as a part of Architectural Design
MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing)
We would like you to share with us your experiences from the construction sites
Stainless steels

There are various grades of stainless steels used in construction industry. They are marked differently according to national or international standards, most often according to European standards (EN 10027-1 and EN 10027-2) or ASTM/AISI standards (American Society for Testing and Materials / American Iron and Steel Institute).

The following types of steel are most often used in construction:

X6Cr17 (according to EN 10027-1), 1.4016 (according to EN 10027-2) or 430 (according to AISI) belongs to the group of economical stainless steels, are not suitable for welding, have lower plasticity and low strength properties. In construction they are used only for interior elements.

X5CrNi18-10 (according to EN 10027-1), 1.4301 (according to EN 10027-2) or 304 (according to AISI) is an ideal grade for most various applications due to its high corrosion resistance, good processability, material strength, very good welding properties and resistance to natural environmental influences, in combination with its aesthetic appearance and relatively low price. Stainless steel sheets of this material are used for façade elements, elevator cars, escalators and more. Polished and mirror-polished tubes, bars and solid material are used for railings, handrails and the like.

X5CrNiMo17-12-2 (according to EN 10027-1), 1.4401 (according to EN 10027-2) or 316 (according to AISI) is one of the most popular steel grade for applications in architecture, for façades, roofs, all types of cladding and other architectural elements, especially for outdoor. This grade has excellent mechanical and anti-corrosive properties, even at more extreme temperatures, resistance to various aggressive media, is easy to process, to weld and has increased ductility and formability.


Monthly reports

Nowadays, no one has time to read too long documents. That is why the Monthly reports should be short and represent the essence of what happened on the project in the previous month. Monthly report is the right place where you can inform the Employer about the status of the project and list the key issues that require his reaction.

During the preparation of Monthly report, we also have the opportunity to check whether we control issues that we do not have time to control on a daily basis, such as bank guarantees, insurance policies etc...

My Monthly reports are about 5 pages long, one of the topics below on each page:

- status of general documents (construction permits, consents of utility companies etc.),
- design status,
- progress of works, Time Schedule,
- financial status (interim payment certificates, offers for additional works etc.),
- conclusion and proposal for action.


File names

File names are not of minor importance in the organization of project documentation. I often get an attachment in email named: untitled.pdf, monthly.pdf, offer.pdf etc. This does not leave a good impression on me about the sender of the email and causes me extra work when I need to archive such files.

One example of how a file can be named is:

IC-BY-073-0-SVC-Monthly report August 2016

IC is an abbreviation for project, i.e., IC for InterContinental,
BY is an abbreviation for the company that issued the document, i.e., BY as Boyden,
073 is the number of the document in the company,
0 is the revision number, i.e., if someone submits comments after which the original document is revised, the revised document will be marked 1,
SVC means that the document was made by Sinisa Vuckovic, the abbreviation is the first letter of the name - the first letter of the surname - the last letter of the surname,
The remaining text is the content of the document.


Project Manual

Project Manual is a set of rules and procedures that will apply to a project and is presented by the Project Manager at the first meeting (kick off meeting) with project participants (Employer, Contractors, Supervisors, Designers etc).

Although companies that deal with Project Management have their own ready-made Project Manuals, I suggest that for projects where you will be the Project Manager, prepare or customize the Project Manual according to particular project and your needs. This primarily refers to the following:

- Description of the project organization, project participants, communication matrix,
- Description of the project archive on the cloud, cloud structure,
- Health & Safety measures to be applied,
- Quality control and form of checklists for quality control of performed works,
- Rules for making short-term and long-term Time Schedule,
- Measures for maintaining the project budget, procedures if something that affects the project budget appears,
- Meetings,
- Forms of contractors' monthly, weekly and daily reports,
- Forms of submittals, requests for information (RFI), request for change of the design (RFC) as well as logs of these documents.

If you are a contractor on a project and these topics are not clearly defined in the Project Manual, ask the Project Manager to clarify them.


What is ppm in BMS terminology?

Ventilation system provide the fresh air in the facility. It can be Constant Air Volume (CAV) system, if constant air volume is supplied to the rooms and Variable Air Volume (VAV) system, if variable air volume is supplied on demand. In the VAV system, air volumes are regulated based on room temperature and air quality (CO2 level). Data on the temperature and the level of CO2 in the rooms are collected and processed through the BMS (Building Management System), so the amount of air is regulated by the control of fans and VAV dampers.

CO2 levels are measured in ppm. Parts-per-million (abbreviated ppm) is the ratio of one gas to another. For example, 800ppm of CO2 means that if you could count a million gas molecules, 800 of them would be of carbon dioxide.

CO2 level in rooms is specified by international standards or corporate standards for their facilities. If there is a higher demand for better air quality, then the costs in operation will be higher. In public spaces or offices, the air is of good quality if the CO2 level is not higher than 600ppm and should not exceed 1000ppm.


Site Meetings

Site meetings, Coordination meetings, Weekly management meetings or similar. they are held on a certain day of the week, always at the same time, for the entire duration of the project.

The meetings should be attended by a representative of Employer, Chief Supervisor, a representative of General Contractor, major (sub)contractors and Design Manager, not too many people, for the meeting to be effective. The issues should not be discussed too long, open issues should be listed and determined who will resolve each of them.

The agenda for the meetings can be as follows:

- Approving the minutes from previous meeting
- H&S (Health and Safety) - this topic must be given priority; the contractor should be emphasized that this is the most important issue on the construction site.
- General documents - permits, consents of utility companies, documentation related to state institutions and local authorities.
- Design status - all issues related to design
- Progress of works and Time Schedule - issues related to the execution of works with special attention on Time Schedule.
- Miscellaneous - everything that does not belong to the above topics and relates mainly to the execution of works.


Thickness of the hot dip galvanizing coating

If the design requires the steel element to be hot dip galvanized, then the coating mass and thickness of the zinc coating should be in accordance with the standard EN ISO 1461 (Hot dip galvanized coatings on fabricated iron and steel articles - Specifications and test methods).

According to this standard, the required thickness of the zinc coating depends on the wall thickness of the steel element and whether the elements are centrifuged (nuts, bolts and washers etc.) or not centrifuged. The coating minimum masses / thickness on articles that are not centrifuged are in the following ranges:

35 µm and 250 g/m2 local coating (minimum), 45 µm and 325 g/m2 mean coating (minimum) for steel ˂ 1,5mm
70 µm and 505 g/m2 local coating (minimum), 85 µm and 610 g/m2 mean coating (minimum) for steel ˃ 6mm

More about hot dip galvanizing can be found on the Galvanizers Association (UK and Ireland) website


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