionality, Build Quality and Impact. 
  • Functionality is concerned with the arrangement, quality and inter-relationships of space and the way in which the building is used by reducing the use of dangerous building equipment and implementing for example new techniques like the automatic cranes where there is no need to a worker to guide it. 
  • Build quality relates to the engineering performance of a building which includes structural stability and the integration and robustness of systems, finishes and fittings by using safe building and construction methods delivered by new technology specially in the field of pouring concrete from long distances, using pre- stressed concrete blocks, replacing wooden blocks by steel prefabricated blocks in order to pour concrete.
  •  Reducing the dangerous impact of the site and making it more safe refers to the building's ability to create a sense of place and have a positive effect on the local community and avoid any dangerous or misuse by having a security team observing and checking every detail.   
  • It is important to incorporate smart growth principles into the project development process; whether the project is a single building, campus, or military base as well as a good selection of the site location and entourage including locations of access roads, parking, vehicle barriers, and perimeter lighting. All this will help in maintaining the project security during and after construction.


A successful construction project management should have a wide variety of plans and innovative ideas to help improve and oversee various projects.This provides the foundation for a future career path in the construction industry and provides a good understanding of the theoretical ideas of construction practices. 

The Author: Mike Jabbour

I am a civil engineer. I first studied civil engineering at the University of Balamand where I received my bachelor and professional masters degree. I am enrolled in the Engineers Syndicate in Lebanon. On multiple occasions I had the chance to work as a site engineer on big scale projects. I also worked independently as I took several freelance projects, either related to quantity surveying or structural design and analysis projects. I decided later to travel to France so i can pursue my studies in civil engineering . 
For the moment, I am completing my PhD in materials and structures at Ifsttar (Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies, des Transports, de l'Aménagement et des Réseaux)  In my opinion, a research engineer is the person who knows about the needs of the civil engineering industry and who is able to develop and optimize new products to fulfill those needs. Therefore having an experience in this field is crucial in order to detect all the discrepancies and difficulties his fellow engineers face on a daily basis. The most efficient way to perform research is to work on a thesis that develops to the maximum a certain aspect and contributes in solving a problem and push science a step forward.  
Concrete technology will change massively in the following years as new technologies get involve in the civil engineering industry. New ecological and  technological ways aiming to decrease the environmental impact are starting to attract concrete industries and research centers.  As a future researcher in the field of concrete, structures and materials technology I am looking forward to assist in the development of new ways to recycle concrete, and make construction materials last longer seeing the economical and environmental crisis. Concrete is a fascinating material and has a booming industry that ought to be developed to a whole new scale.

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