Re: site supervision
From: PattyMara (
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:15:18 -0600
In a message dated 2/9/99 12:30:38 PM Pacific Standard Time, NKaten947 [at]

<< We are getting ready to break ground at the end of April!  We are wondering
 how other groups handle site supervision during construction.  The proposal
 from our project manager is to be here once a month.   We would like to know
 how much on site supervision other groups have felt they needed. >>

At Tierra Nueva Cohousing on the Central California Coast we had a project
manager who came from out of state, once a month or so,  to do site
supervision, with the group taking responsibility to have one member on call
to handle questions that arose, and to be the single point of contact between
members and our contractor, architect and engineer.  

It was woefully inadequate, in my opinion.  

We had a good relationship with our contractor, not so good communication or
relationship with our architect and a nebulous interaction with our engineers
who kept changing personnel midway through major phases of the project.  The
result was a mixture of decisions that were made that were made by the seat of
their collective pants, without much group interaction.  Sometimes the "single
point of contact" member from the group worked okay, and sometimes it didn't.
It was a difficult role, too much for a layman to take on, and often the group
broke the rules and spoke with the professionals directly, which was counter

Bottom line, there was no one on site daily, throughout the construction
process that looked out for our interests alone.  There should have been
someone there, full time, who was a project manager by trade who knew the
local building regulations, county requirements and political currents.    In
my opinion, it would have been worth every dollar it cost, in terms of savings
from cost overruns and costs of replacing elements that were installed that
may need to be removed or altered (site lighting,  handicap railing etc).  

Hire a project manager.

Patty Mara Gourley
Tierra Nueva Cohousing

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