Global Construction Risks: A Survivor’s Guide
Successfully designing and erecting a quality building in an emerging economy requires a lot to go right, whether it’s adhering to local codes, navigating the logistics of global manufacturing and shipping, or any number of other challenges.
Consider, too, the capital market’s demands for quicker and deeper returns, and the risks are exacerbated, as a building must be delivered on a compressed timeline with a condensed budget.
When embarking on a global construction project, the surest path to success is to mitigate the imminent risks you can control.
Look for providers that can optimize design and employ building information modeling (BIM). This lets you overlay multiple plans, such as those for the structure and process equipment, and ensure there are no conflicts.
Permitting and code compliance
Work with a provider that offers local permitting and compliance expertise, but don’t rely on local codes to dictate quality when building internationally. Choosing a provider that can deliver the same quality anywhere in the world will help eliminate surprises once the building is erected.
SUPPLY CHAIN RISKS
Lower-quality regional materials
Regional options in developing areas may not be able to achieve the material quality to which you’re accustomed. When vetting suppliers, identify those that offer fabrication standards and consistent global quality.
Material delivery delays
Delays can increase on-the-ground risk at the job site, especially if you’re in a developing region. Work with a provider that has multiple manufacturing centers and is willing to ship materials from the closest facility to the job site in accordance with the project schedule.
Supply chain shortages
For the surest bet, find a materials supplier that has control over the raw materials supply. There are options that encompass the full value chain in-house, giving you a higher level of control over scheduling risks.
Lack of local skilled labor
When you can’t be on the ground at the project, it’s imperative to identify a contractor you can trust to deliver. Providers that have relationships with construction trades at the local level will best mitigate this risk.
Lack of on-site expertise
Find a building system with factory-punched components to help ensure accurate installation. Locate a provider that offers an on-site project manager to serve as a single point of contact during a project.
Lack of safety enforcement
Safety standards in developing nations may not mirror the procedures in place in the United States. Be sure to grill your general contractors on their approach and look for a building system provider that offers passive restraint fall safety systems. This will help expedite building installation and align with your company safety policies.
By simply avoiding these barriers, you’re better positioned to deliver within your timeline and budget. Reducing the construction critical path by up to 30 percent and generating significant savings on building costs is not unheard of, provided you have a road map on how to mitigate risks that can be controlled in global construction.