ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
By Scott Pfeffer, RA
Today’s international airport construction programs are
expanding in scope and complexity while being subjected
to greater demands for expedited completion.
At the same time, the economic environment is exerting greater
pressure on owners to deliver these programs on time and
within budget. This results in increased facilities management
responsibilities for the owner while they are forced to manage
their facility programs with reduced staff because of uncertain
Significant construction programs normally result in short- to
mid-term needs for additional owner’s project management
personnel. Due to the shortage of qualified local labor at many
international locations and costly relocation expenses, these
positions can be extremely difficult to fill.
In today’s market, the owner is presented with a number of
different alternative project delivery methods to solve this
problem. One of the most cost-effective and low-risk options is
to utilize a core group of seconded owner’s representatives to
supplement the owner’s staff, filling the project management
roles for the duration of the project.
Contracting for these roles can be easier than finding
temporary or long-term staff to assign. The risk for the
employee is reduced because they are not forced to accept
new employment in a foreign country. Due to the lower risk for
the employee and financial incentive of the assignment, higher
quality staff are more readily available.
Project representatives are fully integrated into the owner’s staff
working hand-in-hand with existing owner’s facility managers
to execute the overall goals of the program. These project
representatives can fill a variety of roles, including construction
inspectors, design managers, project coordinators and even the
project director if required.
Burns & McDonnell routinely assigns staff to projects of this
nature. For example, we have provided design and construction
representatives on-site for the New Doha International Airport
from the early design phases through construction.